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Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution
  opened by paleface at 22:04:04 02/16/09  
  last modified by paleface at 22:53:07 02/16/09  
  paleface [sys=PS3; cat=Strategy; loc=NA]
I played the very first Civilization a fair amount; it was fun to go around the world with cannons and battleships, conquering, but micromanagement of all the cities and units you'd accumulate became a pain, and eventually made me tire of the game.
I picked up Revolution because I hadn't played any Civ in quite some time, and it sounded like they'd streamlined things and eliminated some of the tiresome parts. They did--mostly you don't need to move caravans all over for trade, you can send units on multi-turn paths, and you can lump units together so they can move and fight in threes--but you can still wind up having to do a great deal of micromanagement in large battles, where large numbers of units have to be produced, brought to the front, and sent after different targets each turn, and for some bizarre reason there's no option to put a city on production autopilot, even though there are AI advisors who will tell you what you should build next--you still have to build it yourself.
This becomes a real hassle in Revolution because the map doesn't zoom out very far, and you have to pan it around a lot to find your various cities. Often prompts will appear saying that such and such happened in such and such a city, but you end up with so many cities that you don't necessarily remember which name corresponds to which city, and even though it shows you the city layout and a few squares around it, that often isn't enough to remind you of where it is. It seems odd that there's no minimap, or option to zoom the map out farther.
Unit control is a pain; there's something fiddly with choosing a movement path direction around a unit--oh, actually, I think it's more to do with just scrolling the map view in general: it's oddly jerky, and you'll often end up moving it too far, or in not quite the right direction.
Jerkiness extends to the menus, which are packed with the aforementioned advisors. These are highly animated 3D personalities who pop up pretty much whenever something happens. This causes the game to lag up a bit--I guess it's always having to load them on the fly--and makes progress through standard events that happen every turn feel very sluggish and icky. I really can't imagine why this wasn't smoothed out; it feels horrible.
I can understand wanting to force a certain amount of micromanagement on the player to keep them occupied with the game, I guess, but if you're going to do that, at least don't make it a jarring experience over and over and over. The game does a lot of things right, and it still has the fiendishly compelling "just one more move" quality that Civ games have always had, but it gradually becomes less compelling as the clunky parts of the interface become more and more irritating through repetition.
· disc.jpg

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