Civilization VI‘s new expansion, Rise and Fall, promises a brave new world of play, featuring a diplomacy overhaul, new ways to steal cities from your rivals and a whole slew of methods for you and your allies to topple even the greatest of civilizations.
Golden, Dark and Heroic Ages
The biggest change to Civilization VI as a result of Rise and Fall will be the addition of Golden, Dark and Heroic Ages.
While Golden Ages will be familiar to Civilization players, the new expansion extends their utility even further, and adds two new Ages as well: Dark, and Heroic.
Golden Ages now last for an entire era (Medieval, Ancient, etc) and feed primarily into a new resource called Loyalty. Loyalty allows you, among other things, to flip enemy cities near you without firing a single shot: simulating the idea of a city deciding that they’d be better off under your leadership rather than your rivals.
Golden Ages increase your loyalty and improve your cultural influence over other civilizations. Their counterpart is Dark Ages, during which loyalty is reduced, and you end up vulnerable to cultural counterattack from nearby civilizations.
There is some light on the horizon, however, as successfully navigating a Dark Age can make it easier for your civilization to get a Golden Age in the next era, or even a Heroic Age, which is essentially a super charged Golden Age.
Governors used to simply be an opportunity for enormous civilizations to allow some of their cities to be run on autopilot while Glorious Leader focuses on something else—probably crushing the nearest neighbour with a doomstack.
However, in Rise and Fall, Governors are actual NPCs that allow you to boost the city they are assigned to in various ways. Players of Stellaris will be more than familiar with this mechanic.
Governors are actual NPCs that allow you to boost the city they are assigned to in various ways.
Want a city that focuses completely on building wonders? Assign a Governor with that speciality there. Want an industrial powerhouse? Assign a different Governor. Each of them have their own skills trees, and are intended to allow you to make your cities more specialised and unique: but you’ll only ever seven maximum in a game. So choose wisely.
Civilization has often been critiqued for its lacklustre diplomacy, and nearly every expansion in the series has tried to fix that problem in some way. Rise and Fall is no different.
Rather than simple wars, alliances or trade agreements, players will now get access to a set of different alliances, each with their own bonuses to research, culture, economy, military or religion. Moreover, you’ll now get bonuses the longer your alliances are alive, which makes the decision to betray a long-term partner far more weighty a decision.
Much like Governors, you are limited in the number of each type of alliance you can have at any one time, so choose your allies wisely.
Historic Moments and Emergency Situations
Historic Moments like circumnavigating the globe have been a part of Civ play for a long time, but Rise and Fall introduces more of them and allows you to accumulate more progress towards the development of a Golden Age.
They also feed into a new feature called Timeline, which tells the story of your civilization up until this point. Great for those who are returning to a long-running game after a hiatus.
They also feed into a new feature called Timeline, which tells the story of your civilization up until this point.
Finally, there is a brand new way for underperforming civilizations to topple even the big boys: Emergency Situations.
Under certain conditions, an Emergency Situation will trigger, which allows you to join in with other civilizations to try and beat down a top-performer with a shared objective. The dropping of a nuclear missile on a city is one example of a trigger event. Should you succeed in your shared objective, everyone will get powerful bonuses—but be warned, should you fail, your already-powerful rival will get bonuses instead.
All up, Civilization VI Rise And Fall is a name well-earned. It seems primarily geared towards changing the ebb and flow of a game, and removing opportunities for powerful civilizations to simply steam-roller their way to victory through exponentially increasing military might.
New diplomatic options, fresh ways to capture cities and revamped Golden Ages: Rise and Fall is certainly shaping up to be a strong addition to the Civilization series.
Civilization: Rise and Fall will be available for PC on 8 February 2018.