Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

Key events

March's free Xbox 360 Games with Gold titles announced

Xbox Live Gold subscribers can download Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution and Xbox Live Arcade title Dungeon Defenders for free this month.

The latest two titles for Microsoft's Games with Gold service were announced over the weekend. Civ Rev is available to nab right now until 15th March, while Dungeon Defenders will become available on 16th March and be free until the 31st.

Firaxis' turn-based strategy title was well-received when it originally launched for Xbox 360 (and PlayStation 3) back in 2008. It was later released on DS, iOS and Windows Phone.

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PSN update stuffed with new content

PSN update stuffed with new content

Games, LBP costumes, songs, Hasselhoff.

Sony has crammed plenty of content onto the PlayStation Store this week.

The most of expensive bits are full downloadable versions of PSP games FIFA 09 (GBP 29.99) and puzzler The Cube (GBP 15.99), which we had no idea were turning up.

However, the most interesting - for us at least - are the new costumes for LittleBigPlanet. Yes, we do like dressing up. There's a free Sack-eating-plant outfit, and four more costumes at GBP 0.79 each: Lily Pad, Hugo (a gorilla), Great Blue and Frost-e. These are bundled together in an Animal Costumes pack for GBP 2.39.

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DS Roundup

DS Roundup

Civilization, Race Driver: GRID, Top Spin 3, Doodle Hex and Pirates.

Race Driver: GRID

Developer: Firebrand Games

Publisher: Codemasters

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Civ Rev DLC heads PSN weekly update

Civ Rev DLC heads PSN weekly update

Plus GH3 songs, Secret Agent Clank demo.

Sony has updated the PlayStation Store with a Wonders & Artefacts pack for Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution, which costs GBP 0.69.

There's also a fresh trio of songs for Guitar Hero III by three artists signed to the Interscope Records label: Marilyn Manson, AFI, and Flyleaf. Cost, as always, is GBP 3.99.

Following is a demo for run-of-the-mill PSP action game Secret Agent Clank, which you could simply read our Ellie review of.

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MGS4 debuts at top of UK charts

Not a record breaker. Full top 40 inside.

Metal Gear Solid 4 has shot to the top of the UK all formats chart, becoming the fastest-selling PS3-exclusive ever; second only to Grand Theft Auto IV.

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

Reinventing the wheel.

Hopefully yesterday's surprise announcement of Civilization IV: Colonization has quietened strategy gamers' hysteria that this cartoonish, slimline version of Sid Meier's favourite (or at least most lucrative) son might be the long-running series' only future. You don't get much more niche than an out-of-the-blue sequel to a 1994 turn-based PC game about trading rum between America and Europe, after all.

Well, hey. Already I'm probably confusing people who don't know much about Civ. In fact, over two previews, I've talked about how Civ Rev feels, and about how this console rethink differs from more than a decade of PC Civilizations, but what I haven't done is say how it's played. So, for total newcomers, let's take it from the top.

Civilization is all about tribalism. It begins with the most barbaric aspect of that (quite literally, hairy blokes with wooden clubs hitting other hairy blokes with wooden clubs) and ends with its other extreme - asserting your tribe's dominance over others through technology, culture, commerce or military might. In other words, you pick a nation and progress it from cave-dwellers all the way to factories and tanks.

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Civ Rev demo on XBL/PSN Thursday

But PAL PSN users have to wait.

2K Games is planning to release a demo of Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network this Thursday.

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

Every generation needs a new Civilization.

Revolution's a dangerous word. It promises absolute change, yet so often means the same but tweaked - a new colour, a new interface... It's much the same as how 'awesome' once was used to describe humanity or nature's greatest achievements, but now can mean 'that's a nice hat'. I rankle a little at seeing it applied to this console overhaul of the venerable globe-conquering turn-based strategy series. It's still Civilization. It's not Civilization played only with your tongue, or Civilization that can travel through time. Civilization Smallerisation or Civilization Simplification would perhaps be more apt, but they don't look quite so good on a shop shelf. They suggest what Civilizution has done is merely to lessen itself. In truth, that's exactly what it's done. But it's done so with noble purpose, to focus on what is most important.

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

We'll be first against the shop wall.

I was initially a bit surly when I sat down to play Civ Rev (or Civilizution, as I like to call it). People kept telling me what to do. Get away from me, I gestured with dismissive hand-flaps. I may even have hissed, like an angry cat. I know how to play Civ, thank you very much. Or so I thought. Yes, I knew perfectly well what everything was, and exactly what I was trying to achieve. I didn't, however, know how to make it happen in this new, console-specific remake. This was because it was simpler, more obvious - because it wasn't expecting me to already comprehend Civ's elaborate mechanisms. I had to unlearn hard in order to learn easy. I felt a little like I'd spent years diligently crushing and fermenting grapes whenever I fancied a tipple, only for some passing helpful soul to observe that they sell wine for four quid a bottle in Tesco's. Oh. Right. Yes, that does make more sense.

Meier wouldn't mind acquisition by EA

He likes them and he likes Take Two.

Civilization development superhero Sid Meier says he has a lot of time for both Take Two and Electronic Arts, with Take Two being "very good about giving [Firaxis] creative freedom" and EA having "a commitment to great games".

Sid Meier to create an MMO?

Strategy legend is "exploring the possibilities".

Firaxis boss and lord of all Civilization Sid Meier has revealed he's working on ideas for an MMO game.

FeatureComing Attractions: Strategy and Simulation

Part 1: Real-time highlights of 2008.

Last week, you may recall, we put on our robe and wizard hat for a look at this year's most promising RPGs. We've done shooters, racers, action adventure and sports games too, if you missed any of those.

Firaxis explains lack of Civ PSP

Isn't ruling it out for future.

Firaxis chose not to do a PSP version of Civilization Revolution because it didn't have the resources necessary to complete that in addition to Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and DS versions, all of which are being handled in-house.

Civ console formats confirmed

Civ console formats confirmed

Wii is in, but no PSP.

Take-Two's newly announced E3 line-up won't hold any surprises if you've read our ongoing compilation, but it does confirm the formats for Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution - the famed strategy game's upcoming console outing.

According to the publisher's press release, Revolution, which is being developed under Meier at Firaxis Games, is due out in spring 2008 on Xbox 360, PS3 and DS, with a Wii version down for release in autumn 2008. The game had previously been listed as "next-generation consoles and handhelds", so there's a small surprise that no PSP version is mentioned - particularly given the release of Sid Meier's Pirates! on the Sony handheld earlier this year.

We'll be hooking up with Firaxis later in the week to take a look at the game, so we'll ask what's up. For now we know that it intends to deliver Civilization's epic turn-based strategy scale, along with multiplayer that incorporates video and voice chat. Take-Two promises "a level of gameplay that fans have never seen before"; we refer you to our previous coverage.

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Civilization heads to consoles

Next-gen and handhelds in spring.

2K has just pulled the wraps off Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution, due out on next-generation consoles and handhelds in spring 2008.