Civilisation VI was a big step away from the previous entries, while being an improvement, refinement, enhancement. Just as this expansion is to Civilisation VI. New leaders, new features, new units, new wonders, all of them await you, if you’re lucky enough to be able to meet the requirements to unlock them. Some of them, quite specific for the wonders.
There’s a few big features brought here that I just plain love. The first is the Timeline, tracking your progress, events you’ve triggered for your civilisation. This is the story of your progress, your game. Each time you unlock another it’s brought up, something like a tapestry, scroll, unfurling and only getting longer as your progress through the eras.
The events that you see relate to the refined systems of eras, Golden Ages, even Dark Ages. Each time one of these events you gain a number of points. At the end of an era, now set by the game, you have a total. Achieve too few events, your civilisation goes into a Dark Age, where your people are harder control. Far more willing to defect and can even lose a city, cities.
On the other hand, exceed both the score for a normal age and into Golden Age, you’ve achieved a lot. Not only have you explored, been the first to unlock a technology, circumnavigate the world and more, you’ve repeatedly done it over your rivals. Here you unlock a Golden Age, where the opposite is true. Your citizens are far more loyal, your dedications and their bonuses so much more powerful. There’s even a special form of Golden Age, only triggered after a Dark Age.
Governors are now a factor, which can help you control your cities. While their main effect can be to manage, boost loyalty, it’s by means not the only thing they can do. As you can promote them, they gain additional features, abilities. Some of them are far better on the coast, their abilities giving you greater effects from resources. Others change, boost units, easily one of my favourite abilities adds another charge to Builder units.
Diplomacy has likewise been changed and a new feature here introduced. Emergencies are something I both enjoyed and was stung by. As a civilisation grows in power, so vastly superior than its rivals, they are given a chance to band together against them. While it can hurt, it’s only if you can achieve that specific objective. Not achieving that, boosts that one all powerful civilisation, more than they already are ahead. Alliances are a core part of this game and now develop over time, reinforcing the need to make friends, not just enemies.
The final elements are new leaders and new kingdoms. Scotland appears for the first time I remember, Cree another. Shaka Zulu and the Zulu nation a returning favourite. Each one of these brings their own little specialty. Some of them get districts, some units, some improvements. Additional units have introduced to the game, most in the Atomic era, adding some depth I liked.
Audio and Visuals
There was something about the music which just took a while to sink in. Each of the pieces I heard, for the new nations, was definitely in character. Not only was it in character, it wasn’t cliche, it wasn’t on the nose. It just plain suited, worked. Not only did it work, it wasn’t intrusive. I was able to keep advancing through my turns. As well I have to admit the sounds from the some of the districts, being close to the cities, was welcome. It has variety, but it doesn’t drown you either. Visually this hasn’t changed at all and it didn’t need to.
All of the same features from the original game are back, remain. There’s nothing wrong and plenty right with them. The same goes for the Steam Workshop support. All of its so very, very welcome.
Rise and Fall is more than a piece of DLC. It’s still not quite an expansion either. However, the massive quality of life changes has been really appreciated. The clearer display of information is more than welcome. The new wonders are also welcome as well as the new leaders and their nations. There’s more than enough content to keep you coming back, never that eternal taunt, just one more turn.
Thank you to 2K for providing a copy of Civilisation IV Rise and Fall