Civilization VI Gets A New Mode That Sounds A Lot Like Sid Meier's Classic Pirates! Game

Illustration for article titled Civilization VI Gets A New Mode That Sounds A Lot Like Sid Meier's Classic Pirates! Game
Screenshot: Firaxis Games

Back in the 1980s, Civilization co-creator Sid Meier released a game that in some ways is his best ever: Pirates!. Now, a new game mode for Civilization VI is paying homage to it in a very cool and unexpected way.


If you’ve never played Pirates, or one of its many remakes, here’s how I’ve written about it previously:

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever played a video game so ahead of its time. The original Pirates! came out in 1987, and even though it’s been remade twice (like 1993’s Pirates! Gold above), both upgrades have been almost entirely cosmetic. With good reason: the underlying design of the game—a mix of rogue-like adventure, adventure game and naval combat simulator—remains as innovative and rock-solid today as it did over thirty years ago.

That does not sound like the kind of thing you could squeeze into Civilization VI, and yet, this new multiplayer scenario is covering a lot of the same bases, from exploration to treasure fleets to docking in port to hire crew to the presence of nations like England and France.

Civilization VI’s base game has got pretty stale, but these weird multiplayer scenarios—like the post-apocalyptic battle royale—have been an unexpected treat.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs


Civilization VI’s base game has got pretty stale”

One thing I found Civ 6 suffered from was not really knowing what it wanted to do with the series in terms of the experience. It’s simplified in ways it should be complex and needlessly complex in ways that should be kept simple.

I ended up going back to Civ 5, which to me is far more in line with the very first game’s tagline: It’s a game to stand the test of time (nearly 400 hours and 8th all-time for playtime on my Steam account.)