probably final expansion and it cements this iteration’s place in history with a new round of interesting systems that we’ve never seen before in a Civ game, things like disasters and grievances give us plenty to consider during all eras and it backs up a dump truck’s worth of liters of other content atop an already fully loaded 4X strategy game The list of available leaders has grown to a gigantic cast of 45, or 46 if you count Eleanor of Aquitaine’s ability to lead either the French or the English All that narration must’ve taken Sean Bean ages. built great cities of stone and seen early empires rise and fall.
For my first full game, I played as Kupe of the Maori have significant limitations, like an inability to recruit great writers, but they start out with sailing and their territory ends up looking pretty different from any other civilizations because they get bonuses to undeveloped tiles Most of the other eight new leaders have similarly interesting traits, though a couple is a little too focused on one strategy to be versatile Gathering Storm’s titular feature though is its great new disasters I love having these in play, because not only do they add more variety but they bring an important element of the real world to Civilization VI that’s been conspicuously missing all this time, It balances out their destruction by clearly telegraphing where volcanoes will erupt and rivers will flood, so you know what you’re getting into And when disasters do strike the residual effect is a nice reward of increased fertility On top of that, mid-game technologies allow you to mitigate flood damage with dams or you can turn them off if you don’t like that element of randomness in your strategy.
Separate but complementary, the climate change system gradually raises the sea levels and increases the likelihood of floods, storms, and droughts as you and other civilizations burn fossil fuels to power cities Even if you avoid coal and oil, inevitably some tiles are going the way of Atlantis It’s a race against time to tack up and unlock seawall improvements and solar and wind power Or you can just plan ahead and enjoy your new beachfront property because you know exactly which tiles will flood first. That does take some of the surprise out of it and the consequences aren’t as apocalyptic as I’d expected, But having the map change so radically throughout a game is a novel and intriguing idea for Civ Managing all that dirty coal and oil, along with horses, niter, and uranium is now more intuitive and slightly more realistic because they’re consumable resources that are harvested every turn and can be stockpiled and traded.
Diplomacy has also been meaningfully improved with some satisfying mechanics, the grievances system finally puts a number on just how angry leaders get over broken promises, being able to declare a justified war against a bad actor finally feels like the rest of the world is holding them accountable. There’s also a new currency, called Diplomatic Favor, that diplomacy has also been meaningfully improved with some satisfying mechanics, the grievances system finally puts a number on just how angry leaders get over broken promises, being able to declare ajustified war against a bad actor finally feels like the rest of the world is holding them accountable There’s also a new currency, called Diplomatic Favor, that represents the goodwill earned by simply doing another civilization or city-state a solid, or keeping a promise And if you throw enough of it around at the New World Congress meetings you can bend all the other civilizations to your will on everything from wars to what trading partners get what bonus, it’s a power trip As useful as Diplomatic Favor is, the opportunities to spend it on the diplomatic win condition are rare because the congress only meets every 30 turns You need 10 Diplomatic Points to win, and outside of rare side missions you only get two every time it meets, which means you’re committed to 120 turns after the first meeting in the Medieval era, assuming you win every vote Missing just one opportunity cost me 30 tedious late-game turns of waiting around when I had already effectively won, that’s a slog of a way to end any round of Civ And of course there are tons of new features that range from long requested improvements like canals and tunnels through mountains, to a set of futuristic governments, plenty of new units, new man made and natural wonders, and so many new odds and ends that I’ll have to leave to the wikis to list them all It also comes with a pair of new scenarios based around World War and the Black Death On the multiplayer front there’s an exciting new asynchronous Play By Cloud option where Steam will pop up and let you know when your turn is ready, after your opponents cycle through and play on their own time.