So Civ VI should be out now by the time you read this, and we have had a couple of days on the beta before the release. After spending about 4 hours on the game, it’s wayyyyyy too early to have any definitive opinion about how good Civ VI really is (and what the additions of districts, civics tree and envoys actually bring), but we can at least say how good the port looks so far, in single-player mode. First, the first thing you will notice is the first, dark loading screen – at least during the first load. It’s been quite long on my hardware (i5 3.4 Ghz with GTX970, 8GB RAM, 1080p screen), more than a minute – it reminds me a lot of Mankind Divided in that sense. Note that this is not unique to Civ VI, Civ V had a pretty long loading screen as well. But once the game is loaded it’s about it, so it’s not that bad. And subsequent loads were shorter.
So far the game works as you’d expect, and on my configuration it’s been smooth at max settings – well smooth, but I can definitely see the frame rate stutter a little when moving around the map, even right there in antiquity when there’s hardly anything around.
There is a benchmark mode and while I did not expect Civ VI to be a resource intensive game, the benchmark actually pushes the hardware pretty hard with a large map with huge cities and a large amount of units on screen – which is what is likely to happen when you spend several hundred turns in-game. In such situations the frame rate drops to about 30 fps on average – so if you have any weaker hardware it would be recommended to reduce graphics details to keep the framerate good enough even in the later parts.
After several hours, nothing unusual to report on nVidia: no crashes, no glitches, no sound problems – as a port it seems to be as good as it can get: stable and bug-free. I am unable to confirm the actual gap between Windows and Linux, but based on what I could find online from other users, the benchmark on a similar config to mine would yield about 60fps, so it looks like we are not going to compete on FPS here. Well, for a FPS or an action game it would certainly be an important factor, for Civ, Meh – higher FPS won’t give you any significant advantage, and it’s not like having the game running at 30fps will make it unplayable either. You would probably want to avoid running it in 4k however, unless you have a GTX1080 GPU – or if you can bear lowering details.
That’s all for now – remember AMD is not officially supported at this time, and that the multiplayer does not work with Windows clients yet. Feel free to share your experiences with the game in the comments as well! Ok, now I need to go for one more turn…
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