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January 15 2007
Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
6/6/20082K Games2K GamesFiraxis
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-4$99.95
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Civilization on consoles looks great.
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The 'Fog of War' is used in the game.

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The game zooms in on battles.
Over the years I have spent countless hours playing the turn based strategy game Civilization on the PC. Along with Sim City these two games have probably taken up more of my gaming life then any other number of titles combined. There is something about taking people just out of the cave through an entire timeline and towards the stars. Unfortunately console gamers have always been left by the wayside as there has never been a decent port. That looks set to change with Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution as developer Firaxis are working on a console-centric port.

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Selecting your civilization...
In Civilization, players strive to become ruler of the world by establishing and leading one of 16 civilizations from the dawn of man into the space age - waging war, conducting diplomacy, discovering technologies, going head-to-head with some of history's greatest leaders, and building the most powerful empire the world has ever known.

The game is essentially a turn based strategy title where you will build up an army and then conquer the worlds. You will be able to select the units to build (stronger, more powerful units will naturally take longer to build), what improvements you will make to the cities and their surrounding areas, and where to explore. The game uses the 'fog of war' technique which means until you have been to an area you won't know what is there. Friendly tribes, warring civilizations new locations and environments to mine and farm.

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There's plenty of units here...
Now I did say this was going to be a console-centric port, so what did I mean exactly? Well the developers are streamlining the game to keep the pace up in order to make the game shorter. This probably isn't a bad thing. I've played games on the PC that have lasted the better part of a week with a few hours play each day.

The other major change is to do with the control scheme. As you can imagine few PS3 owners, despite the possibility, will use a USB keyboard and mouse with the system so the developers will be adapting the game to the PS3's Sixaxis controller. While not confirmed we do hope that the developer will make use of the rumble technology being put back into the Dual Shock 3 controller.

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One more, impressive, screenshot.
Multi-player is also going to play a big part in the game with fully featured online play, including auto-matching, ranked games for up to four players (including four-player free for all, 1-on-1 duels, or 2-on-2 team matches), and leaderboards. Voice and video chat will also be enabled . Downloadable content has also been promised for the game.

Civilization has never been known for it's graphics, and the same could be said of this game. Having said that earlier games in the series were top-down with blocky characters but as with Civilization IV on the PC this game uses a more isometric viewpoint as you can see in the surrounding screenshots (which we must point out are from the XBox 360 version). Each of the units is clear to see and the world is rich with detail.

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It looks like we have a victor.
While there is still much to be unveiled about Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution it could be a groundbreaking moment for strategy games on consoles. With over 8 million units sold on the PC to date, 2K Games will be hoping that console gamers also fall in love with the series. I do have one small hesitation, while I can understand the desire to modify the game to suit console gamers I would also love to see Firaxis retain some more 'hardcode' modes which are found in the PC title as well - and while they're at it also keep USB mouse and keyboard support intact. Still, this is one of my most wanted games in 2008 and you should keep an eye out in early June as well.