Flash of Steel header image 2

Civ For Consoles

June 28th, 2007 by Troy Goodfellow · 6 Comments · Consoles, Firaxis

2k Games has announced Civilization Revolutions, a next gen console title based on the Civ series. From the press release:

Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution is a watershed game, offering players a chance to experience the epic empire-building world of Civilization in an all new accessible, visually immersive, and action-packed world specifically designed for the console and handheld gamer. Delivering Civilization’s renowned epic single-player campaigns featuring vast re-playability and unmatched addictive gameplay as well as revolutionary features like real-time interaction with leaders and advisors, extensive multiplayer capabilities and integrated video and voice chat, it will completely transport the Civilization series to a level of gameplay that fans have never seen before.

And, from a forum post by Firaxis’s Scott Lewis, news that Sid Meier himself is taking the lead on this one, doing the main design and AI stuff.

This shouldn’t be that surprising. Meier has often publicly expressed his love of console games and I’ve heard him say that the plop-and-play of consoles – minimal patching, no configuration issues – is something he’d love for PC games. Plus, there is really no reason that a turn based strategy game can’t run well on a console. TBS games are about selecting and moving with none of the haste and precision that RTS titles require.

Lots of curiosities in the press release though, archives of buzz words, talking points and insanity.

“Real time interaction with leaders” – I could use a translation here. “Action packed” – Are they going to make me be the longbowman? And the artwork (all taken from Games Press) shows a lighter touch than we are used to in the Civ series. For some reason, Cleopatra is half-naked (Cleo’s not in Civilization IV at all) and the wonder/relic artwork would look completely in place in Settlers II. And I think that pagoda looks like a Christmas tree.

Anyway, this is an early 2008 release, so there’s a lot to figure out between now and then. Consider me interested, but not excited.


6 Comments so far ↓

  • JonathanStrange

    AND why isn’t Cleopatra in Civilization IV!

    Anyhow, not on my “must anticipate rabidly, only to denigrate mercilessly” list, but of interest nonetheless.

  • Dave Long

    Wasn’t Sid Meier’s Sim Golf the last game that Meier did the primary design and programming on?

    That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in this one…

    I understand that every publisher and developer in the world thinks consoles are going to make them billionaires, but a guy like Sid should realize that half the reason his games have been so successful is because they were able to be patched regularly and modified in millions of ways. He’s going to lose BOTH those things by placing this game on consoles.

    He better get it right the first time.

  • Troy

    I think you undersell what a decent game SimGolf was, but that’s a matter of opinion.

    But you overstate the extent to which Meier’s success in design is based on the fact that he or others can fix his mistakes. None of his seminal titles were successes because of a mod community – that really only got going post Civ II which was a Reynolds design. The original Civ? Pirates? The Civil War games? Not exactly dependent on patches or mods. The first two of those predated any reasonable delivery of those to an audience.

    I do agree that he will need to “get it right”, but you can make the same argument about PC games. Look at Railroads – not a Meier design, but a game that just didn’t take off in spite of the ability to patch and mod.

    Civ:Rev will need to be a simpler game, too, with fewer button inputs that you can manage in a mouse driven game. That means more emphasis on pure design simplicity. This could be a disaster, but I don’t think that you can make that judgment based purely on the platform chosen. This isn’t a frenetic game like CnC3, after all.

  • Ken Wootton

    Let me add some love to SimGolf here. I really liked that simple take on golf, especially the fact that you could create your own course in an hour or so.

  • Arlo

    I thought SimGolf was very good. Perhaps not brilliant, but not that far off.

  • jason

    The last game Sid was lead designer on was Railroads. Before that he did the Pirates remake.

    Revolution is the first Civ game Sid’s been this involved with since the first one, which is pretty awesome.

    …and that’s all I can say. More to come next week. :)