I admit I doubted. After so many half-baked RTS games slapped onto the console with awkward controls and shoddy visuals, I never had much hope for Civilization Revolution, even though Firaxis promised ideal console controls without any dumbing down of their empire building, turn based series. I saw the vibrant colors, friendly menus, animated ancient rulers, and I thought there's no way this will work on a console without sacrifices.
Sometimes, it's good to be wrong.
So stand as Caesar and contribute to the glory of Rome by raising her armies, her walls, her wonders, spreading your influence over the globe to conquer or cater to a number of other rulers. It's all turn-based, so there's no rush in planning out your moves (unless you're playing multiplayer where a time limit is applied). The game automatically selects your possible units, which you can cycle through with a tap of the d-pad. Just choose where you want them to go, and they'll head on their merry way for however number of turns it takes, leaving you to focus on the important stuff. The nearest city is never more than a left bumper tap away, allowing you to set its production and progress before tapping over to your next town. If this sounds a little too easy, wait until you have a dozen settlements and troops trotting all over the globe. There will be plenty to manage, but it builds gradually to keep it from being overwhelming.
Other rulers will court your favor. You can make peace and even get aid from them, and then later on decide to stab them in the back when you fancy their shining capital. Progress is gained not only by making things bigger, but also better while developing various advancements, like working with bronze or learning to read. Since the game can be won by more than force alone, it's best to be a well rounded ruler that's ahead of your enemies when it comes to reinventing the wheel. You can play alone against AI opponents of varying difficulties, or risk your kingly skills against live enemies online. The only minor lament is the seeming lack of single console multiplayer. Even though you'd be free to spy on each other, it still would be fun.
Some elements have been removed from Civilization 4, but they're mostly the more tedious and picky aspects of empire building that I'll never miss. The reduction in the importance and power of religion is kind of a downer, as is having only a single map size to keep games from going on too long. However, the five difficulties, dozens of rulers, plethora of scenarios, and weekly challenges are bound to leave me too engrossed to care.
Europeans can pick up their copies of Civ Rev now, but we poor Americans will have to wait for its US release on July 8th.