I write this article happily because it was this series that brought me into the world of games and real-time strategies and more than 20 years down the line, the draw is still strong. However, I have played every Civ game since Civ II and I wasn’t the biggest fan of Civ VI when it came out. In fact, I would still rank Civ II and IV above Civ VI. So please keep my personal preferences in mind as you read this review of the second major expansion for Civ VI.

Civilization 6: Gathering Storm Review By Ajendra Variya

Civilization 6: Gathering Storm Review By Ajendra Variya

Gathering Storm DLC

Getting back to the main topic, Gathering Storm. The main focus of the new DLC is the weather and how human action has affected it in the last eras. The player can experience how the climate and the environment change over time, whether randomly or by his/her decisions.

So yeah, we get climate change and it’s directed by the human factor. I don’t want to go political here; climate change has been part of older Civ games, too. And at the end of the day, the issue shouldn’t be political at all. Let’s leave it with the scientists, where it belongs.

How does climate affect gameplay?

Well, climate change and related natural disasters start with the era of industrialization, when you discover a steam engine and begin to burn coal to start the industry or recruit advanced units. In the pre-industrial era, occasional storms, floods, volcanic eruptions, or hurricanes figure as an occasional instability factor.

Obviously, the use of fossil fuels leads to a warming of the planet, divided into 7 critical phases, each with its own hazards. We have sea levels rise, droughts and storms are getting stronger, etc.

Besides climate, the other major novelty is the World Congress, a body similar in constitution and function to the United Nations. However, I found the World Congress lacking. It’s fairly unrealistic and deals mostly with resources, where you’d expect such a body to deal with much more important matters

There are also some (beneficial) UI changes, new civilizations with new leaders and units, a better map generation, and some other small changes so this might be called an expansion.

Should You Buy It?

It honestly depends if you like the base Civ VI game, as this expansion does not alter gameplay in any significant way. Unfortunately, Gathering Storm does nothing to address the issues raised in the first part of my post – the AI is still stupid and a lot of the mechanics break during gameplay. If you didn’t like Civ VI from the start, this expansion won’t change your mind.

If you do enjoy Civ VI, you might find the game refreshed with the new expansion, as new content and a host of minor tweaks are added (map & map generation, resources, new city, and a new era). The AI prevents true single-game enjoyment, however multiplayer and your friends can provide all the challenge you need. This might also be the best way to enjoy this game.

+ Pros

  • New civ and new leaders
  • Natural disasters can be compelling

– Cons

  • AI is as stupid as before
  • Expensive for what it brings