PC (and, hopefully, other platforms a bit later) •
While a new expansion for one of my favorite games would usually be a cause for excitement, I’m looking at the announcement of another full-blown expansion with a bit of sadness. After all, my favorite platform for Civ VI is my iPad and we still haven’t gotten the first expansion on there yet. Just when I thought we were catching up, Firaxis throws this at me! The nerve!
In all seriousness, this new expansion looks fairly incredible adding environmental factors into a game that has largely ignored them. More info on The Gathering Storm after the break.
The Gathering Storm does what every Civ expansion has always done, bring in new civs, new leaders, new wonders, new units, and all that jazz. TGS will include 9 new leaders and 8 new civilizations not to mention 7 new world wonders to go along with 7 new natural wonders. I could keep typing, but I think I’ll just let you read it all in the blurb down below.
The big changes in The Gathering Storm involve things like storms, active volcanoes, floods, and climate change. To help mitigate their effects, Engineering Projects are being introduced to create canals, tunnels, dams, levees, railroads and more. There’s even a new era added to the game to incorporate a bunch of new techs that you’ll be able to unlock.
Diplomatic players will like the inclusion of a World Congress that will allow you to pass (or reject) certain global policies by spending Favor, a new concept in Civ.
Many fans have asked for a Diplomatic Victory, and we couldn’t add that without adding some form of a World Congress, so we’ve added both. In Gathering Storm, Favor is a new form of currency to track your diplomatic goodwill. It serves as voting power in the World Congress so you can get the world community to adopt your ideas. On the other side, we’ve replaced the Warmonger score with Grievances. This acts as a tug-of-war between a pair of players – if you’ve ever been at the receiving end of a surprise attack and retaliated by taking a few cities, I think you’ll appreciate how this system has been updated. The other leaders are now likely to feel that such a countermove was entirely appropriate.
In the World Congress, you’ll be able to vote using Favor on Resolutions – congress-mandated rules that last until the next meeting of the World Congress. These are choices between positive and negative effects, and have specific targets. For example, you may vote to ban Furs or chopping Rainforests, or all players may choose to ban further building construction in a certain District. Favor is also useful to get the world community to sponsor global competitions – such as World Fairs, World Games, Disaster Relief, and Emergencies – and each of these competitions has a unique set of rewards.
So, how does it tie into the new Diplomatic Victory? Besides periodic votes for this role as world leader, granting points towards the victory condition, you can also receive points towards this victory from winning Disaster Relief competitions or Nobel Peace Prizes. You really will have to become the darling of the other leaders to win the game through this victory.
There’s much, much more incoming with the expansion to the point where it sounds like Civ VI pre- and post- expansion will be very different games. That’s okay by me, as long as it keeps that Civ feel and lets me build and research to my heart’s content. I don’t anticipate that changing in any version of Civ now or in the future, so I think I’m safe.
Here’s a quick rundown of the new features:
Whew! And it's all coming to Windows PC on February 14. Macs (and, maybe iPads and Switches?) will be later. How much later? Only Aspyr knows...
- ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS: Volcanoes, storms (blizzards, sand storms, tornados, hurricanes), climate change, floods, and droughts.
- POWER AND CONSUMABLE RESOURCES: Strategic resources play an additional role in Gathering Storm. These resources are now consumed in power plants to generate electricity for your cities. Initially you’ll be powering your most advanced buildings by burning carbon-based resources like Coal and Oil, but renewable energy sources also unlock as you progress to current-day technologies. Your choices about resource usage will directly affect the world’s temperature and can cause melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
- ENGINEERING PROJECTS: Shape the world around your empire to overcome unfavorable land conditions by making improvements like canals, dams, tunnels and railroads. When settling cities, consider the flood risk to coastal lowland areas, but keep in mind that in the late-game, new technologies like Flood Barriers can be used to protect these tiles.
- WORLD CONGRESS: Make your voice heard among the other leaders of the world. Earn Diplomatic Favor through Alliances, influencing city-states, competing in World Games, and more. Use Diplomatic Favor to extract promises from other leaders, vote on Resolutions, call a Special Session to address an emergency, and increase the weight of your votes in your quest to achieve the new Diplomatic Victory.
- 21st CENTURY TECHNOLOGIES & CIVICS: A new era has been added to the Technology and Civics trees. Combat new environmental effects with speculative ideas such as relocating your population out to seasteads and developing technologies to recapture carbon emissions.
- NEW LEADERS AND CIVS: Nine new leaders from eight new civilizations are introduced. Each brings unique bonuses and gameplay, as well as a total of nine unique units, four unique buildings, three unique improvements, two unique districts and one unique governor.
- NEW SCENARIOS:
- The Black Death: The Black Death ravaged Europe and western Asia in the mid-14thcentury, killing a greater share of the population than any other event in world history. The pandemic killed millions, ruined economies, upended political dynasties and transformed the face of the Western world. Your task is to lead your nation through the calamity: keep your population alive, your economy strong, and your faith unshaken amidst a world of terror and desperation.
- War Machine: At the outset of WWI, the German Imperial Army had a daring plan: invade neutral Belgium and then rush the French heartland before they could mobilize to resist. If successful, the German forces would capture Paris within a month and end their resistance forever. In counter, the French command prepared Plan 17, an all-out onslaught designed to meet and stop a German offensive. When war was declared, both armies swung into motion and set up one of the most incredible and shocking military campaigns in world history. In this scenario, players take the side of one of these two great powers at this same precipice. As Germany, your task is to capture Paris. As France, your task is to prevent its capture. The clock is ticking, and the enemy is moving. Advance!
- MORE NEW CONTENT: Seven new world wonders, seven natural wonders, 18 new units, 15 new improvements, 9 new buildings, 5 new districts, 2 new city sets, 9 new techs and 10 new civics have been added.
- IMPROVED GAMEPLAY SYSTEMS: The Espionage system has been enhanced with new options, the Culture and Science Victories have been updated, new Historic Moments have been added, and additional improvements have been made to other existing systems.