I haven’t played a Civilization game at length since Civilization IV so after playing 31+ hours of Civilization VI, it’s a good game but these are the things I think should be changed to make the game even more enjoyable.
1) Ending a Turn Anytime
The Civilization games from at least Civilization IV have made sure you never miss something before ending a turn, such as you need to move this unit or do some research. However while this is good if you have a game going on where you control 10+ cities and 20+ combat units, having to cycle through all the end turn requirements when you are just trying to move a few units or research something is a pain. You can make units sleep or defend but this means you will need to keep track of all your units and makes participating in big wars a problem.
Make it possible to end a turn whenever you want even if it means you miss doing research or building something.
2) UI Improvements
Generally the user interface is well done in Civilization VI, its clean and tidy. However it doesn’t give enough information without requiring you to dig through extra menus. Some good examples:
Want to see what is affecting your Amenities? Then you need to go to the city in question and click on the “Toggle City Details” button. It should show when you mouse over the Amenities total on the city.
Want to see who is winning the game such as seeing their overall score? To do this you need to click on the score screen and go to the appropriate tab. The score should always be on shown on the screen like in previous games.
Want to know what something does? Then check the Civilopedia. Most menu items in Civilization VI should have tooltips like any good strategy game such as Crusader Kings II or Hearts of Iron IV.
3) The Defeat Screen
I was playing a game for about 19 hours and 490 turns and was going towards a domination victory but every time I would take one of the last two capitals the game would end and show the defeat cinematic and screen. I had no idea why I was losing when I was completely domination the map and score. I though it was a bug or something. However after a couple of hours wasting my time experimenting it turns out I kept losing because France kept winning a religious victory. By me taking the last capitals it made France win. This meant I had to go back and convert some cities to my own religion to prevent France winning.
Just tell me when I lose why I lost, don’t just say “You have been defeated” when I control the whole map and only lost because a last-minute stealth religious victory.
The replay tab on the end screen could also be improved by implementing the time-lapse map that changes over time like in previous Civilization games.
4) Diplomacy & AI Improvements
The diplomacy in Civilization VI between civilizations seems mostly good and has the required nuance but in reality doesn’t. It’s easier to be disliked than liked by civilisations. You really need to go out your way for them to like you and because they have individual motives, they often act in weird ways. For example you can tell a civilization to stop spying on your or converting your cities but they are more than likely to ignore you and carry it on. This is stupid because as the player you don’t have an actual opinion of other civilizations meaning if for example France (even though we are friends) can’t help themselves by spying on me then this has no actual impact on the relationship between our civilizations. On the other hand if I do the same thing France would go nuts probably denounce me.
AI works mostly but there comes times when for example one massive AI civilization will border another smaller civilization and they end up going to war. Instead of the two fighting it out they just both sit within their own borders with combat units just hanging around. This goes on for hundreds of years where nothing happens. By this time others have out grown them.
The motive system should be scraped as this railroads the AI on certain paths and is only gameplay interesting in a AI vs. AI only game and not even used if playing with all other human players. They should go back to the sand box approach where all leaders will try for different victories but their civilization makes certain ones easier.
Also the demand option in the diplomacy screen never seems to work even if that civilization doesn’t have hardly anything left and you have nuclear weapons and have them surrounded. They will still refuse all demands.
There is plenty of bugs in the game: A few times the score tab will glitch out weird, my combat units will refuse to attack an enemy for no apparent reason and a couple of times the AI disguised as me, declared war on me and because it was my civilization nothing happened.
There are plenty of more bugs and a lot of them seem to have been present before the game even came out and it’s a shame they haven’t even been fixed yet.
6) Sean Bean & Skipping Cutscenes
I like Sean Bean work mostly but he doesn’t add anything to Civilization VI. You will only listen to each research quote once and afterwards they become obnoxious and skipped straight away. Having to listen to him give he’s whole civilization speech “From the first stirrings of life beneath water…” every time when loading a save or starting a new game makes me want to turn of all audio or cut off my ears. They should just show a loading bar and a picture and you should just be able to turn off all Sean Bean audio when loading a save file.
Also having to hit escape to skip civilization diplomacy cutscenes gets tiring. There should be an option to be able to always skip the Civilization diplomacy cutscenes because the whole game stopping for it to show me an animation of Brazil telling me my Civilization sucks is not fun at the least.
Overall Civilization VI is maybe the best Civilization yet but has clearly not been tested enough and needs patches or possibly mods to make the game become the king it deserves to be and not currently a lowly third in line prince. Many of these things are legacy issues from the previous Civilization games but with Endless Legends out and being a good alternative, you think a lot of these would have changed by now.
Note: Turns out some of these issues can be fixed with messing with the Civilization VI config files but when you have to resort to that then you know the developers have not tested their own game enough. I don’t mind doing it but I rather have these options within the in-game menus itself.