Sid Meier's Civilization VI, review

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
Author and references

The first moments of the game seem to be those already lived. It begins with a settler who must found the first city of a new civilization. With the unit selected, you look around to find the best hex to build. What resources does the randomly generated map offer? Shall we build further north to have horses immediately, or further south in a more rugged but mineral-rich area? Even in Sid Meier's Civilization VI, as has always happened since Civilization, released in the now distant 1991, the first rounds are fundamental.

The famous Colosseum of Sezze

Misplacing the capital means a slower start to the game that will force us to recover in subsequent rounds. Many game turns will pass before you can found a second city, unless you have a big stroke of luck, and having some vital resources right away can make a real difference. After all, hasn't the same happened to many real civilizations? How many peoples have failed to develop because they were founded in hostile areas? How much luck have peoples like those of the Mediterranean had instead, who could count on an optimal climate, fertile soils and a lot of building material? In the game creation screen we have chosen to lead the Roman civilization, that is to interpret the role of the emperor Trajan. Our capital is Rome. Luckily there was a river near the starting point and we settled there. Some boxes with resources distant from the urban center can be purchased later. The first rounds have passed and we were able to build an explorer with whom we began to discover the map, finding other resources, including friendly villages, which when occupied offer various kinds of gifts, and barbarian villages, which must be conquered later. having eliminated the aggressive occupants (if you do not do it you pass the start of the game to repel them, with the risk that they will conquer us). In short, if you have already tried a title from the Civilization series you will surely have noticed that up to now there are no big differences from the previous ones. But never as in this case is it better not to be fooled by first impressions.

We reviewed Sid Meier's Civilization VI, Firaxis' new masterpiece, which did not disappoint

One hundred cities

The first big news of Civilization VI comes with the builders. Remember that in the other chapters of the series, even in spin-offs like Alpha Centauri or Beyond Earth, it was always necessary to create units that worked the various boxes to make better use of their resources? The same happens here too, but with one big difference.

What would Rome be without the Eiffel Tower?

Builders are no longer units like the others, but they wear out with use. At first they have only three actions to take, but as the game progresses they can achieve more thanks to some discoveries and the adoption of specific policies. We will talk about the research later, in the meantime let's go back to our unity and its specificities. We confess that as soon as we discovered the limits of the manufacturers we turned up our noses a bit. After all, we were used to making them work even for millennia. Of course, the new builders create any improvement in a single turn, where in the past several were needed just to build a mountain road, but in this way they force to spend a lot of resources to improve the surroundings of the city (each unit must be rebuilt from scratch ). In reality this is not the case and by playing it is clear that the profound changes made to this key unit were necessary to introduce the new concept of the city, which is no longer an urban core with resources around it, but a territory that can be developed in many different ways. If you remember in the other Civilizations everything that is built remains within the city. In Civilization VI, however, this is not the case. Firaxis has introduced the concept of district, which radically changes the cards on the table, introducing strong elements of micro urban management. The districts, divided by specialization (you can build military bases, commercial hubs, university campuses, areas for entertainment, sacred places and so on), occupy an entire square. Each district gives some bonuses and brings improvements for the entire civilization. For example, building a commercial hub increases the number of commercial routes for merchants, useful for establishing economic relations with city-states or other civilizations (these also give bonuses, which vary depending on the chosen destination).

The undiscovered part of the map is represented as an ancient map

A military district, on the other hand, makes the built troops more efficient and acts as a second line of defense for the city. In conclusion, each district has its own function and has its own connected buildings, like the buildable bank only in a commercial hub or the buildable library on a campus. Too bad that the system does not allow you to create all the districts in all the cities, but imposes precise limits dictated by the number of inhabitants and other factors (for example, some districts must be built in the squares adjacent to the city, while others must be spaced). Only in the later stages of the game can larger cities have almost any district, but in general you have to do some urban planning and think in terms of territorial specialization. Thus, unlike what happened in the other chapters, in Civilization VI each city ends up having its own specific function that characterizes it compared to the others. This strong personalization is confirmed by the wonders, which work more or less like the districts, but with differences. In short: they also occupy an entire square and have requirements that make it impossible to build them indiscriminately. For example, to build the Colosseum the city must have an entertainment district, while to build the Great Library there must be a campus. From here it is easy to go back to our builders and understand why they are perfect in their new form: if Firaxis had maintained a unit similar to that of the past, the player would have been led to think less about the value of the single space. As it stands now, however, it imposes construction choices that must also be made in consideration of the general direction that you want to give to the city. Maybe this aspect is not very clear during the first game, also because the districts come after the constructors, but from the second onwards there will be no problems. In any case, to better understand the new mechanics, we recommend starting with the tutorial, which is really complete.

War and peace

Let's go back to our civilization. In addition to the capital, we have founded other cities by expanding our borders. In the meantime we got to know other nations and discovered city-states (they are great for trading and are the official suppliers of missions such as "Build units with musket" and the like).

Work in progress

By leveraging trade routes and our influence, we have entered into profitable business relationships with some, while with others the relationship has remained cold. For example, Russia has shown itself to be particularly friendly towards us and with a little effort we have declared friendship between our peoples, while the Chinese emperor cannot bear the fact that we have more wonders than him and he points this out to us in any way (and any time). By sending our emissaries we have taken de facto control of some city-states, thus being able to access the need for their troops. In short, everything seems to be going well and the road to the future seems to be paved but events do not always turn as we would like. We soon find ourselves involved in a surprise war declared by the Chinese emperor himself. A newly created border town of ours is conquered making us quite angry. We start a massive arms race, producing some war units and buying the others. After bitter battles and a few too many losses, we take the city back. We are not satisfied. We are still at war and start marching against Chinese cities. Destroyed several units of the opponent, who is now in the minority, we get a proposal for peace. We reject it. The offense must be paid with at least one city. The legions, a special unit of the Romans, do very well in the open field, but are not very effective in sieges. Fortunately, we also have two catapults and three archers, so we soon reach the goal we set ourselves (the Chinese are exhausted by the failed invasion). At that point we are the ones who open the diplomatic panel and send a peace proposal to the Chinese emperor, obviously on our terms: one hundred hour coins on the nail, ten gold coins in turn for thirty rounds, and a supply of silk. The nagging head of state accepts in spite of himself. There will be more wars with China in the future, but this one went well and we won across the board.


Civilization VI is a complex title that cannot be exhausted with the text of a review. The only way to fully understand it is to play it and we have very few doubts about this. If you have already played the fifth chapter you will have noticed even from the brief description we have made of it so far that most of the mechanics introduced with the different expansions have been kept, which is a good thing since some things were really great and we are talking of a title that is still very popular today.

Diplomacy works, but it's always woody

If you have noticed the direct account of the previous paragraph was focused on two elements: the combat system, the less renewed part, and diplomacy, the latter revised but always identical to itself. Now By accessing the diplomacy screen and selecting a head of state, it is much easier to understand what he does not like about our behavior, since it is said explicitly. For the rest, however, the system has remained very similar to that seen in the previous chapters, with all the limitations of the case. Relationships with other civilizations are determined by where we build our cities (doing it too close to their borders makes them nervous), by the wonders we possess, by the number of troops we have, by the gifts we make, by the exchanges we accept and so on. Street. Sometimes the CPU acts opportunistically, declaring war on us to attack isolated cities or to take some resources, but in general the system appears as woody as ever, with some reactions from the various leaders who leave the time they find. Nothing tragic, but the aforementioned Chinese emperor who reproaches us every two turns because we have more wonders than him makes us smile. Who knows if one day we will be able to have a more dynamic diplomacy. Meanwhile, while not amazing, that of Civilization VI is definable as the best that passes the 4x genre, so there is little to complain about.

Research, religion and more

What would a Civilization be without research? Civilization VI also has its own beautiful tree of scientific discoveries, which has been joined by a tree dedicated to cultural development. Let's say that the two intertwine in several ways, determining the evolution of all fields of our civilization, from the military to the economic, passing through the political one.

The pyramids could not miss among the wonders

Cultural discoveries in particular are very important for the management of the political / social structure, which has been given particular weight and which must be taken care of in order to achieve the victory that has been proposed. (cultural, military, scientific and so on). Each type of government allows you to select one or more economic, military, cultural or special policies (they are linked to the creation of personalities from the various fields of human knowledge), which are represented by cards. These give bonuses, which can be a lower cost in the production of certain units, or a greater amount of money received from trade routes (just to name two of the many examples available). Cultural research unlocks advanced forms of government and new policy charters. Still looking to Civilization V, Firaxis has maintained the importance of religion, which enjoys special units. Establishing a religion and having places of worship allows the construction of special units that go around the world to proselytize. When they meet exponents of other religions they can face them in a theological debate, which if won gives great advantages in terms of faith. The latter is a real currency. What cannot be bought with vile money can, under certain conditions, be bought by spending the accumulated faith. If you want to achieve a religious victory, you have to be able to convert the whole world to our religion (almost a game within the game, since it makes the games very different from those dedicated to the achievement of other global objectives).

Master music

It may sound strange, but Civilization VI is worth spending a few words on its technical side as well. Meanwhile you will be happy to know that it is perfectly optimized and it does not give fluidity problems even in the advanced stages of the games, when there are a lot of units on the screen.

Coastal cities are the only ones that can have ports

Being a turn-based strategy, few would have worried about some uncertainty of the graphic engine, but it's better this way, isn't it? Of course, don't expect Firaxis' title to put a strain on your GTX 1080, because that's not its goal. Some may mind the cartoon-style graphics as well, but that's really a matter of taste. The important thing is to know that the models of the various buildings are well made, the units well animated and characterized and the game world is rich in detail, while always remaining very readable and despite being the highly configurable interface. The music deserves a special applause. We would never have said that before playing Civilization VI, but even a 4x strategy can be enhanced by clever use of the soundtrack. We are not talking about the beauty of the songs themselves, some of the simple rearrangements of classic songs, but about how they have been integrated into the gameplay: the melodies change according to our behavior in the game and certain events. The same passage may have variations depending on the course of a war, or on the discoveries made. In short, as a counter-proof of the importance that the soundtrack assumes in the gameplay, we tried to play with the volume completely turned down and found that Civilization VI actually loses a lot. No, we have too many hours of play ahead to give up so much wonder.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Intel Core i7-4770 processor
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 video card
  • Windows 10 operating system

Minimum requirements

  • Windows 7x64 / Windows 8.1x64 / Windows 10x64 operating system
  • Processore Intel Core i3 2.5 Ghz o AMD Phenom II 2.6 Ghz o superiore
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Video card with 1 GB and AMD 5570 or nVidia 450
  • DirectX 11
  • 12 GB of hard disk space

Recommended Requirements

  • 5th Generation Intel Core i2.5 8350 Ghz or AMD FX4.0 XNUMX Ghz or higher processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Video card with 2GB and AMD 7970 or nVidia 770 or higher


Digital Delivery Steam Price 59,99 €


Readers (99)


Your vote

What makes Sid Meier's Civilization VI a masterpiece isn't a single mechanic or its ability to keep you glued to the screen turn after turn. No, what makes him such is his ability to accompany the player's choices in a natural way, without ever being arbitrary in the effects decisions made. Finally, even the much feared novelties proved to be perfectly integrated into the gameplay, giving it a great freshness, despite the fact that the cornerstones of the series have been maintained. Civilization VI is a full-fledged Civilization, but it also has a lot new to offer. This is a commendable result that confirms the excellence which Meier and his team have accustomed us to for years. It was hard to make Civilization V forget with all the expansions, despite the years that have passed since launch, but they succeeded, putting the sixth chapter at the top of the 4x genre. The only drawback, as pointed out in the article, concerns diplomacy, which is too rigid as usual. It must be said, however, that it is difficult to find better in other titles, a sign that it is a difficult aspect to manage having the CPU on the other side of the fence. We will make a reason, given the excellence of everything else.


  • New features perfectly integrated into the gameplay
  • Finished game system
  • The matches are interesting from start to finish
  • The incredible use of the soundtrack
  • How do you stop?
  • Diplomacy is as woody as ever, despite some adjustments
add a comment of Sid Meier's Civilization VI, review
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.