Sid Meier’s epic strategy franchise is among the greatest of all time. Despite the last few entries being available for PC only, developer Firaxis’ latest is making regular jumps to new consoles and platforms. As such, you can now dig into Sid Meier’s Civilization VI on PS4 and Xbox One.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Details
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Developer: Firaxis Games, Aspyr Media
Publisher: 2K Games
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the pinnacle of strategy gameplay, with near-endless replayability for hardcore fans. I know this because I am absolutely one of them. Since its initial PC release in October 2016, I already have hundreds upon hundreds of hours banked across multiple platforms.
By now so many are familiar with what Civilization has to offer. For that reason I won’t spend too long rehashing its core tenets. For those who may be yet to take their first journey, just know that Sid Meier’s Civilization VI packs in so much value with strategic gameplay, vast customization, unique scenarios, and everything else that can give a title like this legs to keep the fun lasting four hours, days, months—and even years.
I continue to spend more time in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI than any other game this decade. What started on PC eventually moved to mobile, and then even the Nintendo Switch. However, now that the game is finally invading the PlayStation and Xbox console space, is it worth jumping in all over again?
Do we need yet another port?
Many will argue that a sweeping epic strategy game like Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is most at home on a PC—and they may be correct. When the game came to mobile devices, it was a novelty to be sure. Nonetheless a lot had to be sacrificed to in terms of accessibility and overall experience in exchange for carrying Sid Meier’s Civilization VI in your pocket.
Then the Nintendo Switch port came along, offering a near-perfect merging of both worlds. The Switch port offers both a big screen and an on-the-go experience. While the former works almost flawlessly, the latter is where the port truly shines. Commuting with Sid Meier’s Civilization VI on the Switch is a rare pleasure indeed.
However, if you read my review of the game for Nintendo Switch, you’ll notice that my one beef is that the interface isn’t quite perfect. Unfortunately, to accommodate for the console’s limited screen real estate, certain overlays encroach too far and take up more space than may be desirable.
Hence, the PC is still the best place to play—that is at least until now. Gamers who prefer a couch and controller are definitely in luck. This new port of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI may just put console and PC on nearly even footing.
Making the jump to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
The new console port of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI solves any issues I had with the Switch version, and is nothing short of a joy to play. Gone are the larger overlays which were a small but necessary criticism of the Switch port. What’s left is one of the best console ports of a PC strategy title in recent memory.
The controller layout is so intuitive, and functions flawlessly. I rarely if ever find myself missing a mouse and keyboard when navigating the map or the many menu screens. Of course a mouse will likely always be the best way to navigate a strategy game, but the trade-off in being able to play on the couch with a controller makes the difference insignificant, and the overall experience barely misses a beat.
In fact, I really have to stretch to find anything that doesn’t quite translate perfectly to console. It does occur though—in the policy screen. If too many policies are present, the last row cuts off and is unreadable. The solution is to filter on specific policy types to reduce the number shown on screen.
Again, this is really reaching deep for a potential issue. Still, it’s one I think should be caught in QC. It’s an obvious result of converting the policy screen from a scrolling mouse interface to a tabbing controller one.
More reasons to play again
I still love that Sid Meier’s Civilization VI on the Switch lets me take the game on my commute. Nevertheless, the PS4 is my new go-to for playing on an in-home console. The improvement in loading times alone when playing on my PS4 Pro is enough to ensure of that.
I can appreciate that not everyone is a trophy hunter. However, another big seller for me is the addition of trophies and achievements that come with this new console release. There’s nothing better than finally being able to earn a platinum trophy for what is already one of my favourite games of the past decade.
Some challenges are as simple as beating the game. Yet others entail much more planning—such as building every type of district plus the Colosseum wonder in a single city, or earning 12 policy slots while playing as Greece. It’s yet another layer of enjoyment added on for PS4 and Xbox One owners who love adding to their PSN level or Xbox Gamerscore.
The two major expansions for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI are also now available for all console. The cost is not insignificant however, approaching that of the base game itself. However, these are no small additions. Both expansions vastly change the landscape of the game and contribute heavily to its scope and replayability.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is a master class in strategy gaming for home consoles
Despite already amassing countless hours in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI on other platforms, it’s still currently one of my favourite new console games. The leap to PS4 and Xbox One is nearly flawless, and the best way to enjoy one of the finest games of the decade on the couch with a controller in hand. An improvement in load times (over the Switch port), the addition of trophies and achievements, and the release of two major expansions are further reasons to enjoy Sid Meier’s Civilization VI on PS4 or Xbox One.
+ Near-endless hours of replayability
+ Impeccable optimization for home consoles/gamepad controllers
+ Simply one of the best strategy experiences for home console in years
– Policy cards can be cut off and difficult to read in the selection screen
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF SID MEIER’S CIVILIZATION VI
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5