It's been just over a month sinceCivilization 6 received what might be its last DLC pack, and fans of the historical strategy series are already looking to the future. However, when considering the possibility of a Civilization 7, it's important to look back at past titles. Civ 6 first launched in 2016, taking over from Civilization 5 as the latest game in Firaxis' long-running series.
Despite the fact that each new entry into the Civilization series is essentially another approach to the same game, almost every one has its own community of die-hard supporters. It took three years after launch for Civilization 6 to exceed Civilization 5's player numbers on Steam, and while Civ 6 has proved a big success for Firaxis, there are still many fans that consider its predecessor to be the superior title.
RELATED: Civilization 6 April 2021 Update is Now Live
Tall vs Wide Civilizations
One of the most striking differences between Civilization 5 and Civilization 6 is how each title approaches expansion. While Civ 6 was designed to encourage players to sprawl their empire across the map, Civ 5 offers incentives for playing tall as well, consolidating power into a few super-cities. The inability to play a tall game in Civilization 6 is the root cause of many other gameplay changes that separate it from its predecessor.
For Sid Meier's Civilization VI on the PlayStation 4, a GameFAQs message board topic titled 'How to purchase units and buildings with gold?' Civilization VI for PC is a 4X, turn based, empire-building game. 4X stands for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate, and this is a reasonable summary of what the player needs to do in order to take the civilisation from small village to superpower.
While getting boxed into a corner is never ideal in any Civilization game, in Civ 5 it can be countered by focusing on improving growth. Penalties to Science and Culture are applied to Civilizations which build many cities, meaning that a small, micromanaged empire can still compete with a much larger one. In Civilization 6 these penalties are much less punishing, which has the potential to lead to some unfortunate balance issues. The power of a large sprawling empire in the latest Civilization title is so great that any player with the good fortune to spawn with plenty of space around them gains a huge advantage. It's possible on many Civ 6 maps for a player to start on their own private continent, even on ocean-heavy modes like Continents and Islands.
Civilization Wonders and Districts
Another major difference between Civilization 5 and Civilization 6 is how each game handles Wonders and City Buildings/Districts. In both titles a fully-grown city is able to pull resources from any tile within 3 hexes of the city center. These tiles can then be improved by builders, increasing their yields for the city. However, in Civilization 6 players can also build Wonders and Districts on these tiles. While Civ 5 also had Wonders and equivalent buildings, they didn't take any space on the map when built.
This change adds an extra layer of strategy into Civilization 6, as players who want to be careful with their resources must look ahead to decide where they're going to build future Districts. It also makes building a Wonder much more of a difficult decision, as players must give up one of their tiles of the correct type to put the Wonder on. While Civ 6's way of handling tiles is a lot less straightforward than Civ 5's, it remains the more accessible of the two titles, with its cleaner graphics and consistently-designed systems.
RELATED: Civilization 6 Announces 'Final Free Update' Reveal Event This Month
Tweaks and Balances
Civ 6 Playstation 4
While Civilization 5 and Civilization 6 do have some major differences, they share more similarities. Both games stick to the classic Civilization formula of sending out Settlers to found new cities, researching Technologies to advance through the ages, and using military units for defense and conquest. Both games also use Culture to pick out Policy options, granting bonuses to the empire, though the system is much deeper in Civilization 6.
Finally, the games share four out of five Victory Conditions. Players can attempt to win in Civilization 5 and Civilization 6 through Domination, Science, Culture, and Diplomacy. These four are joined by the Religious Victory in Civilization 6, giving religion-heavy Civs a clearer route to the win. Ultimately, although they may look and sound similar on the surface, the differences between Civilization 5 and Civilization 6 are significant enough to effectively divide the fanbase.
Civilization 6 is available for iOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
MORE: Civilization 6: The Case for a Second Season Pass