Civilization 6 is getting weird. It's got a 4X spin on battle royales, for instance, which now includes alien and zombie factions (opens in new tab), and the whole thing is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Now, with the imminent arrival of the Ethiopia DLC, things are poised to get even weirder.
Some of the pack is what you'd expect. There's the new civ, Ethiopia, which has a penchant for diplomacy and gets extra Faith from international trade routes. Faith, diplomacy and intrigue are apparently the main pillars of the DLC, according to the dev update video above.
There are new buildings and districts, too, again with a diplomatic bent. Diplomatic districts, for instance, will net you Diplomatic Favor for each delegation or embassy from a foreign civ. The consulate building, meanwhile, earns you more influence and reduces enemy spy levels, while the chancery building gives your civ additional Science when you capture or kill an enemy spy.
The Ethiopia DLC is available separately or as part of the season pass, but it looks like the latter will also net you the additional bonus of a Persona Pack for Teddy Roosevelt and Catherine De Medici, giving them a new look, background and bonuses, including new units.
All of this sounds good but pretty standard. It's the peculiar secret societies that set this DLC apart. Secret societies are sects you join and stick with for the entire game, giving you a special governor with unique abilities that doesn't need to be assigned to a city, along with a host of neat quirks.
There's the Hermetic Society, which allows you to see ley lines that grant adjacency bonuses and build the Alchemical Society, a unique university-style building with a bit of extra oomph. The Owls of Minerva, meanwhile, are wealthy puppet masters, and joining them will let you construct the Gilded Vault, a powered-up bank. Then there's the Void Singers, a fanatical cult that worships the old gods, building weird obelisks and spreading madness throughout enemy cities. Finally, there's the Sanguine Pact, a militaristic society that's full of vampires. Joining forces with the bloodsuckers means you can recruit your very own vampire units, which get stronger when adjacent enemies die. When a vamp is defeated, it retains 1 HP and retreats. Eventually you'll be able to build vampire castles that let you teleport units between them.
I guess none of this sounds more ridiculous than Montezuma and Gandhi flinging nukes at each other.
To access the societies, you'll need to also own either the Gathering Storm or the Rise and Fall expansions. You'll be able to put them through their paces, along with the new civ and buildings, when the Ethiopia Pack appears on July 23.