The sorry state of modern turn based 4X

Ita Bear

Warlord
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
283
Hello folks

Try as I might, I just cannot move on from Civ IV. I have not found one single 4X game that can compete with it since it was released. I always end up crawling back to Civ IV. The latest game in a long line of disappointments was Age of Wonders IV. It's bland, boring, uninspired and unchallenging. The Total War series is fine, but the Warhammer games have lost their oomph with the third outing and the recent historical titles just fall flat. The less said about Civ VI the better. The only other game that comes close is Age of Empires II, but that's an RTS.

It's not perfect, but Civ IV is the whole package. Every game is an experience and different from the other. It has emergent stories yet still demands good strategy and planning. Why do so many games these days feel like they can only focus on the "roleplay"? If I see one more person say "you make your own challenge" as an excuse for shoddy game design I think I'll scream.

I'm sorry, Civ IV. I won't cheat on you again.
 
Hello folks

Try as I might, I just cannot move on from Civ IV. I have not found one single 4X game that can compete with it since it was released. I always end up crawling back to Civ IV. The latest game in a long line of disappointments was Age of Wonders IV. It's bland, boring, uninspired and unchallenging. The Total War series is fine, but the Warhammer games have lost their oomph with the third outing and the recent historical titles just fall flat. The less said about Civ VI the better. The only other game that comes close is Age of Empires II, but that's an RTS.

It's not perfect, but Civ IV is the whole package. Every game is an experience and different from the other. It has emergent stories yet still demands good strategy and planning. Why do so many games these days feel like they can only focus on the "roleplay"? If I see one more person say "you make your own challenge" as an excuse for shoddy game design I think I'll scream.

I'm sorry, Civ IV. I won't cheat on you again.
I like Old World but it doesn't beat Civ 4
 
Because "roleplay" vs. "a relatively pure emphasis on uninterrupted planning" is a personal, subject choice, and to that end there's a range of player opinion across the spectrum of answers you could get on the topic.
While there may be a range of player opinion ("demand"), I believe the OP's point is that nowadays there's a distinctive lack of a corresponding range of game designs ("offer").
 
Stellaris.
It's not turn based. You can pause but that is not the same.

And that is the crux of the issue here. Strategy games is not a genre. It's a genre group, and a complex one in that. It's subgenres like X4 or RTS are in them self massive complex groups with games that kind of overlap but ultimately each fit in their own niche. And in this day and age we are living in a relative drought when it comes to choice in this respect. We just don't have the plethora of choice we once had. And critically we do not have (barring paradox) established studios that you can rely on to specialize in a genre and really make it their own releasing hit after hit.

Used to be you could find a game that had just the right combination of features you wanted and than stick to that studio. You can't do that any more (unless it's Paradox). And that's a big problem for those of us that prefer games like old CIV.
 
I've pretty much lost all faith in Paradox. EU4 and Stellaris have become bloated, disjointed messes and were never all that deep or strategic anyway. CK3 and Victoria 3 are bland and uninspired. They gave up on their Rome title just as it was beginning to look interesting. Plus, their DLC policy is insulting.

Kind regards,
Ita Bear
 
I've pretty much lost all faith in Paradox. EU4 and Stellaris have become bloated, disjointed messes and were never all that deep or strategic anyway. CK3 and Victoria 3 are bland and uninspired. They gave up on their Rome title just as it was beginning to look interesting. Plus, their DLC policy is insulting.

Kind regards,
Ita Bear
I could put up with their DLC policy if each one actually added real value. But as it stands they, as you so well said, are just bloat. With each one the game becomes more and more complicated without actually becoming deeper.

And than you have games that are flat out flawed from the onset like HOI4. I swear, that game is fun for a while but the focus system is just a very bad idea overall.
 
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