Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Friday, August 08, 2008

Game Play: More on Civ Revolution

Civ Revolution has now easily overtaken Bad Company for staple stress reducer around the pad. The Girl started her first empire last night while I've beaten Emperor with a economic and cultural victories so far. I've played a small amount of online, but will probably play more of that down the road.

Despite this addiction, the game isn't without some flaws. Perhaps it's my paranoid fear of the world being overtaken by giant robots, but I swear the computer starts cheating more and more at battles with the higher difficulty levels. Maybe it's just random chance, but there's often a slew of combat which just feels cheap and annoying. When my rifleman crew defending at 59 gets blown away by a cannon army with an attack of 27, my battleship of 18 falls to a cruiser of 9 and my modern infantry gets squashed as they walk off the assembly line ... all in the same turn - you start to wonder what that floating point unit is doing behind the scenes.

More annoying, though, is the computer AI's near complete inability to engage in war with itself. After winning last night I saw the chronology show that the Russians and the Aztecs had been at war at some point ... which I can't quite comprehend since both of them were throwing everything they had at my capital at the time. At one point the Aztecs were going to win with a tech victory, so I spent a bunch of money bribing every other nation to go destroy them. Ten rounds later I was 5,000 bucks poorer and the Aztecs were one space shuttle richer.

Which brings me to the fact that the diplomacy is so two dimensional that it's paper thin. The biggest use for it is bribing off other leaders to stop attacking for a few rounds so that you can finish that infantry army to defend yourself. Otherwise you have a lot of telling them to go shove their demands where the pixels don't shine.

And there is the occasional just outright bug. The funniest is the "dance bug" where the combat logic locks up and armies just dance around for eternity. Moderately funny was the odd "Roman Settlers" which briefly appeared instead of barbarians - with an attack strength of 999. Before anything happened, though, they vanished. Less funny ones are where the interface glitches out and makes it difficult to do things like activate defending units.

It's a great game, don't get me wrong. But it could use a patch or two and maybe some tweaks to some existing gameplay.

And a co-op mode would rule.


Troy Goodfellow said...

I'm not convinced it's a great game, but it is very old school, especially in how diplomacy - as you notice - is really just a way to make sure you are fighting one war at a time. As you climb the difficulty ladder, the AI does not target other computer controlled Civs in any meaningful way.

Josh said...

And since they don't target each other, it also makes the domination victory frustrating against the AI. It is so much easier to defend in the game, especially when three nearby civs are piling up on you.

kiyote23 said...

I picked up the DS version last week, after playing over at your place that weekend, and I can't put it down. It's a great on the go Civ game. But yeah, there is no diplomacy, short of building the biggest, baddest army and ignoring everyone else. I am pretty happy with most of the things they cut out, and the stuff they added. But it is a different animal than your traditional Civ. Maybe they should have given it a different name.