In May of this year, Firaxis Games announced the upcoming release of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, the next title in the award winning Civilization series. That in itself is old news. Since the original May announcement trailer, they have been releasing details about the new game, including information about the civilizations of the game and their respective leaders. That is where the story gets interesting. Just this week, the team at Firaxis revealed the civilization of Germany with it’s new leader, Barbarosa.
All of the games in the Sid Meier’s Civilization series feature a standard array of popular civilizations to play and the nation’s corresponding leader. Civilizations like the Aztecs, Japanese, Americans, and French have always been present, led by Montezuma, Tokugawa (or Nobunaga), George Washington (or Abraham Lincoln or FDR), and Napoleon Bonaparte (or Louis XIV or Joan d’Arc). With this new game, it appears that the designers at Firaxis Games are trying to shake up the conventional array of civilizations and leaders by adding a few new faces to the game.
As each new leader has been announced, some have commented that a lot of them are quite different than what people expected. Classic, iconic leaders like Washington or Bonaparte have been replaced by Teddy Roosevelt and Catherine de Medici. In some cases, even I had to go google specific leaders (like Japan’s Hojo Tokimune) or even entire civilizations (like the Scythians, led by Queen Tomyris). In a preview video, the design team made it clear that there goal was to go for leaders with the “biggest personalities,” which (if nothing else) explains where we got Teddy Roosevelt.
The Firaxis team has also made it clear that every leader will have a distinct personal agenda or style of play to set them apart. Roosevelt will endeavor to build a large military and prevent people from waging war on his home continent. Emperor Qin Shi Huang of China will have an obsessive desire to build wonders of the world. We can only assume that India’s Gandhi will once again have a passionate urge to carpet the planet in the warming glow of nuclear weapons.
As the October release date approaches, more and more of the new details will be released. Already, they’ve made it clear that this game will change the way cities are built and how diplomacy is handled. Will it survive the test of time? We won’t know until the game comes out (and probably one to two expansions).