Civilization Revolution Updated Hands-On - Rise of a Nuclear Power

It's atomic bombs away in our latest look at this console strategy game.

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Following the discovery of nuclear fission in 1934, it took more than a decade to develop nuclear weapons. In Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution, it took us only two hours.

That said, it's a long, hard road to becoming the word's first nuclear superpower in Revolution, which is the first Civilization game developed exclusively for consoles (and the Nintendo DS) since Civilization II way back on the original PlayStation. For the first time we got our hands on the PlayStation 3 version and we can safely say the content is identical to the Xbox 360 version. For our civilization, we selected Abraham Lincoln to grow a tiny village by the name of Washington into a modern metropolis, a home of progressive thinkers, a bastion of learning, and a military stronghold armed to the teeth with intercontinental ballistic missiles. Global thermonuclear war, anyone?

Constructing wonders of the world will inspire both friend and foe.

The first thing that old Civ fans may notice when jumping into the single-player campaign--other than the cutesy art style--is how much faster the game plays than previous PC versions. Revolution has been streamlined for the consoles to make Sid Meier's epic empire-building strategies as accessible as possible. You will only have to balance production, population growth, science, and military engagements. Turns move fast because the game will automatically take you to any city that is not building a new unit, and military units move automatically when their paths are queued.

What remains the same, however, is the sheer addiction felt as your civilization asserts its will over an enemy, or when it completes a wonder of the world such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or when you upgrade your medieval knights to modern-day Sherman tanks. If you ever felt yourself putting off work, school, or the affections of a loved one for "just one more turn," that probably won't change here. Thankfully, the game speed is so much faster that you can finish a campaign in only three or four hours.

The road to victory is simple: accumulate 20,000 gold pieces and build the World Bank for an economic victory; attract 20 great people from history to your banner for a cultural victory; or construct several wonders of the world for another type of cultural victory. However, the quickest route is to wipe your enemies from the face of the Earth to earn a bloody domination victory. You can probably guess which route we chose to take.

Early on, our American force met the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan. We stumbled upon his bumbling civilization in only the first few turns, so you can immediately see how quickly the game moves. We offered Khan an olive branch; the Americans are infinitely stronger when they reach the industrial age and start churning out unfathomable amounts of resources faster than you can say cotton gin. Soon we ran into Gandhi and his Indian civilization. The capital city of Delhi was poorly defended, so we opted to overrun it in just a few turns, and we couldn't help but smile at the irony of peace with the warmonger Genghis Khan and war with the peaceful Gandhi. Such is life in Civilization Revolution.

Turns passed. America spread its wings as it's known to do, sending settlers into the far reaches of the map to make the land its own, a sort of virtual manifest destiny. By building libraries and focusing on science, our civilization quickly reached the modern era. The Americans receive a triple production bonus once factories are built, and Lincoln made sure that there was ample work for everyone. Meanwhile, a group of settlers discovered the French Empire in a far corner of the map, led by Napoleon. By this time we had already betrayed Genghis Khan, using rocket-powered artillery units to completely overrun his medieval cavalry units. Only Napoleon remained, but we offered him peace so we could continue on the road to nuclear power, which would assure complete victory. To curb any expansion attempts by the French, we stationed troops at their borders so no settlers could pass. As such, only Paris and Rouen remained.

More turns passed. After we researched literacy, mathematics, and advanced flight, Wilbur Wright joined our cause and helped us to develop flying fortresses. By this time American government had evolved from authoritarian despotism to democracy, and the power of the people does not allow government to attack without provocation. Nevertheless, as much respect as we have for democracy, we didn't build flying fortresses to just look at them. Lincoln quickly proclaimed emancipation from the people and reverted to despotism, a tumultuous switch that resulted in one turn of anarchy, which we didn't even notice other than a hollow rioting sound effect. In the next turn, we ordered the bombers over an army of French archers and watched in glee as their arrows bounced harmlessly off of our hulls, at which point we sentenced them to oblivion.

To his credit, Napoleon sensed defeat and offered olive branches after each turn, hoping for peace. Our submarines and battleships were parked just off of the French coast, and things looked bleak. Meanwhile, our research of atomic theory and nuclear power was complete, and Washington built the world's first atomic weapon. Lincoln took aim at Rouen, and fired.

Government transitions cause anarchy, but have their benefits.

The skies turned black. The earth shook and Rouen was permanently erased from history, leaving behind nothing more than a radioactive black crater in the ground. Lincoln ordered his units full-speed ahead, and tanks rolled through downtown Paris like it was 1940. Utterly defeated, Napoleon surrendered and America reigned supreme as the lone power in the universe.

So yes, nuclear victory is as enjoyable as ever in Civilization Revolution. One concern we have is that the single-player game is only a randomly generated map on which you compete against four other civilizations. We would have liked to see an epic mode with all 16 civilizations duking it out at once on a realistic map of Earth, but at least there are several challenging scenarios to play through in addition to online multiplayer with a total of five players. And with 16 civilizations, each with its own bonuses and special units, you can bet that there is always a reason to take just one more turn.

Discussion

79 comments
Kool-Aid247
Kool-Aid247

diz game iz tight.. People wit GTA4, Civilization, or Metal Gear Solid 4,add me on PS3 people, my name iz Kooll-Aidd I'll beast on yall suckaz...

Lionhart_basic
Lionhart_basic

I can't wait for this game, played the demo 100 times already. Although I want the new PC version too.

SafetyBoy12
SafetyBoy12

this game will be a good game but i don't know if it will life up to civ 4

hodges_3_5
hodges_3_5

this game looks really enjoyable just like the PC versions, I'm gonna play one now lol

Awsomecal
Awsomecal

This looks like an interesting and fresh new turn for the Civ universe.

JBloodhorn
JBloodhorn

"Fanning110-...the Aztecs are on an island to the north and you need the navigation tech to get there." Each time you start a new game (even in the demo) each civ is randomly placed in a diff spot. So there is a chance there wil be a civ there but it is not definite

bamfer3
bamfer3

what a relief, i can take a break from all my reckless shooting! haha definetely getting this one! civilization IV was great and addicting

Fanning110
Fanning110

Finished the demo with a domination victory, the Aztecs are on an island to the north and you need the navigation tech to get there. t'was AWEsome :D

senjutsu
senjutsu

"JohnnyC25 I'm playing the demo over and over again" Me too! :D I'm trying to win. I almost made it, only one base to kill (wiht a tank it's easy to beat them, lol)

JohnnyC25
JohnnyC25

I'm playing the demo over and over again, :P

SamSlayr
SamSlayr

After Space Age you get the Research Victory

wogglies5
wogglies5

I've n3ver played a Civ game before but it looks SUPER COOL!!!! It says you lead it from ancient times to the Space Age though and I dont know what happens after SA. Anyone? Looks awesome and I can't wait.

wogglies5
wogglies5

I've n3ver played a Civ game before but it looks SUPER COOL!!!! It says you lead it from ancient times to the Space Age though and I dont know what happens after SA. Anyone? Looks awesome and I can't wait.

wogglies5
wogglies5

I've n3ver played a Civ game before but it looks SUPER COOL!!!! It says you lead it from ancient times to the Space Age though and I dont know what happens after SA. Anyone? Looks awesome and I can't wait.

slimco
slimco

awww I need this for PC ^.^

skyjunky21
skyjunky21

Reading the previews of this made me dust off my Civ IV on the pc. That was two weeks ago! My wife even hid the game disc the other day to get me off it. I'm looking forward to this "Civ lite". Hopefully just as much fun but less of a life stealer... I want to pick up the DS version but not sure if I can trust myself......

ZogTheIneffable
ZogTheIneffable

japoniano's comments have got a lot of negative clicks, and IMHO s/he has missed the point somewhat, but there is an interesting underlying issue here and I'm not sure why people are reacting so negatively to what is an interesting perspective. IMO "the point" of Civ is that you can guide your civilisation any way you want - culture, tech, aggression, etc. - the reviewer chose agression, and admittedly his turn of phrase seems insensitive, but to complain that the game "lets people" behave like that is OTT when there are plenty of games which require and promote that kind of attitude (Call of Duty 4 or Mercenaries anyone? And lets not even get into the ethics of Manhunt!) Civ has always had an implicit political agenda. American Liberal Democracy is presented as the apogee of politial development. There's a distinct attitude to technology. You're encouraged to care for the happiness of your people, but never to care about the suffering you inflict on others. Etc. Etc. But really this is just a question of the game's biases reflecting the player's biases - which is a good thing, since it makes the game accessible - and is not any great crime compared to the way that other games require players to think or behave.

yas710yaf
yas710yaf

this game looks fun but it might get boring after a little bit, 1 player mode is only 4 hrs, that sux

japoniano
japoniano

I seriously can't decide what is more offensive, the way you played the game (and bragged about it), or the fact that the game lets people do those kind of things. "manifest destiny" my ass. PS. I don't mind getting banned, for this.

double-taketake
double-taketake

Mintvillia: Actually I am neither old, nor American. I also enjoy many "new" games on PC and on current gen consoles. Thanks for the baseless labeling though. As far as change in the series, yes I agree. All series must change and improve on their predeccesor to warrant their creation. I don't agree with change for the sake of change however. A Civ game on consoles is a challenge to make, however limiting the entire experience by putting less features in the game doesn't just make it more noob friendly, it also alienates old fans. Why not keep the old features in, while adding customizable options and tutorials to help newer players? That keeps everybody happy. I really hope this does turn out to be a good game, and I'll probably rent it, but I hope it doesn't alienate its old fanbase too much. Oh, and clearly defined borders are a relatively new concept. As early as a couple hundred years ago, borders were unclear and often undefined. They were defined loosely by the different cultures that lived in the area. The emergence of nationalism contributed to the exact borders we have today. I'd like to see borders possibly being researched in a tech, maybe the nationalism tech.

sidious
sidious

I'm excited. I've been playing civ games since they first hit PC's way back when (only missing out on the most recent Civ 4 due to computer hardware limitations... I'm more of a console gamer, but have always enjoyed the PC strategy games, especially this series...). I too wish there were more options to duke it out with more than 4 civs at a time... but other than that I'm excited to play a more console centric take on the series. Not to mention Sid M has had his hands in this version from the begining,.. and he is a genious in my mind... can't wait to try it out.

hywel69
hywel69

I wish they carried on with Alpha Centauri where they land on the Planet rather than re-hash Civ forever.

Ubersj
Ubersj

although this sounds very well made , visualy interesting, and probably really fun for a pick up game, i'm hoping for civ 5( or another 4 expansion ) i like my civ games long.

jasev01
jasev01

I have to say this will be interested. I have been a fan of the Civ franchise from the beginning as well be lately i think it has lost it luster. In Civ 4 i have had a hard time balancing having a game where I totally dominate and just run over everyone and its not interesting. Or alternatively, it becomes so ridiculous that it is taking 20 turns to create an archers or your city can't grow, generally no balance. If you tried to be peaceful and just grow ultimately some guy would come out of nowhere and run your cities over. If you defend yourself the game ends before you can get to a decent part of the tech tree. I kinda miss the alpha centura concept where you used technologies to build your own units. That would have been nice. If this game is going to be dumbed down that can be good in that it gives you less to balance and may help you keep the game moving on the other hand if its going to just be more of the same, I'll pass and wait for civ 5 and hope they bring back customization.

khariss
khariss

ive only bin playing civ since 3 but i don't think ill get this it just looks a bit kiddish on the plus side if u don't like civ u might like this

r_win
r_win

As a true civ fan (yes, I've been playing it since civ I; yes it makes me THAT old) I fear this game is not going to be for me. It sounds as if it is going to be too easy, too fast, too non-civ. wasn't civilization about the long and tedious hours of 'one... more... turn'? Planning ahead, hoping that before the turn of the century you'd make that improvement? I have my reserves for this one...

mintvilla144
mintvilla144

double-taketake all i can say to u mate is get with the times. your one of those ppl that things alwayz used to be better, your sounding old mate... i duno how you can compare civ 4 to alpha centuri, theres so much more content in civ4, the A.I is so much better, the only thing i agree on is if its maxed to 4 players for single player then yh granted thats not exactly great, but this wont make it a bad game, this game is not for every civ fan, this is to try and get a whole bunch of gamers that dont play pc games, so it attracts a whole new audiance, then have as many remaining fans as it still can from the older civ games, which there will be many of, after 4 civ games am tired of playing the A.I i wanna play online with my mates, but we dont have 20 hrs to spend, so them shortening it is a good thing for a console version, its not as if there taking the series this way, theres gunner be a civ 5 out there which will still be your standard 20 hr gameplay and everything thaty goes with it. oh and onelast thing, u said u didnt like the introduction of borders, how stupid do u sound, countries have borders you know, ur probaly american so u mite not realise that most countries have borders to them to seperate them to the other countires.

Lt8653
Lt8653

Never played a civ game, but I have to say this looks pretty interesting.

xt3kn1x
xt3kn1x

I'm anticipating this. Haven't played Civ since Civ 2.

ronnet
ronnet

This wont be as good for the old school civ fans as the actual serie is but that is a good thing. This version is for everyone that considerd the original serie too long and complicated to enjoy every now and then. I'm a civ2 and civ4 fan and its probably not my kind of game. Ill wait for the reviews and maybe a demo but this is a great game for those who didnt have the time/patience to play the old games. This isnt necesary better or worse just different. Just like SC: Societies was different, but im not sure what consumer group they tried to reach with that.

MSG-Deathscythe
MSG-Deathscythe

lol at zogtheineffable. i experienced the same with Civ 3. I love the game but don't know if i actually should hate it for taking so many hours of my life and sleep. i think golazo3 has the best solution ... put it on ds so we don't have to play it while at home and should be sleeping but during times when we are waiting at the doctor's office or when waiting for the girlfriend to finish shopping for shoes.

markjenkins87
markjenkins87

sim city 4 -> sim city societies civilization 4 - > civilization revolution? :-/

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

What happen to this for my psp...Own a ds how ever..Id rather have this for my psp..Better graphics any one..Whats up there..Hope they didnt do this exclusive for the ds only that would suck.. How ever this said..Might buy it for the 360..As im a civ fan an own every civ game out there...Sure ill buy the ds version but id rather have it on my psp..Whats up with that..

ZogTheIneffable
ZogTheIneffable

Civ 2 on PC ate my life. Whole weekends vanished. Nights were no longer times for sleep. Since then, I've refused to play PC strategy games as I refuse to surrender my waking hours to them; meanwhile, what passes for "strategy" on consoles is usually pitifully scripted. So, if EagleScream thinks this won't be in depth enough to compare to PC stragetgy games, I have to say "hurrahhh to that!!" This may let me enjoy a decent strategy game while still having a life.

TheMegamanX
TheMegamanX

EagleScream...why are people like you always complaining about this? It's for consoles for a freaking reason. To be a console game. It said it right above that it was streamlined for that freaking reason too. Why do people expect this to be a port of Civ4 or something? People need to stop complaining about this game and just wait for Civ5 if it gets made. Wait, my bad. They'll just cry about that too no doubt.

golazo3
golazo3

good game but might be a bit sucky on consoles, it will probably be great for the ds!

EagleScream
EagleScream

What utter garbage. They offered this on console only as no PC gamer would ever buy such nonsense. I am surprised you don't find Mario or Luigi in here as a world leader or am I giving away secrets for their Wii release... *shakes head in disgust*

double-taketake
double-taketake

To mintvilla: I'm not as much dissapointed in the style of gameplay, more that they are removing features that have been standard to civ since the first one. I mean max three players single player? That's rediculous! You can bet that with such a limited amount of players, diplomacy is going to be a reduced part of the game , a part of the genre I've had a lot of fun with in the past. For me The series went downhill after number 2. Civ 3 didn't bring a whole lot new to the table, and introduced borders, something I really feel was bad for the series. Four continued the downwards spiral by making the game overly simple. The game holds your hand throughout and the cartoonish graphics really didn't appeal to me. These days, the best games in the genre are Galactic Civilizations 2, which I would recommend to any fan of Sid Meier's, and Alpha Centauri, which is sadly the last great game, in my opinion, Sid has come out with.

biggs92--
biggs92--

looks good. looks very good. looks very, very good. need i say more? ^_^

mintvilla144
mintvilla144

i think everyone who is bashing this game as not being a proper civ game, should get real, this is the console version designed so ppl can play this online, no one ever played online on the pc the games did last 2 long, no one sat for 15 to 20 hours at their pc playing, they have not left anything out, just made things quicker is all and slightly scaled down, so it takes less to research stuff, and how can u say its gunner be rubbish when u havnt even played onit. i suggest u try it before bash it, then if u dont like it, fine wait for civ 5 on the pc. and continue playing by your self with your no mates, this game was made for mates to be able to play proper stratagey games against eachother over the internet and actually finish them!

Aretorihc
Aretorihc

If I'm playing Civ, I don't want a quick stream-lined game that can be done in a few hours. That option should exist, but to make it the only one? Civ is about long games, drawn our games, epic games, as you rise to a world super power. Speeding it up loses the essence of that. I wish developers would understand that the gap between console and PC games isn't the same as it used to be... and that console gamers aren't impatient, only hungry for the next big twitch-n-play game. :-\

_guenter_26
_guenter_26

I hope it is system link and has bots. Also i hope they have the single player campagin like the other Civs.

JohnnyDrama8
JohnnyDrama8

I think this is a taste of whats to come. The multiplayer and single player will be much more than 4 civs to play. Also multiplayer would be stupid to only allow 4 civs.

stakex007
stakex007

Im with double-taketake... I was really looking forward to this game, but hearing how scaled down the single player campaign is, not a chance I'll be buying it. Sounds to me, the developers have basiclly removed everything that actually made the Civilization games so popular... and in doing so gave little thought to loyal Civ fans, and thought only about console gamers who aren't happy if they can't beat a game in 4 hours.

Ychi
Ychi

I hope this title holds and comes out a good game. I do like the cartoonish look - surprisingly. I am glad to see a game come out with more teeth in it where you can play in installments. This gives more weight to consoles - good to see.