As anyone who has looked at the front page lately will know the demo of Civilization Revolution went live yesterday and I for one could not wait to get my hands on it. I have a long history with enjoying this same game over and over again every 2-3 years.
Side note, ever look at release years for games and realize, I was between 4-8 when I first played that game, how the hell did I do that?
Don't let the name of the game, the trailers, or developer interviews fool you, this is the same Civilization you've played 4 times before. The trailer should be "Its Civ 4 with cartoony visuals, Simish dialogue, and reduced options!"
Revolution is well adapted to the Xbox360, the controls are well streamlined although I did feel that many features from previous games were cut. The game on a whole felt easy and accessible. Unlike some previous Civ games that almost required you to understand all the games subtle mechanics to do well. One example is that you no longer need to build roads yourself or irrigate land tile by tile.
From my experience with the demo, enemies never attack you, even if you surround their cities for 300 years with the weakest units available. It definitely makes the game accessible to anyone but I think it will probably have a negative impact on the replay value. Also in contrast a enemies will be able to defend their cities very well, I had to advance from Warriors, to Horsemen, to Legions, and finally to Catapults before I was able to sack one enemy city. And yes I combined three units to create an army.
While playing I was unsure how long the demo was going to last, I'm sure it said so somewhere but I'll be damned if I could tell. It seems like I was allowed about 2 hours of playtime, or just before obtaining gunpowder. 2 hours is certainly enough time to remind you if you like this type of game or not. For me it left me wanting more difficulty, more land to explore, and more battles. I have hope that the full game will provide all these things and with online multiplayer I'm sure all the difficulty required will be found there.
For newcomers Civ Revolutions is a great introduction to the series. For veterans Revolution will impress with its cartoony visuals but ultimately doesn't seem as deep an experience as Civ 3 or 4. However with the inclusion of online play, achievements, and the fact that it’s on a console it is worth several play throughs.
Recommendation: Play the demo and decide for yourself.