Civilization Revolution 2
It’s easy to see why people complain about mobile gaming with a game like Civilization Revolution 2.
It’s not that it’s not a technical achievement, far from it. Sure it’s no Infinity Blade intended to showcase the power of these tiny devices, but in its bid to port across the original Xbox 360/PS3 Civ Rev it has maintained a lot of the same visuals.
It’s rougher, obviously, but animations are smooth and the up-close characters have a great amount of detail.
But that’s really about all the praise worth giving Civilization Revolution 2, sadly.
The Problems With Civ Rev 2
This is mostly because the original iPad Civilization Revolution – not to be confused with the console equivalent – was a little more in-tune with the PC version of the series.
It wasn’t quite as in-depth, it had its problems and the world sizes were severely reduced, but it served a purpose.
Civilization Revolution 2, however, is more akin to the console version of the series, far more simplified – even more so than its previous tablet outing – to an almost insulting degree.
The AI is incredibly stupid, resulting in most just hamfistedly declaring war without any real consideration. You’ll spend most games perpetually at war with one civ or another, even though that might not actually amount to any real combat.
Outside of that though – which, in fairness, was a problem of the console version – the AI may not consider important advantages, ignoring resources you may have left untouched or attacking in spite of its inevitable loss.
Add in the tiny worlds that will fit only four (including yourself) civilisations, and space for approximately three densely packed cities per nation leaves very little space for any sort of considered expansion.
A Mobile Civilization
It’s important to remember this is an iPad game, and not Civilization 6.
But all the same, it just isn’t all that fun to play – which at least the previous iPad entry managed.
Civilization is a series about making important decisions sometimes in lieu of other valuable opportunities, but Civilization Revolution 2 just doesn’t manage to reach that same level of complexity.
You’ll select building options for the sake of it or pick research items in the hopes of being the first to learn it (and therefore gaining a helpful advantage) but not for the overall advantages they might benefit your chosen faction.
A lot of Civilization Revolution 2’s decisions are superfluous, in this regard.
Now this obviously plays into the game’s nature as a mobile version. Perhaps on tablet a long-haul battle akin to the epics possible on PC would be unwanted, and it’s true that the faster play of the game works in its favour.
But it lacks the necessary strategy or careful planning. Regardless of how much of series staple this is – and therefore sorely lacking – there’s much less enjoyment to be had when your choices are bordering on irrelevant.
As a fast-paced Civilization experience it is functional, but when the previous iPad version had more depth – albeit not all that much – it seems like something of a step backwards.
Civilization Revolution 2 Review
It comes down to Firaxis’ reasoning behind the game’s design, because it’s not like the platform is devoid of good, ‘proper’ strategy games.
It’s not like turn-based strategy isn’t a perfect fit for tablet gaming, after all. Even Firaxis itself has proven it can be done, with an outstanding port of XCOM: Enemy Unknown to iPad.
The core Civilization series could work just as well on tablets, so this strategically lacklustre attempt seems like something of a misstep.
It’s not bad particularly. It is well executed and considered for the platform, but whether you’re a series fan or not Civilization Revolution 2 just doesn’t manage to offer what it needs to.
We’d be all for a fast-paced, exclusive to tablet Civ experience, as long as that depth of strategy isn’t lost in the process.
Sadly, that is not the case with Civilization Revolution 2.
Version tested: iPad