When Civilization VI was announced, many people noticed the game’s new art style. Now, developer Firaxis Games is providing a reason for the change.

Art director Brian Busatti told IGN that the team decided to switch to the new art style in order to improve the game’s look when zoomed out. “When we went into this, we looked into how people play the game,” he stated. “Typically in a Civ game you want to see the world as a whole, so you’re pulling out a lot. That doesn’t mean people don’t zoom in, but for the most part. Some people even zoom all the way out and play in tactical mode.”

He continues: “We still have our unique units. Like, you see the Samurai, which are still unique the Japanese. But even the base units, like the Pikemen, all have a cultural flare to them. You still need to be able to read them as Pikemen – he still needs a long post, and it’s a very iconic shape. But we’ve gone a little further by changing up helmets, maybe the ends of the pike looks slightly different depending on the region the character is from. We’ve also got different skin tones, different ethnicity for the characters.”

Civilization VI will release for PC on October 21st. The game was announced last week. According to publisher 2K Games, Civilization VI “offers new ways to engage with your world: cities now physically expand across the map, active research in technology and culture unlocks new potential, and competing leaders will pursue their own agendas based on their historical traits as you race for one of five ways to achieve victory in the game.”

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