A Breakdown of Religion in Civilization VI

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  • Sponsored – This October, Firaxis will release a new title in the core series of Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise. Civilization VI looks to be the biggest and most impressive game yet in the series, and you can view a full trailer here. But we’re going to talk about arguably the most interesting aspect of this new title as it relates to its predecessors: it seems as if religion is going to be a bigger deal.

    In a way, this is actually in tune with some trends we’ve seen lately in other games or announcements. This game, a 2017 medieval role-playing experience titled Kingdom Come: Deliverance, will reportedly concern a fictionalized branch of the Holy Roman Empire. The idea, anywhere you read about it, is that it will be a realistic depiction of the times (meaning the 1400s), during which religion played a huge role in shaping conflict between nations. It sounds right now as if there will be an episodic rollout of chapters, and it could well be that Crusade-like narratives take center stage.

    In an entirely different arena for gaming, religion (or at least mythology) has also become a point of emphasis at casino arcades that in the past have focused mostly on history’s warriors. This platform now features numerous titles dealing with Greek and Roman gods, with the Goddess of Wisdom slot reel in particular being one of the popular new games on the site.

    Knights, Spartan soldiers, Centurions and the like have been attached to similar games for some time, but the influx of godly figures is relatively new. But while examples like these involve religion insofar as settings and characters are concerned, the details coming out about Civilization VI indicate that this game could utilize religion in a way that’s almost unprecedented for gaming.

    There are going to be a lot of ways to use religion as a means of building your civilization and competing with others, rather than just to keep citizens happy or maintain cultural balance. We probably don’t quite know everything that Civilization VI has in store in this regard, but a video by some of the developers recently pointed out a lot of fun stuff that will make this game markedly different than Civilization V or any other title in the series.

    Most notably, we learned that there will be some brand new units, acquired by stocking up “Faith” and capable of spreading your religion of choice in new and exciting ways. Most of the buzz seems to be about Apostles, which can essentially do more advanced versions of the missionary work that has existed in previous games. Apostles can gain specific “promotion powers” to take different effects on the cities they’re in, and they can even start inquisitions.

    But most interestingly, Apostles (and additional new units called Inquisitors) can actually fight opposing religious units. In such battles, the winner’s religion gains more influence in neighboring tiles. Accordingly, players will now be able to win the game through religious victory or conquest. This is described as the point at which your religion is predominant in every single other civilization in the game.

    Basically, you have to use religious units and influence to convert the entire world to a single faith. That makes for a whole new ballgame this time around. Religion may be popping up in some other games lately, but the idea of conquering the world via faith is pretty new for a strategy game, and will surely be done well by one of the best franchises in the genre.

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