Experience the Earth
Climate change comes to Civilization VI: Gathering Storm.
Build. Conquer. Inspire.
Dennis Shirk, senior producer on Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, was testing an early build of the game when he encountered a twist he’d never seen before: The missionaries he was marching across a continent kept disappearing—annihilated, he later discovered, by lava erupting from once-dormant volcanoes.
It’s just one of the new perils you’ll face in the latest expansion pack for Civilization VI, which introduces the environment as an active participant in your virtual world. From rivers that burst their banks to housing shortages brought on by natural disasters, a veritable avalanche of new ecological threats awaits.
“We thought about ways that mankind interacts with the planet and how the planet reacts back,” says Ed Beach, lead designer and programmer. “Having to respond to a changing environment adds a new dynamic to the game.”
The effects of climate change really ramp up in the Modern Era. As civilizations start burning fossil fuels, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, which affects the environment: Natural disasters become more frequent and devastating. If the planet gets hot enough that the polar ice caps melt, for example, coastal cities flood from rising sea levels.
It’s not all fire and brimstone. Research green-energy sources early in the game and unlock technologies to help your world adapt: The Flood Barrier building in the Atomic Era, for example, protects coastal cities from rising sea levels.
“Civilization is an optimistic series,” Beach says. “People have asked why we didn’t make it a doomsday game where the planet is wrecked in the end. But Civilization is about how mankind faces all kinds of challenges, learns from our mistakes, and finds ways to move forward. We wanted to keep that theme in place with Gathering Storm.”