24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Fun while it lasts...,
This review is from: Sid Meier's Civilization: Revolution (PS3) (Video Game)
I bought Civ Rev on the back of what I felt was a decent showing from the US PSN store demo, as positive reviews overall from sites like Eurogamer. Unfortunately, the demo's shortcomings are even more evident in the full game.
I would really, really love to avoid using terms like 'it's a dumbed-down version', and maybe use words like 'simplified' or 'streamlined' - but essentially they all point to the same issue - this is no 'revolution', it's just Civ Lite, or Diet Civ, or whatever you want to call it. And the fact that the publishers are passing it off as 'what console gamers want' is bull, and subsequently the reason that it manages to avoid the top scores.
I'll admit, the last Civ I played was Civ III, as I could never afford enough ram for IV - although it's required spec are probably not so substantial nowadays - and so I may be out of touch with drawing parallels to Civ Rev's most recent PC incarnation, but I never remember Civ III lleaving me feeling so... unfulfilled. In Civ Rev, the map size has been limited and timescales for research and construction shorterned to inject pace into the game and to allow for the world to be conquered in an afternoon, which sadly betrays the depth in game that Sid Meier's series is famous for. Everything works as it should, the control interface is slick and logical, the gameplay allows for the player to win by various means and thereby tailor the experience to the player's requirments. The problem is, it's all over far too quickly.
With games like Elder Scrolls, or GTA IV, the Final Fantasy series, or Pro Evo's master's league - it's not a complete shock to find a game taking in excess of 40 or 50 hours to get the most out of. And these are all console games - so it's a bit of a sickener to find that Civ Rev's brevity is almost used as a selling point when it becomes the game's ultimate weakness. I can afford to lose a few weeks wiping the Aztecs off the map, giving the Russians their rightful place as world leaders - so why won't the game let me? To be fair, though, the game length suits the multiplayer mode well and may well prove to be Civ Rev's lasting legacy - much like Call of Duty 4, another case of an awesome and re-playable multiplayer experience saving a game with excellent but brief single player mode.
Having played previous Civs, it is hard not to feel short changed by this latest version, and even newcomers may be disappointed by the lack of a game of substance to really get absorbed into. Ultimately, what has been included makes a great game, but there just isn't enough of it to warrant the top marks. Maybe next time around the developers will allow the player to choose how much of the Civ experience they want.