Civilisation II was once one of my favourite PC games, but the follow-up Civ III was a buggy mess. So I switched to Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (Civ in space, basically), and that was fun for a few days. But it just didn’t grip like Civ II had. I read the magazine reviews of the new Civ versions, but for some reason I never went back to the Civilization franchise.
But now, and perfectly timed for our glorious Brexit, it’s just been announced that the new version of the Civilization VI (Civ 6) game will allow players to play as Queen Victoria and the British Empire. Nice choice, and predictably the left–fascists are already impotently fuming at the alleged ‘political incorrectness’ of it. Expect Change.org petitions and tantrums.
Actually it seems there’s not that much to Queen Victoria in terms of unique abilities. But what there is, is interesting. In the early days of Empire she can turn a blind eye to her nippy Sea Dog privateer adventurers. These can harass the much bigger ships of rival empires, seizing the plundered slave-gold that opponents are hauling back from the South American jungles. While also discovering items of rather more long-term usefulness, like tobacco and potatoes. As our famous educational system develops in Britain, Queen Victoria can command the British Museum to “produce more archaeologists”. These cultured multi-talented gentlemen have a beneficial cultural influence on other nations, causing them to like and respect the British. Doing a bit of natural history as a hobby in their spare time, these archaeologists can also discover things like malaria-beating medicinal plants and the principles of evolution. For the less imaginative and more war-like Civ player, Queen Victoria can just have the Royal Navy Dockyards build lots of ships, thus producing our famous Royal Navy — which can then transport Redcoat soldiers overseas to conquer rivals and build the Empire.
Civilization VI launches on 21st October 2016 and, in large part due to the British Empire addition having got my attention, I’ll certainly be taking a look close look at playing it.