My issue isn’t that Civ 6 is a bad game. 6 is 6 because they didn’t feel they could milk Civ 5 anymore. Let’s face it, peak Civ was Civ 2, it was glorious and fun and had great expansions and mods and spinoffs (Test of Time and Call to Power, mmm). Civ 3 was an abomination that had to be aborted quickly, so Civ 4 reverted us back to Civ 2 glory but with updated graphics. Once people got on board with Civ 4 not being terrible like Civ 3, we all started migrating over from Civ 2, sales were up, expansions were released, it was a good thing. Progress was being made. Then devs were like: let’s do the same thing, but HEX. Yay Civ5? So we reset back to baseline Civ2/4 without all the extra systems we’ve grown to know and love from expansions; these systems get added back on in expansions, but it takes 4+ years for Civilization franchise to be whole again. At that point with Civ5, G&K, and BNW we are back to peak Civ…it only took a bunch of time and another $40-$120 depending on how long you waited for sales.
Now we have 6. As stated, we got the unnecessary reset, the slow readding of old systems and content we had, but this time it’s yet another $40-$120 to own it all. And after 6 main games, multiple studios, hundreds of devs, and 3 decades of development: they still have GARBAGE AI (even on Diety/Immortal), still have giant exploits (even in multiplayer), still have gaping holes in rendering code (causing graphical glitches, slowdown, and lag), and its a coin flip whether the devs will patch vigorously and close loopholes or leave diplomacy negotiations broken for 28 years!
All that to say, I love the franchise. It is the perfect blend of grand strategy but quick and addictive gameplay that keeps me playing 1 more turn. Civ 6 is far from bad, and if it’s your first Civilization game, that’s fine: jump in, the water’s fine. However, I’m jaded and tired of the constant reboots. Oh, your expansion added Golden Ages back in? Gee, thanks. I’m much more forgiving when they add totally new systems (like disasters) but they still managed to disappoint there because they had the opportunity to go full-scale Waterworld with global warming/flooding, or massive tsunamis that cause widespread coastal destruction, or gassy volcanic eruptions that asphyxiate entire cities, even just a big meteor that triggers atmospheric cooling (in addition to a giant crater) and large swaths of land near the poles becoming uninhabitable ice caps…instead it’s minor annoyances, not really “disaster”-worthy. I like the addition, I just wanted and expected more with the way the devs hyped up the new gameplay system.
P.S. the art style is fine, you silly gamers. If it really bugs you, go download the civ5 reskin mod from Steam Workshop. Art = subjective; doesn’t change the hard facts about the rollercoaster ups and downs we’ve had to endure playing this franchise. At least it keeps trending up…unlike the catastrophic drop in quality for the aforementioned RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise and its latest entries.