There are a lot of places where you both state something which is arguable, and which people have different opinions on, as fact, and also where you generalize about people who disagree. I'm not trying to turn anything around on you; it's just true. Whether realism suits Civilization has nothing to do with what was done with the past games : either it suits it, or it doesn't. So I consider that a bit of a side issue. There were past Zelda games with more realistic elements than Wind Waker, but I thought the Wind Waker style suited Zelda. Even if Civ V was a total break from every game before it, it could be that it was the style that suited the gameplay. That's that. But it is true the past civ games always had a somewhat serious style to the map, and within the technical limitations and the limitations of abstraction, were relatively naturalistic. Civ II and Civ III had a pretty serious map style; figures didn't have exaggerated proportions, like the devs are intentionally doing in Civ VI, and have stated that they're doing. Civ IV units had normal proportions. It had more saturation than Civ V and the units were represented larger. You can't say the Civ IV map was more cartoon like than the Civ V map. And we're talking about the map here; since in some games, the leaderheads were cartoony, or the games had jokey elements in them like Elvises and whatever. Even in that case, I think you could really say in all the games that was even an intentional stylistic choice, rather than a product of dealing with limitations the best they felt they could. Civ I was working with limited graphics capability. Even if we're talking about Civ IV, the models weren't that good technically. However, its really obvious that they introduced a lot of stylization into the CivRev series. Its there to an even greater extent than in Civ6. Huge feet and hands and, huge swords. Intentionally stylized trees. Along with I even more exaggerated features and gestures in leaderheads than Civ4 had, such as huge hands. The reason people think CivRev was a departure from the rest of the series isn't because of some "knee jerk" reaction, its because of intentional design choices by the developers of that game, that I'm sure the developers would acknowledged if we asked them.