Review by KillerSheep
"An Excellent Sequel to the MOO Series"
Gameplay: The first thing you will notice about this game is that it can be very confusing. You are presented with lots of numbers and different information. The good thing is that a lot of that information can be ignored. This game focuses on letting you macromanage your empire instead of micromanaging it. The game has an excellent AI to handle most things for you. You can set Development plans which tell the planet's AI how you want it to build your planet. This is a nice relief which takes the pressure off trying to manage a huge empire. The military queue is usually the only thing you will be altering on a planet.
The space combat is now done in real-time unlike the previous MOO games. This may seem bad, but it is actually very fun. Combat is done at a nice pace, and is fairly easy to control. It can be hard to keep track of everything at once, but you also have the option of letting the computer handle it for you. In the beginning the combat might not be exciting. It's normal for a couple of scouts battling to be not thrilling. Once you have armadas of large ships shooting missiles, lasers, and launching fighters the battle become very fun.
Handling your empire is easy once you learn how to play the game. The AI can handle most of the complicated and tedious tasks for you. Engaging in diplomacy is easy for the most part. There are several treaties that you can offer another empire, or you can exchange, demand, or give a gift of technology or planets. You can also make a counter-offer if another empire offers you a treaty. A nice addition is the Orion Senate. Here you can vote on bills that can become laws, and can also effect other empires by voting on war/sanctions against them.
This game is has a high replayability factor. The galaxies are randomly generated, and there are 16 races for you to play as which you can customize if you like. This leads to being able to play this game a lot without it being the same all the time.
Graphics: The graphics of this game are nice. They're not incredible, but that doesn't really matter. This game was designed to be able to run on older computers, so you can expect the graphics to be what they are. The may be considered outdated, but you shouldn't even notice it once you get into the game. The UI is nicely designed, and takes up a small portion of you screen. Space battle graphics can be hard to see with small ships, but won't be a problem with larger ships and bigger groups.
Sound/Music: There isn't much to say about this games sound or music. The game's music flows good in the background while you play. The sound is ok, mostly just small noises when you click on something. The battle sounds are good though, hearing your lasers fire.
Negatives: No game is perfect. MOO3 isn't an exception to this. There are small things that I think are bad about the game. First is starlanes. The problem I have is that they limit you too much. It's too easy to have you empire cut off because the starlanes are blocked. The second bad thing about this game is spies. If you're like me and hate spies in other games then you're going to loathe them in this game. They can disrupt you're empire very easy and are a pain to defend against. The final bad thing in this game is certain lack of information. Empires will contact you ordering you to stop your actions, but won't tell you what they want you to stop doing. There is also a lack of information regarding certain technologies and what certain things in the game do.
Overall: I definitely recommend this game to anyone who is thinking about buying it. It may have some small flaws, but the fun gameplay outweighs them.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/03/03, Updated 03/03/03
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