Multiple rulers confirmed: Pericles, Gorgo both lead Greece in ‘Civilization VI’

By revealing Queen Gorgo of Sparta as an alternate leader for Greece, Firaxis Games has confirmed what many Civilization VI fans (including us) had already inferred: The upcoming game will feature multiple leaders for its civilizations. Chosen at the start of the game, different leaders swap one of the civilizations unique abilities for an alternative that shifts its focus while maintaining its overall contours.

Gorgo was Queen of the warlike Greek city-state of Sparta in the early part of the 5th century B.C. She was the only child of King Cleomenes, wife of King Leonidas (famous for leading the 300 Spartans to their death against the Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae) and mother of King Pleistarchus. She is one of the few powerful women mentioned by the historian Herodotus, who praised her sound judgment and firm leadership, which is particularly notable given the generally pervasive misogyny of the culture during that period. Plutarch also noted that she had that famous, dry Spartan wit: “When asked by a woman from Attica, ‘Why are you Spartan women the only ones who can rule men?’ she said: ‘Because we are also the only ones who give birth to men.'”

Pericles, meanwhile, ruled Athens a little later in the 5th century, uniting the Delian League of city-states that Athens had pulled together against the Persians into a full-blown Athenian empire, which eventually led to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. A noted statesman and patron of the arts, culture and education, Pericles bore a lot of responsibility for Athens’ reputation as a flourishing cultural capital.

Reflecting the Delian League and the humanist focus of Athens, Pericles’ unique ability provides a 5 percent bonus to overall cultural production for every city-state of which Greece is the suzerain (holding more influence than any other civilization). Gorgo, meanwhile, brings Sparta’s militancy to the fore, with a culture bonus every time her troops defeat an enemy that’s equal to half of the defeated unit’s strength. Both abilities retain Greece’s focus as an early cultural civilization, but alter the means by which it is achieved.

Both Gorgo and Pericles have access to the same other unique features. These include the Acropolis, which replaces the theater district and has additional adjacency bonuses to culture from being near other districts and the city center, though it must be on a hill. The Hoplite replaces the spearman, gaining a bonus to combat strength when next to other Hoplites. Finally, they receive an extra Wildcard policy slot in their government from the beginning, giving a nice bit of extra flexibility.

Gorgo and Pericles are a fantastic integration of flavor and mechanics, capturing the distinct historical characters of Sparta and Athens, respectively, within the larger tapestry of ancient Greece. Their presence also suggests the possibility that one of the scenarios at launch (which have not been detailed at all so far) could very well involve the Persian and/or Peleponnesian Wars, which should get any Classics enthusiast excited. Having Trajan of Rome, Tomyris of Scythia, and Gilgamesh of Sumeria as well allows for some exciting role-playing in the Classical world in general. Firaxis confirmed that two versions of Greece are not mutually exclusive in regular games as well.

This is not the first time that a Civilization game has featured multiple leaders for its civs, but it was not the case in Civilization V. Gorgo is the final leader to be announced for launch, but more options for other civs will feature prominently in future downloadable content. The larger sets of special features that each civ has in VI do a great job of making them feel unique. The addition of swappable leaders with such impactful abilities is a great and flavorful way to customize play style with interesting choices.

Civilization VI arrives on PC on October 21, 2016.

Updated on 10-13-2016 by Will Fulton: confirmed details about Gorgo with Firaxis

Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Gaming

The best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

‘Spyro Reignited Trilogy’ proves nostalgia only goes so far

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a faithful and beatiful remaster of the PlayStation classics, but its dedication to retaining the original experience ultimately hinders the experience. Spyro was great in the late-'90s, but it hasn't aged well.
Gaming

Microsoft is reportedly planning an Xbox One without a disc drive for 2019

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a new Xbox One model without a disc drive in 2019. The console will be significantly cheaper than other Xbox One systems, including the Xbox One S.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Gaming

Stock up on Switch accessories this week with these awesome Black Friday deals

Black Friday is right around the corner, and it's the perfect time to stock up on accessories for your Nintendo Switch. Here are the best Switch accessory deals on Black Friday, from controllers to cases and more.
Product Review

Make friends. To survive the wasteland of 'Fallout 76,' you're gonna need 'em

Fallout 76 brings the nuclear wasteland online and invites you to hop in with your friends. It’s fun, and a new direction for the Fallout franchise, but it’s not without its faults.
Gaming

‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ director sets record straight on game’s progress

Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura clarified some information about the game's progress. There were earlier reports that the RPG was put on hold in favor of Kingdom Hearts III, but that is apparently not the case.
Features

From NES to PlayStation, retro gaming is booming. But will it last?

Everyone craves the good old days, and companies like Nintendo and Sony are cashing in with their mini versions of beloved retro consoles. But is this fad built to last or will our fixation with pixelated graphics come and go like mom…
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.