Climate change is scary, and it’s coming to a computer screen near you.
Firaxis, developer of Civilization VI, announced the second expansion for the game, Gathering Storm, in a Youtube stream this morning. We’ve gotten a great deal of information about the expansion:
- It’s coming on February 14, 2019.
- Natural disasters are the most prominent new feature. They range from volcanic eruptions to flooded rivers, and will affect your empire in (mostly) negative ways.
- These disasters aren’t on a set pace. Climate change is now a continuous mechanic that’ll ramp up as players burn fossil fuels, making disasters more common. Yes, the sea levels will rise – potentially flooding entire cities.
- But you’re not totally defenseless: Engineering projects like canals or tidal walls can protect you from the harsh effects of the changing planet (in-game, anyway). Canals are finally a feature!
- The World Congress and Diplomatic Victory from Civilization V are returning, with a couple of new features. Diplomatic Favor can now be earned through tasks like influencing city-states or through Alliances. Emergencies can now lead to special resolutions like disaster relief, that will earn those participating diplomatic favor.
- Strategic resources have been revamped. They’re now burned in power plants to provide electricity for your empire, and units relying on them will need a constant stream or they’ll stop working entirely.
- Although none have been revealed so far, nine new leaders and eight new civilizations will be coming with Gathering Storm.
- Two new scenarios: The first is The Black Death, in which you play as a European nation during the bubonic plague outbreak that killed a third of its population. The second is War Machine, forcing players to take a side during the outbreak of the First World War. Do you fight to capture Paris as Germany, or defend it as France?
- Other gameplay systems can be expected.
Before the inevitable slew of controversy about ‘muh politicised games’ can even gain steam, lead producer Dennis Shirk and lead designer Ed Beach have distanced Gathering Storm from being interpreted as a political statement. Political or not, climate change at even a minimal level is now irreversible. But at least Gathering Storm will make it fun!