Sequel and Expansion Exhaustion

I started Civ VI, but it failed to grab me. It felt a lot like going back to an old MMO after a few expansions: all the mechanics are slightly different, in a way that either inspires or alienates you. Some of the mechanics have the same name but changed, some are more or less the same thing but were renamed to a new system, and there are a few new things that synergize with all of that. I feel like I would need to relearn a game I have already learned at least five times.

It feels like an uncanny valley. If it were less similar to what I already know, I could start on a clean page. If it were more similar, it would be a new edition of something I already know, off to the races. It is disorientingly somewhere in between, where the familiarity makes it more alien.

I like the notion of breaking new ground. Veteran players do not always like that (see hatred of hexes from the last edition), but if we just wanted a new version of something we have already played 20 times, we could get the latest Madden or FPS. Trying something new does not always work, but I already have several versions of Civ. I wouldn’t need to buy a new one if this were just the same thing, started over without the systems that DLC will put back in.

Also, my first game started surprisingly cramped. Within a 7-10 hex radius, I have at least two other civilizations and three city states (or whatever they are called this time), and the only reason I don’t have more is because I started near an ocean. This is after having less than the standard number of nations on a map, so either the map is smaller than I think or the other continents must be really empty. On the forums, people speak of starting with other nations literally within visual range. The game is 15 months old, but there is perhaps some work needed before it is ready for release.

: Zubon

One thought on “Sequel and Expansion Exhaustion”

  1. Civ VI didn’t do much for me after a few starts. It always feels like they spend more time on detailed graphics and animation than actual core mechanics. That you now have to place a wonder on a hex the city uses was not a startling (nor really welcome) innovation for me. And, as it tends to go, the game is a resource hog. They all have been at launch, but we’ve been able to depend on rapidly improving computer performance to fix that in a year or two. Now, not so much. Civ V is still fine, and I have VI and III as well on Steam, and Civ II patched to run as well. Most days, the raw and flawed, but fast as hell Civ II is a bigger draw for me than any of its descendants.

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