Get the Civilization VI lowdown from Sean Bean

Just over a month after being announced, 2K Games and Firaxis are finally taking the lid off Civilization VI with a gameplay presentation narrated by Sean Bean. The video – which clocks in at about 12 minutes and can be viewed below – shows how the franchise has evolved in its 25 year history.

At first glance, the game doesn’t look like a massive evolution over Civilization V, but as the video starts to show off the meat and potatoes, the changes become more and more clear. One of the most exciting changes that Civilization VI has over its predecessor is the enhancements made to the user interface.

Gone are the days of clunky, over-sized menus, as Firaxis is removing some of the more painful elements of the game for the sake of simplicity and aesthetics. City upgrades, for example, are now completed in a more meaningful ways thanks to strategically placed districts.

Want to defend your border? Build a military district full of defensive structures on the edge of your city. The way tiles are handled in Civilization VI emphasizes the need for strategic city building, as districts receive bonuses based on where they’re located.

Even building Wonders takes advantage of the new and improved tile features, as the Great Pyramids can only be built on a floodplain or desert tile unoccupied by a district. This should help players who get annoyed when their friends – or AI opponents – keep Wonder spamming, as it levels the playing field for the various styles of play.

“There isn’t one template for success in Civilization VI, and players need to react to the environment around them,” Firaxis writes in a blog post. “No two games will play the same.”

Districts also reflect the work Firaxis has done to give the series a face lift, as cities look more diverse and reflect their growth in more distinct ways, Firaxis says.

Other features that stand out include new diplomacy interactions that change based on the era and world values. Players might not have to worry about the notorious Gandhi  sneaking up on them as they’re closing in on a science victory.

Maintenance has taken an overhaul, as well, as roads are now built intelligently by caravans through trade routes. Speaking of trade routes, City-State diplomacy has also taken an overhaul, as trading can be used to influence City-State actions during times of conflict.

Civlization VI hits the PC Oct. 21, 2016. Keep an eye on InformedPixel for more details as the release date gets closer, and pre-order the game today on Steam.