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When the great Leonard Nimoy passed away in early 2015, the world of entertainment and science fiction mourned a tragic loss. For me personally, that was the first in a great swathe of childhood heroes to depart this mortal coil – first Nimoy; then Terry Pratchett; Christopher Lee; David Bowie; Alan Rickman; and Lemmy to name just a few – and it’s made for a rough couple of years to be a beloved celebrity of a certain age.

What I didn’t consider at the time, however, was that in addition to losing a magnificent actor and a wonderful person, we’d also lost the voice of Sid Meier’s Civilization. Leonard Nimoy had been the voice of the tech tree – the reassuring voiceover, with a pithy quote or factual tidbit when you discovered a new technology – for Civ IV and Civ V, but now someone else would have to step into his shoes.

There were some obvious candidates. There’s no shortage of finely-aged gentlemen with soothing and authoritative voices: Stephen Fry; Patrick Stewart; Michael Gambon; Ian McKellen; Anthony Hopkins; Brian Cox – I was thinking the actor, but the Professor would also have been brilliant, let’s be honest – but Firaxis have gone a different way.

Lords and ladies, kings and queens, rulers of the lands, please welcome your new voice of Civ VI: Sean Bean.

Sean Bean, the Sheffield-born actor known for his roles as Boromir in Lord of the Rings and Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark in Game of Thrones, who is arguably most famous for dying in pretty much everything in which he appears – with the exception of Sharpe, because he’s well hard and survived everything – is going to be voicing everything form the alphabet and mathematics through to rocketry and nuclear weapons.

Civ VI is going to be different, sure. It’s going to be a little weird, at first, not hearing Nimoy’s voice; I might even get a little upset when it first dawns on me that he’s not there. But the only thing Sean Bean does more consistently than dying is performing brilliantly, so it looks like a smart move by the Civ VI team.

The game’s shaping up pretty nicely, too.

Thanks, PC World.

Civ VI launches on October 21, 2016; pre-order it now from Amazon.

Lead image: Sharpe, ITV

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