Sid Meier's Civilization III
Review by Scottie theNerd
"Hey, good looks, addictive...but something's wrong..."
Well I never was a fan of these type of games. I had a quick shot with Civilization on the SNES, which of course as we know was nothing to boast about. Civilization 3 had quite a face lift, but there were more bad points than good, as I will rant on.
Bsaically, you start off the game by determining the world's land/water coverage, climate and age. Then you pick your civlization. Each civilization has 2 attributes. These include Militaristic, Scientific, Commercial, Expansionist, etc. These attributes affect the civilizations' abilities. For example, a Militaristic civilization builds Barracks and armies faster than other civilizations, while an Industrious civilization produces more material and works faster. Each civilization is represented by an ugly animated mug of their illustrious leader (King Alexander, Emperor Caeser, Queen Cleopatra...).
You start the game with a Worker and a Settler. After choosing the location for your starting city, you proceed to expand your empire, construct suitable environments for your future cities, research technologies and build wonders. Simple is good right?
One of the neat additions to the game is Culture. Culture is everything that your civilization influences. Constructing buildings and Wonders that have high influence can expand your borders faster than building multiple cities. Other civilization's cities that are near a city with higher Culture will convert to your cause soon enough. If that doesn't win you the game, there are other ways.
You could take over the world with an Iron Fist. Building massive armies to annihilate your opponent is fun. Or was. One annoying point about fighting is the huge lack of realism. In previous games, modern units had the advantage in firepower and higher hit points, thus if a weaker unit attacked a more modern unit, the modern unit would most likely win due to superior technology. In this game, this is not the case. Every unit has the same HP, represented by Bars that increase in number as the unit gains more experience. However, modern units do not have the advantage over weaker units. A Warrior armed with a stone axe could easily take down a Tank. At the same time, a lone Hoplite defending a city can more than easily ward off 20 Knights. Combat between units is not realistic anymore.
Well if you're not gonna win by force, use peace right? The other ways you can win are by a Diplomatic victory, concerning the construction of the United Nations, the other being the Space Race, the first civilization to construct a space ship. The A.I.'s sense of diplomacy is rather poor. The faces of the nations don't correctly reveal what they are thinking about you (for example, the French might be ''Annoyed'' at your, but more often than not their portrait will display a wide grin or smile). Also, the Computer's relations with you can often be dropped FAST. Once I had made huge diplomatic agreements with the Romans, as well as the opposing Zulu. First, the Zulu demanding tribute, which I refused, thus sparked off a War. Next, the Romans backstabbed me. 1 Hoplite held off 20 Knights before falling in battle, as mentioned before.
Researching technologies is a slow and painful process. Even in the modern ages, when you can afford to increase your scientific output, it takes at least 5 turns to learn something. 5 turns isn't much compared to the 30 or so at the start, but by then all players will have huge empires. Then comes LAG.
Five turns in the modern age takes longer than 30 in the Stone Age. The game has to compute the movement of every A.I. unit, seen or unseen. This slows the game down horribly between turns.
The interface is also rather dull, and there aren't any cool lookin' views of wonders apart from a short cutscene with the picture of the wonder being displayed. Waaaooo (sarcasm).
Overall, there are more bad points than good. If you have the cash and is a fan of the series, get it. If you aren't, I suggest you try a different game.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 02/02/02, Updated 02/02/02
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