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Politics is a messy business.
Plenty of people look at the world leaders and think, “I can do SO much better at their job than them.” If you’re one of those people, then I have good news for you: you can! Civilization Revolution 2 for the iPad, iPhone 4s+, and iPod touch 5 allows you to take control of a civilization and lets you try to take over the world.
This is the sequel to the 2008 game Civilization Revolution that was released for the PS3, Xbox 360, and iOS. Players try to conquer the world through one of 4 different win conditions, either militarily, economically, culturally, or scientifically. The strategy is purely up to the player while they navigate the world, finding long lost wonders, fighting off barbarians that refused to join cultured cities, and dealing with the other civilizations they will compete against for victory.
This game looks beautiful in almost every spot. Forest tiles look lush and green, while desert tiles look exactly as a desert should. The shore line even has waves lapping at the ground, and the mountains and hills have a depth to and definition that the 2008 iteration lacked.
The combat is still fluid and mostly predictable: build up a strong unit to take on the enemy defense, combine three similar units to make an army. It works well, allowing for players to practically set it and forget it. Units upgrade in the same fashion as before, and the stronger unit will still generally win, though there will be some upsets if the combatants are close in strength.
They added a task/challenge system that incentivizes players to try different strategies, rather than keep with a single strategy every game. This helps keep each game feeling fresh, allowing similar maps to end very differently.
I have heard complaints about the camera being difficult, but I found it mostly smooth. It gets a little wonky if you try to zoom out, but that doesn’t become a problem unless you try to do it too fast. If you keep your finger motions controlled, the camera is really easy to work with.
They added a layer to the interactions with the other leaders. Previously, you could ask for peace, declare war, or enter into peaceful negotiations in order to sell or buy technology, or bribe leaders to declare war on a third culture. AI leaders could declare war, ask for peace, or make threats, asking for money, great people or technology in exchange for peace. Players can finally do that final task too.
One really neat thing they added was the ability to make your own scenarios. You will be able to pick the starting era, timeframe, technology available, uncivilized villagers and their aggressiveness, if you want to allow war or maintain a constant peace, and even what win conditions will be allowed for victory. This is very cool, allowing for an almost limitless amount of options for what type of game you want.
The opponent AI is still a little frustrating. They will make unreasonable demands, offer little money for valuable technology, and attack arbitrarily.
It is more difficult to gauge how many units are occupying one tile, as they now have only the “lead” unit, the strongest unit on the tile, showing. There is a little icon showing if there are multiple units on one tile, but it doesn’t show how many.
The new technology is very late game tech, which generally won’t be needed except by hardcore players that want to unlock every tech. I have played through 6 rounds already, and have yet to need to unlock the new techs when I win, and when I lose, I don’t get to it before I lose.
The learning curve is still very steep. Easy mode is still too easy, and hard mode is still way too hard. In the easiest mode, most opponents still hadn’t unlocked technology past the most basic items before I would win, and in hard mode, by the time I would research feudalism to access the knights units, I would be swarmed by tanks and artillery. The only mode that seems balanced is the middle of the five set difficulties, King mode.
Outside of the tech improvements, this game is basically a copy and paste of Civ Rev 1. The leaders and their cultural abilities are identical to the previous version, and the only two new leaders, JFK and Churchill, don’t even bring new cultures with them, so what you have is two American leaders, two English leaders, and everyone else from the previous game. Would it have been too hard to make a Viking leader, a Native American leader, or to add any other culture? Why not bring in Hannibal of Carthage, or maybe even Gilgamesh?
It was a big disappointment to realize there wasn’t much difference in the first and second game. For $14.99, you can take control of a culture, and try to conquer the world, but that is almost too much for this game, especially if you have the first one to play. If you do not have the first game, I would highly recommend this one, since it is still a fun turn-based strategy game and a great introduction to a wonderful franchise. If you have the first Civilization Revolution, you won’t miss much, so feel free to skip this game.
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