I wanted to download it on the PS3 to check something, and now I have done so. On both next-gen systems, the demo for Civilization Revolution “includes” multiplayer. You may have noticed the quotation marks there. What purpose do they serve? Well, let me tell you.
Both demos offer a “Player Match” option, which is a tevyan sort of Auto-Matching system. On the Playstation 3, this option never goes anywhere. i’ve never found an opponent. Gears turn on-screen, but they aren’t hooked up to anything.
These are decorative gears.
The same thing occurs on the 360, but has a slightly different character. It seems to work, you get matched with a live opponent, but then they leave immediately. This is because this opponent never wanted to play with you in the first place. Just like the demo for Crackdown, neither of these demos has the ability to just invite a friend - they leave it all up to random matching. So people try to synchronize these abortive attempts with someone they know in the hopes that a roll of the dice will deliver the experience they’re looking for.
The distilled version of Civilization presented here seems like it would make for a pretty clean online interpretation, but there’s no way for actual consumers to determine this. If you’re going to include multiplayer in your demo, don’t include it in a way that lets a person surround the word with quotes. This implementation is substantially worse than having nothing at all.