Have you ever played Civilization 6 and thought to yourself, this is great, but I really wish it looked a little... older? If the answer to that question is yes for some reason, Civ 6 art director Brian Busatti has come up with just the thing: A Civ 5 "Environment Skin" mod that's now available through the Steam Workshop.
The mod "changes the visuals of the game to better match the colors and tones" of Civ 5, with changes to texture details, a more neutral color palette for buildings and units, and other changes.
"I was challenged by the team to create an expansive mod using Mod Buddy, and this was the end result," Busatti wrote. "It's an example of how much you can change the visuals and I hope it provides inspiration to try your own modifications."
The mod is compatible with all releases of Civilization 6, including the recent Gathering Storm, and will not cause any problems with saved games. Performance should also be unaffected. "The deciduous trees have a smaller vertex count, but they are more numerous. It should all balance out," Busatti explained in the comments. "I tried to keep it close to the specs of the original game so it would not slow anyone down. It's also why there are fewer trees if your graphics settings are lower."
The response to the mod seems very positive so far, and while it might seem a little odd that so many people want their new game to look more like their old one, it fits the pattern. More than a year ago we dug into why Civilization 5, which came out in 2010, was still more popular than Civilization 6, which arrived in 2016, and that situation hasn't changed as much as you might expect since then: Civ 6 got a big concurrent player boost in February with the release of Gathering Storm but is quickly settling back to its pre-February numbers, according to Steam Charts, while Civ 5 just keeps chugging along.