In context: Regardless of how you feel about the Battle Royale genre, there's no denying that it's one of the most popular and lucrative sub-industries out there. The folks over at Epic are raking in cash in the billions of dollars through Fortnite, and various games -- even those that aren't necessarily suited to the genre -- have added Battle Royale modes to cash in on the trend.
However, despite the expanding influence of Battle Royale games and game modes, very few people could have guessed what the latest title to break into the market would be. Civilization 6 developer Firaxis today announced that the well-known strategy title has received a Battle Royale mode of its own.
The mode has been dubbed "Red Death," and it's available now to all Civilization 6 players as part of the game's September 2019 update. The mode will task players with taking on one of several new post-apocalypse-themed factions, most of which have light-hearted or outright silly names and 2D leader portraits. Some of the available factions include the football-loving "Meanest Jocks," the "Very Goth Borderlords," and the "Horribly Scarred Mutants."
So, how does Red Death play? What sets it apart from the core game? Well, as you might expect, the mode will contain an ever-shrinking "Safe Zone" ring, outside of which is the Red Death: a giant, radioactive field of toxic energy that is "consuming the planet." At the top left-hand corner of the screen, you'll see the number of turns you have left before the ring shrinks. On the opposite side, you'll see how much damage your units will take if they're caught outside of the ring. The damage number will escalate over time.
It's unclear whether or not you're still able to build cities in Red Death, but we're going to assume it's possible until Firaxis says otherwise (their announcement doesn't mention this). However, due to the Red Death ring itself, hunkering down for the long haul in true Civilization fashion is probably inadvisable; unless you've managed to build around the very center of the map.
Other new features that have been added with the Red Death game mode include unique new apocalypse-themed units, corrosive oceans and lakes (Which will damage your units every turn they remain on such tiles), scavenging opportunities, and "Raiders"; Red Death's version of Barbarians.
Unlike Civilization 6 proper, there aren't many win conditions to pick from here. Your one and only goal is to be the last faction with a living Civilian unit. If you achieve that and manage to wipe out your enemies (or simply leave them to die in the Red Death), you'll be loaded onto a futuristic lander and shipped off to another, (hopefully) safer planet.
If Red Death sounds like your cup of tea, just boot up Civilization 6 and install the latest update to try the mode out. If you don't own the game yet, it can be snagged for $60 on your PC gaming platform of choice.