Civilization VI‘s expansion Rise and Fall makes some huge and interesting changes to the base game. Writing a Civilization VI Rise and Fall review means playing dozens of campaigns in a bid to conquer the world.
By any means necessary.
Given that my own strategic skills are somewhat limited, I was less than successful. As you can imagine.
However, thanks to Rise and Fall’s updated mechanics and the brilliant base that is Civ VI, losing has never been so much fun.
Civilisation VI Rise and Fall Review
So what’s different in Rise and Fall?
Probably the biggest changes are those that have made it possible to win without resorting to conflict. These options were always available, but Rise and Fall has made it so it’s much easier to achieve victory through scientific or religious means.
Managing your civilisation now involves Governors who oversee your cities. Governors provide various benefits and can be upgraded over time. However, you need to earn each of the Governors as you go.
The points you use to purchase a new Governor are the very same ones you use to upgrade them. Based on their skills, your needs at the time and how many cities you occupy, it’s often a tough choice as to what to do.
The new loyalty system for cities makes Governors even more important. The location of your cities and their proximity to other cultures has an influence. Should your city be too far from your main hub, without a Governor and too close to a neighbouring culture you might find that they defect.
I can show you the world
I managed to lose far too many cities during my quest for domination. I placed them far too far away and stretched myself to thin. It’s easy to do in Civilization VI Rise and Fall as you’re constantly trying to expand and keep up with everyone else.
Loyalty cuts both ways though.
If a rival culture has vulnerable city, you’re able to take it from them and add it to your own. Careful though, alliances aren’t as fragile as they were in the past, but if you anger the other leaders, it’ll make your campaign all the more difficult.
The new Ages and Eras system is another example of how Rise and Fall focuses on your successes (and failures) to inform the way you play.
Should you be successful in construction, expansion, culture, science and more you’ll earn points towards your next Age. Do really well and you’ll enter a Golden Age with extra bonuses. Do just ok and you’ll enter into the next Age as normal and if you do poorly, you’re going to be facing a Dark Age.
Dark Ages apply penalties and make things more difficult for you for the remainder of the next Age. It’s a good incentive to try and turn things around so that you’re not falling too far behind.
To the Moon!
Along with Governors, Loyalty, Golden and Dark Ages, Civilization VI Rise and Fall’s last great change is made to alliances between the cultures.
Rather than have any alliance made on shaky, unreliable ground, alliances in Rise and Fall are meaningful and have real consequences.
Aligning yourself with others is necessary in order to create trade, prevent war and improve your own society. If you find yourself falling behind it’s always a good bet to create an alliance with those in front.
They’ll have access to better and broader materials, higher quality structures and a wider range of research. Their requirements may be steep, but sometimes its the only way to dig yourself out of a hole.
All in all, the best part about Civilization VI Rise and Fall is that it now truly feels like you’re able to play and win on your own terms. Military might isn’t the only option and winning through science and religious means is even more satisfying.
That being said, there is still a lot to learn, a lot to manage and a lot to consider. I lost far more times than I won, but losing has never been more fun.
Civilization VI Rise and Fall was reviewed using a digital code on PC provided to PowerUp! by 2K.
Game Title: Civilization VI: Rise and Fall
Brand new ways to play - 9.5/10
Victory without conflict - 8/10
Overwhelming amount to learn - 6.5/10