The Civilization series of strategy video games has been going strong since the early 90’s, when the original Civilization game came out. Designed by Sid Meier (who would end up becoming an industry legend) these games let you choose a civilization (such as the Incas or Germans) and guide it from the Stone Age to the Space Age, building cities and roads to enable trade and commerce, researching technologies and going to war with other civilizations when diplomacy fails…
The Civilization games have always had colourful leaders behind each civilization, whom players could interact with in the game’s diplomacy screen, even if these leaders did not always behave in a realistic manner (it surely wasn’t fun being nuked by Gandhi in earlier Civilization games…).
Like its predecessor, Civilization VI will feature a charismatic and fully animated leader for each civilization. We already know England will be led by Queen Victoria in this latest Civilization outing, and now the game’s Japanese civilization, which will be led by Hojo Tokimune, has been revealed by Firaxis in a new preview video for the game.
Hojo Tokimune was a 13th century Japanese leader, during whose reign two Mongolian invasions were thwarted (even if the truth is that this had more to do with the weather, as two powerful typhoons destroyed the Mongolian fleets in either case, but never mind…).
And taking into account that Japan is an island nation, and that it has successfully defended it coasts from invaders in the past, Hojo Tokimune’s Japanese civilization gets the “Divine Wind” special ability, meaning that his troops get bonuses when fighting on coastal terrain. Also, like in previous Civilization games, the Japanese civilization gets its Samurai special unit, the fearsome warriors of medieval Japan that were the backbone of the country’s army until the 19th century. In the game, they have the advantage of dealing full damage to enemies, even when injured in battle…
The Japanese civilization of Tokimune has other advantages in the game, too. One reflects Japan’s rapid technological development since World War II, with Japan getting the electronics factory in the game, which unlike other civilization’s factories increases production in other cities as well as its home city. Japan in Civilization VI also gets bonuses when clustering cities close together, making it ideal for those players who want to settle small land areas or island maps in the game.
All in all, it looks like Civilization VI’s Japanese faction will be fun to play for veterans and newcomers alike. And while there’s no doubt that this upcoming Civilization game is looking good, it remains to be seen whether it will be much of an improvement on the great Civilization V, although it’s new “city unstacking” mechanic could certainly add plenty of depth to its strategy gameplay, and it’s clear that the game’s new roster of leaders is looking as good as ever so far. So here’s hoping Civilization VI will be as great as anything the series has offered to date when it ships this fall.
Note: Sid Meier’s Civilization VI will be released on October 21, 2016. Available on PC and Mac.