Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution - hands-on

Civilization Revolution condenses human history into a strategy game with 16 civilizations rapidly developing through mud-and-sticks beginnings to space-faring world domination. An average game can encompass human history in about four hours. You’ll build cities, explore the world with military units, forge alliances and kick the butts of various cultures. The game can be won by destroying all the other civilizations, achieving cultural supremacy, using science to be the first to Mars or pulling off economic domination. The victory conditions are the same as the past PC versions of the game, so the real "revolutionary" part of the game is that Revolution is the first Civilization game to be designed exclusively for the Xbox 360, PS3 and DS. It's trying to keep the controls streamlined and emphasize action for console gamers, without forgetting about the deeper strategy that made the PC versions so popular.

In short, the idea is to make the game quick and fun, without making it stupid. To speed things up, players are encouraged to build armies quickly and explore the map, which is sprinkled with hidden relics that give powerful bonuses to the first player to find them. We didn’t find any relics, but our warriors and archers earned experience bonuses for winning battles, so there are other advantages to getting out and fighting early. Our first warriors quickly became veterans, gaining a hefty 50 percent combat bonus, and eventually gained the ability to heal on the battlefield and move further each turn. There's a large upgrade tree for every unit, and each upgrade is accompanied by a visual change, like a new helmet or fancy shoulder pads. Even for two units in the same civilization, it's rare for them to look exactly the same.