Well in terms of the game itself, it has been throughly enjoyable to give it about a dozen good playthroughs. I might even start a series for it, on quick with preset objectives in order to turn the game into something more compelling to watch than me setting everything other than combat units to auto and then hitting enter forever.
It is a damn good game, the AI playability bugs that I never saw in civ 5 but where apparently there on release didn't crop up and the whole thing plays much akin to brave new world with a comprehensive mod over the top, but it does this really well. The choices it offers as the game expands and moves forward keep you thinking about how you want your empire to run and playfeel as you expand and grow, rather than build X to get Y and rinse and repeat for your cities, it expands the X to Y with an additional Z that you have to choose between. The usual options between food, cash or production abilities are bland, but the ones that expand and offer bonuses are far more so.
For instance, the ultrasonic fences that provide a 2 hex radius around the city it is built in keeps roving Aliums out - and it offers a choice of either +1 radius -or- immunity from Aliums for all trader units.
At the time of choosing, I had both issues. I had two nigh fucking unkillable siege worms tearing through my lands, I was abusing them with missile strikes that would almost kill them, then one of my worker units would decide now was a nice time for a stroll and get eaten by the worms, refilling their health and starting the problem all over again. On top of this, my trade convoys where also getting nommed by Aliums so I could choose to save my cities or my trade routes and I was swearing my goddamn head off about the fact I could not do both. In the end I chose the extra radius to defend the lands I already had and built a buffer zone of bases all the way down the continent and then brought fences in each city to protect my holdings.
The quest system is nice for adding additional goals to aim towards, and adds a nice amount of fluff to each playthrough, but has its own bugs. For instance, half of the ingame resources (being titanium, petroleum and geothermal) cannot decide if they are empire wide or locally based, for example. In one game I had 19 petroleum tapped in my expansive holdings, and a quest told me I needed to build a petrocarbon building in my capital but try my goddamn hardest I could not build it, it was not an option. So for the entire game I had this irritating, impossible quest I could not finish.
Yet if I wanted 4 floatstone to build a fucking tank, hey Ho the entire military industrial complex bends over backwards to provide it to every base, even the size two base that would take ninety odd turns to build it.
That bugs me. Deeply and infuriatingly.
Other issues involved Alium nests, in the last version of civ you would not be able to move for barbarian camps, spawning pain in the ass units that would act as roadblock stepping stones for the early game. Providing experience and cash (along with other bonuses based on culture choices) before you ran into other empires. At the start of the game, you will find Aliums everywhere. Even more so for me as I have the frenzied Aliums option turned on, but you cannot find a fucking nest anywhere, not only this - but the Alium hoards that are supposed to become more aggressive with the more you kill, never seem to leave green on the hostility scale. I could be killing between five and nine Alium units a turn, every turn and only get minor grumbles from other nations, but the scale never seems to rise.
I want to piss off the local wildlife to the point where I can weaponise their sheer rage and set them loose on the rest of the planet while I sit smugly behind my three radius ultrasonic fences yet the game never seems to let me, which is another disappointment.
The fact that building a city on a resource deletes that resource now bugs me, as I would build a city on a resource before then linking said city to my empire and absorbing that resource rather than waiting for my workers to arrive and maybe, just maybe improving that resource first gets under my skin.
Also, on the subject of workers. I dislike having to micromanage thirty plus of the damn things, civ 5 did it well enough to let you concentrate on other concerns, but the new workers are a nightmare - especially with terrascaping. Terrascaping is basically terraforming the planet and provides considerable resource bonuses to food, production and culture - but costs six fucking energy a turn. Also, the moment the worker can terrascape - every fucking worker terrascapes every fucking thing, tanking my former 200+ energy a turn into a -70 hole that force disbands every single one of my combat units and workers the moment they finish building them and makes it impossible for me to crawl back out of, so I have to avoid the technology that allows you to terrascape - which means I can never play the purity affinity as the same technology that allows terrascaping also unlocks the ability to mine floatstone. Either that or having to micromanage my army of workers again. Which makes a "quick" game for me an un-fun "marathon" game as the game doesn't seem to hint what improvement would be best for each tile any more.
Basically, terraforming needs to either be nerfed down to either five energy a turn, or four - making it expensive but playable. Even better it should be moved to another tech to make it so you can play purity without having to banhammer yourself doing so.
There are also other bugs, like not being able to lock the cursor to the screen on dual screen setups (an issue I had with civ 5 also) and the fact it blacks out my other screen while playing, so I cannot do my usual habit of watching a film or anime on my other screen or keep an eye on the Internet. Again, a minor grumble - I would just turn the other monitor off while playing if the screen would just lock as it should.
I think I've run out of my personal bugs about the game, hopefully some of them should be fixed by the inevitable expansions that firaxis has planned, hopefully with extra sponsors and starting bonuses along with techs and so on.
As for the upsides and fun I have had, despite bugs and annoyances - I recently finished a game playing as ARC following the purity affinity, while listening to 30 seconds to mars's first album and had a "Woah" moment.
The world of kepler 32-b had ended up in an apocalyptic war between myself, polystraya and the spess slav union, all playing purity while the rest of the surviving nations that had been outgunned, out expanded and out teched had either moved to become one with the new world through harmony, or uploaded AI consciousness through supremacy - desperately trying to avoid the dirty bombs going off on a turnly basis, the armies of battlesuited 8 foot tall genetically modified super humans, backed by legions of mechas, floating tanks and battlestations.
Both myself and polystraya built the exodus gate at the same time, meet turns after the Franco-bitch finished the emancipation gate and started sending her troopers through.
Imagine this as a scene, centuries after the pioneers left earth to carry on the human legacy, the human race - a portal opens up and spews out endless machines that claim they used to be or still are the human race and start conquering everything, followed by forced uploads of every man, woman and child they can find.
Then two more portals open, and each side is fronted by 8 foot tall genetically perfect humans, claiming the people of earth can escape the machines to a new promised land where life is perfect and mankind is superior.
And when these new settlers arrive they find a world in the midst of tearing itself apart, each side only trying to save the last of humanity from earth for bragging rights, while a minor power sends it's machine soldiers through behind them, trying to steal dominance in secret by taking an entire planet from under the major powers noses.
At this point I had the grinding guitars and lyrics of "Fallen" in my headphones as I stopped to realise the hell that had been created as I overheard the last "is this who we are, some sweet violent urge? Man are we falling, with a promise of an end"
The only course of this game, victory or not - was the destruction of two worlds and at best, another technological regression, at worst. The end of the human race.
As you can tell, I love the game despite its flaws. I'll probably be playing it again today, and every day for months.
So yeah. That's a good scythe review for you. Have of that. What you will.