Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Review – Updated Diplomacy with Resource and Software System

The latest installment in the Civilization series is expanding more and more. A year ago, players were able to enjoy a massive update called Rise and Fall, giving us the ability to appoint governors and relive a dark and golden age. The game also made it to the Nintendo Switch platform, making public transport or long lines less boring. This year, Firaxis has released a new update called Gathering Storm, a key feature of which is the increased role of climate and ecology in the game.

New civilizations

The gameplay here has not undergone any major changes. Having chosen one or another civilization with a national leader at the head, our task is still to win through the prosperity of our people, which can be achieved through scientific progress, culture, military superiority, or by winning on points. If we take into account the past updates, then the number of available civilizations is already more than 30 pieces. Moreover, each faction is endowed with its own bonuses and advantages. For example, the Maori, under the strict leadership of the navigator, Coupe, start the game on ships and must first get to land in order to establish a settlement there. And Canada, which is ruled by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, lives well in the seemingly unremarkable tundra.

In terms of the selection of civilizations, the developers have prepared a rather unusual surprise for the fans. The fact is that in the game you can play for France and England, which is ruled by the same national leader in the person of Queen Alienora of Aquitaine, who was the wife of the kings of these two powers. And this despite the fact that earlier in the game there was already England and France, whose national leaders were Queen Victoria and Catherine de Medici, respectively. This is the “trick” of this add-on from the studio Firaxis. It will take a long time to discuss all new civilizations in the game, and there is no particular point in this, so everyone can study all civilizations himself and choose the one that he liked the most. So here’s a list of the new factions with their national leaders and let’s move on to other aspects of the update:

  1. Hungary – Matthew I Corvin
  2. Maori – Coupe
  3. Canada – Wilfried Laurier
  4. Incas – Pachacutec
  5. Mali – Mansa Musa
  6. Sweden – Christina
  7. Ottomans – Suleiman
  8. Phenicia – Dido
  9. England and France – Alienora of Aquitaine


However, the main emphasis in the new addition is not on new civilizations, but on natural phenomena. Yes, now in Civilization, danger can await you not only in the form of representatives of other factions or a bad economy, but also from nature itself in the form of drought, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, tsunamis, etc. What kind of natural disaster threatens you will directly depend on the area. But it is important to note that such phenomena are not only negative. The same volcanic eruptions can be dangerous for neighboring settlements, but lands fertilized with ash from it will be more fertile.

Natural phenomena have a direct relationship with the actions of your civilization during the game. For example, the emphasis on industrial production and, as a result, the release of large amounts of harmful substances into the atmosphere can contribute to global warming and the melting of glaciers. And this leads to floods and floods. Stations with alternative energy sources and the construction of dams can be protected from the same floods. But, it is still impossible to destroy civilizations by nature in the game. The developers have made it so that the climate can only inflict this or that damage on it.


Another important feature of the update is that now resources (coal, aluminum, horse, iron, uranium, etc.) are of particular importance in the game. They are actively spent during the creation of certain buildings, training new units, and also negatively affect the environment. But here, in the supplement, a big problem arises in the form of an absolutely unadapted AI, which wants to get the most valuable resources almost free of charge, or, conversely, demands a huge price for this or that resource. If before trading resources in the game was a very controversial activity, now the situation has only worsened. The only solution may be to offer to actively trade, which sometimes makes it possible to come to a compromise.


However, the highly problematic AI is also postponed to the conduct of diplomacy in the game. Firaxis added two currencies to this aspect of the game: influence and claim. You can gain influence by fulfilling obligations or entering into beneficial alliances. Influence points can be spent by obliging your neighbor to do something, for example, to refuse spies.

Violation of certain agreements increases the number of claims in the game. Everything is simple with them: they did something good to the neighboring state – the claims decreased, they violated the agreement or did harm – the claims increased.

The new diplomacy system serves for the newly appeared in the game by popular demand of fans of the World Congress. A similar phenomenon occurs every few years and during its meeting it is possible to make certain important decisions for the whole world: to limit certain resources, agree on fines for some aggressive actions, provide support to the affected states, and much more.

With the help of the same influence points, you can put pressure on Congress and promote bills that are beneficial to your civilization, and at the same time reject those that are not beneficial to you. Thus, good diplomacy can give a strong impetus to your faction to victory, and its importance becomes many times more important for the gameplay.

Unfortunately, there were some bugs. Some interface panels constantly bump into each other, the game itself has crashed more than once due to technical errors, and due to the outright stupidity of enemy units, moves and battles were very delayed and often irritated, negating the pleasure of the gameplay.


With the release of DLC Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, the creators of the game clearly planned to please their loyal fans by improving and diversifying the gameplay, as well as introducing such important aspects as climatic conditions, an increased role from the allocation of strategic resources and the importance of diplomacy with its newly emerging World Congress. Of course, this addition looks interesting and significantly improves the gameplay in an already good global turn-based strategy, but, unfortunately, a very problematic AI greatly spoils the experience of the gameplay and the enjoyment of new mechanics. Therefore, I would like the developers to focus more on improving the AI ​​of their opponents in subsequent updates, and to avoid bugs.

Reviewer verdict


New civilizations, natural disasters and control over the distribution of resources, along with the growing importance of updated diplomacy, bring good variety to the gameplay, however, in some places everything is spoiled by the stupidity of AI and the presence of bugs.

Although the graphics of Civilization are not of great importance (well, within reason, of course), and fans do not value the series for the visual part, the appearance of the game leaves a good impression and makes it possible to appreciate it highly.

An excellent soundtrack and excellent voice acting of both the voiceover and the leaders of civilizations immerses you more and more in the process of global strategy and sets you in the right mood. In general, there are no complaints about the sound.

Single player campaign

As mentioned above, new mechanics bring a good variety to the gameplay, but the dullness of the AI ​​sometimes spoils the whole experience, along with some technical errors in the game.

Even such a complex strategy as Civilization has always been famous for its simple and straightforward controls, thanks to which it is much easier and clearer to control all processes in your state.

The update turned out to be very good and will definitely delight the loyal fans of the series, but I would like the developers to pay attention to one of the most important aspects in the game – AI in the future, because it is this that affects the overall impression and interest in the game as a whole.

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