Civilization VI – Conquering Consoles at Last
Earlier this year, Civilization IV made its first transition to consoles with a Switch version, that by all accounts brought the complex game to the small system with aplomb. But when were the Xbox and PS4 versions coming? Well, that question has been answered and players looking to get in on the action on PS4 and Xbox can now do so. It is exciting that I am finally experiencing one of my great joys while sitting on the lounge in front of my big TV. In fact, I find it so wonderful that I want to tell you about how much joy it brings me.
Firstly, for those who have never dipped their toes into the world of Civilization, well let’s just say it can be time-consuming. It is a common joke among Civ players that they never actually finish any matches, simply due to the sheer scope of the game. That length of time any single game of Civ actually goes for can be anywhere from 2 – 6+ hours depending on the settings and conditions used. That is a hell of a long time to be sitting at a computer screen, right? Lazing on a comfy lounge however, well that is a bit easier to handle. There is also something to be said for seeing the expanse of your burgeoning empire on a screen that is the size of a wall, it certainly adds a sense of scope to proceedings. Civ is a grand game and playing in a massive chair on a massive screen adds grandeur
The next reason is also to do with comfort but it is for more personal reasons. If you have been following the site you would know that I am currently going through some issues with my joints, especially my wrists. This means that long-time periods spent with a keyboard and mouse are both painful and damaging. Thankfully a controller is much kinder on my body so Civ VI on the console is something of a godsend. After all, the PC version is very heavy on the mouse and playing such a long game wouldn’t be worth the pain. The console version, however, is feature complete and works wonderfully with a controller. I was surprised at how easy getting around such a complex game was. Clear button prompts and easy to grasp menus are the order of the day, with Firaxis clearly taking the lessons they learned bringing Xcom to consoles and applying it here. It might not be quite as good as a mouse, but it is damn close so people suffering from RSI, Carpal Tunnel and other joint disorders are in luck here. It should also work well with the Microsoft Adaptive Controller so even greater problems with motor skills can be overcome. I know it has allowed me to play one of my favourite games in comfort, which is something I thought was probably not going to happen again.
Finally, the best reason is that more people are going to experience this wonderful game. There have been Civ games on the console in the past, but never the full-blooded PC release. I can’t wait to see new Civ converts, people talking on social media about suffering from “onemoreturnitis”, watching as people discover one of the greatest gaming experiences out there. Civ is a game that needs to be shared, it is a watercooler game where people get more out of it by sharing their experiences with friends. I want to see all of my console brethren with bleary eyes, sucking down on double-strength coffee after an all-night session, still smiling. Seeing people discover something that I have been enjoying for years brings me great joy, welcoming people to my pastimes a pleasure.
Civilization 6 on consoles is everything the PC version is, a complex, engaging and satisfying strategy experience like no other. But it is perhaps something a little more too. It is more welcoming and more enabling. It helps to take some of the fear out of the game for new players. It offers enjoyment to those that struggle sitting at a computer for long periods. But most of all it offers everyone the chance to participate equally thanks to the nature of the game and on consoles that is a rare thing. If you have ever thought about diving into Civ, but have been a little daunted, lacked a PC or just unsure of how to approach it, there is no need to wait any longer. Dive in, don’t be afraid, I will be here waiting to see how you did in six hours time.