Civilization VI: Rise and Fall release date is here at last

Get ready to lose another 500 hours of your life, Civilization fans. The first major expansion for Civilization VI, Rise and Fall, is now available on Steam. Like the two expansion packs we saw for Civilization V, Rise and Fall makes some rather drastic changes to Civ VI's core gameplay, adding more to do and giving you more options when it comes to winning.

Of course, this isn't the first DLC's that's been made available for Civilization VI. The trickle release of DLC civilizations and scenarios began almost as soon as the game was released. Those periodic morsels carried us to more than a year beyond Civilization VI's launch date, and served to tide us over as we waited for the release of Rise and Fall.

Indeed, Rise and Fall feels much more significant than just new civilizations and maps. While there are plenty of those – eight new civilizations and nine new leaders, to be exact – there are also new systems that add further depth to an already complex game. At the center of Rise and Fall is the new Ages mechanic, which will reward players with a Golden Age or plunge them into a Dark Age depending on what their Civilization accomplished in the previous age.

Individual cities will also now have a loyalty metric that shows how strong their ties to the empire are. A bunch of different things can affect loyalty, such as distance from the capital. Governors are a new mechanic that can be used to boost loyalty (and provide other bonuses) to your cities, but if a city's loyalty drops too low, you run the risk of revolts and, should things get really dire, the city declaring its independence outright.

There's more to Rise and Fall than just that, with new Wonders to build and improvements to alliances also in store. Rise and Fall is available now on Steam for $29.99 – will you be playing it today? Head down to the comments section and let us know!