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July 1, 2008
Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
5/6/20082K Games2K GamesFiraxis1-42-4
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Watch that Barbarian stronghold.
As I mentioned in my preview of this game Civilization, along with Sim City, are probably my two most played games of all time. On numerous occasions I have started a game in the evening only to see the sun rise part way into the creation of an entire civilization or city. These games though have always been a staple of PC gaming, with over 8 million units sold in the Civilization franchise to date. Sadly, console owners always been left out. Firaxis are changing that though with their heavily hyped Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution coming to consoles, including the Playstation 3.

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The 'Fog of War' is used in the game.
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.

Civilization Revolution is essentially a turn based strategy game where you must learn technologies, build up an army and then conquer the lands. Each city can produce different items, military units, buildings to improve the city or build the Ancient Wonders. The game uses a 'fog of war' which means until you have been to an area you won't know what is there - unfriendly barbarian tribes, warring civilizations, new locations and environments to mine and farm.

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Battles are seen from up close.
Firaxis haven't simply ported the PC version to consoles. That version is very stat heavy, each game can last for days and obviously the consoles lack keyboard and mouse support. First of all the controls. The Sixaxis controller actually works quite well with this game. It takes a little getting used to the controls (especially if you're used to the PC version) but after an hour or two they become second nature and there are no major issues. Perhaps of more interest is that the game has been simplified with much of the micro-management removed from the game.

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Selecting your initial civilization.
To be honest we've had a bit of a hard time testing the multi-player aspect of this game. We've had some problems with our Internet connection here, but the addition of a new Linksys Router seems to have overcome that and we've played a couple of games online now. Given the turn based nature of the game lag isn't really an issue, although there was the odd hiccup here and there for a few moments, no doubt due to the sending of data. Civilization Revolution includes plenty of options in online games 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 leader boards. Voice and video chat are also possible (again, we haven't been able to test it). Downloadable content has been promised for the game, but there is nothing on the store as yet, and no where in the game to see this as an option.

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Graphically this game impresses.
Despite my glowing praises there are some issues that I would have loved to see resolved in Civilization Revolution. The first is that units occasionally tend to get 'stuck' when they have to go from one location to another and there's an enemy territory in the way of their intended path. Rather then find an alternate route they will go back and forth like idiots. A small niggle but could have been ironed out prior to release. While I can understand that Firaxis has built this for a console audience I would have loved to see the inclusion of a 'hardcore' mode with more stats, larger worlds (to spread the cities out a bit more) and perhaps even support for the mouse and keyboard on the PS3.

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That looks like an incoming nuke!
In my preview of this game I stated that 'Civilization has never been known for it's graphics, and the same could be said of this game.' Now, after having played this game for numerous hours I have to say that I was wrong, plain and simple. This is one of the best looking strategy games ever seen on a console, or PC. The detail in the game world is impressive and at 1080p it's a visual treat. There is the odd frame rate hitch here and there, but it is rare and Civilization Revolution is likely to impress anyone who plays the game. Surprisingly the game includes nice movies and a clean interface with very clear writing.

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A technological victory has been achieved!
Sonically, Civilization Revolution also manages to exceed expectations, although I wouldn't use it as a sample disc of the best the PS3 has to offer. Using Dolby Digital 5.1 audio it's fair to say that there isn't aggressive use of the surround channels and there isn't mountains of speech to listen to. In fact, the voices are quite Sim-lish in their unintelligible murmurs and squawks. Battle effects such as cannons, planes, and tanks rolling around sound authentic enough. Music is also present, but as with other aspects pretty minimal. What is here is good, there's just not a lot to get thrilled about although it is probably the best the Civilization series has ever sounded.

Despite my desires for Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution to be a little more 'hardcore' there is no denying that Firaxis have done the impossible. They have taken a turn based strategy game firmly entrenched on the PC and made it accessible, and in some areas improved, for the consoles. I can not emphasize enough just how brilliant this release is and I can't see it being removed from my console anytime soon. A larger, and more detailed follow-up would be most welcome somewhere in future, but this will certainly more then satisify any strategy game fan.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSEasily the best looking Civilization game ever, great world detail.
SOUNDThe series has never been about audio, this is as good as it gets.
GAMEPLAYSimplified for console gamers, this is an enthralling turn-based game.
VALUEYou could play thousands of games and never have two the same. Still, it won't be long until you seen all it has to offer.
OVERALLCivilization Revolution has exceed our expectations. Turn based fans must get this game, those only mildly interest should check this out too. This is a fantastic, and quite different, title on the Playstation 3.

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