PUBG. Fortnite. Battlefield. Call of Duty. Mario. Tetris. Flappy Bird. It’s practically a joke within the gaming world that if a game exists, it’ll eventually get a battle royale version or mode. But the latest entry might take the cake: Civilization VI, the popular turn-based strategy game, via Rock Paper Shotgun.
You may be wondering how Civilization, a franchise in which players slowly and meticulously build their global societies up over time scales that span the whole of human history, can combine with the battle royale genre, which sees players frantically trying to eliminate rivals to be the last person standing as a constantly encroaching fog of war shrinks the play area.
The answer is through a new mode called “Red Death,” which reimagines Civilization VI’s gameplay as a post-apocalyptic disaster. Instead of trying to build a civilization, 12 players are trying to flee a soon-to-be-uninhabitable Earth. Every few turns, the Red Death — a malignant red fog — will shrink the playable space, with the last faction standing getting a ride off the doomed planet.
The factions are also revamped for the new setting, with doomsday cultists, evil scientists, radioactive pirates, mutants, goths, and more. Presumably, the turn-by-turn pace will be a little less frenetic than, say, a round of Fortnite. However, the ever-shrinking play area should push players faster than a traditional game of Civilization VI.
Civilization VI’s Red Death mode is now available as part of the free September 2019 update. At this rate of battle royale expansion, it feels like we could all be playing a cutthroat winner-takes-all mode for tranquil farming simulation Stardew Valley before the year is out. (Scratch that: I’ve just been informed by my colleagues at The Verge that Stardew Valley BR does, in fact, already exist.)