Fly me to the moon. Anybody who played PC games in the early '90s could tell you that the original Civilization, which was released by MicroProse in 1991, was the most interesting strategy game. A single player game, Civilization let you build a small settlement into a mighty empire. You were allowed to explore, use diplomacy, or go to war. This formula has been updated for PCs and the next generation consoles (Xbox PS3, etc).
Civilization Revolution is one of those games that would seem to be hard to translate to a console. But in this case, the developers were able to take the best parts of the PC version of the game and keep the console owners happy at the same time. The developers mainly cut the game's micromanaging so that players can concentrate on global planning. Developers wisely limited the use of controller buttons, helping the game adapt to the console platform. Design changes aside, the game is in essence the same; construct a Civilization and dominate the world.
The game starts in 3,500 B.C. with a primitive Civilization and ends in a technological future. Between the two time frames you choose how to reign over your virtual nation. Also, in getting started you need to choose a leader. You can choose from celebrity chiefs such as Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, and Cleopatra (Abe in a wooly mammoth pelt? Cleopatra in anything, or nothing...) Each character has its advantages and disadvantages; one may excel at warfare while another might have a large cultural influence.
There are four ways to win the game. You can go for a dominate victory, conquering each of your enemy's cities; an economic victory by gathering gold to build a world bank; a cultural coup by building 20 world "miracles," or a technological sweep by building a spacecraft and traveling to Alpha Centauri. Each path has its own rewards, but your enemy may reach its goal before you. (Damn that Sputnik!) Unfortunately, the game doesn't offer a campaign mode. However, it does have some scenarios, similar to a skirmish mode.
A game of Civilization takes about three to five hours of screen time before a winner emerges. After a few games, the offline part gets a bit stale, on-line play helps wrangle in the interest and the real fun can commence. Although this is a turn-based game, it keeps the online experience at a good tempo. Once you start an online game, you will be glued to it for a few hours so grab the snacks and use the restroom before starting. The graphics in the game are what you should expect from this kind of game. The world is full of colors, the animations are suitable and there's a good amount of detail. However the emphasis on this game isn't graphics, so they're simple and to the point. In spite of the simple graphics, there are a few glitches here and there.
If you want to lose a few hours and haven't had the Civilization experience yet, then this game is worth a try. People who say that real-time strategy (RTS) games need to be played on a PC with a keyboard and mouse should really look into Civilization Revolution before making a judgment. They'll be in for a surprise.
Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution ★★★★✩
Rated: E 10+ for everyone. Publisher: 2K Games. Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS<P> Retail- $29.99 to $59.99