Review by bearsman6

Reviewed: 10/17/01 | Updated: 10/17/01

When the original games are so outstanding, and the original creator leaves, this is what you get…

The problem with this game is that it will forever be compared to Civ II, and with good reason: it is the unofficial, official sequel. How can it be both? Simple: the main man, Sid Meier didn’t help with this one. So while it is built on the same fundamental, and sound, principles and good gameplay, the game actually reminds me more of the original Civilization but with revamped graphics. Sure, to some that makes it better, but the fact that you cannot even play on Earth any more is enough to remind me how far this game has slunk from its prequel.

Sure, you play through this game and its almost all the same but with new graphics. However, then you start tinkering with the game, with the finer aspects, and you realize that so much has changed beneath that pretty surface. First of all, they introduced so many new elements that almost seemed to clash that it wasn’t even fair. True, they were just trying to differentiate this game form the outstanding Civ II, but you really can’t do that without Meier there to guide things HIS WAY. I just note that this game does not feel the same as Civ II did. I was, in all honesty, disappointed with what came out of this ‘sequel,’ and I now await the true sequel, Civ III, with the expectations I had for this game...

Gameplay: 5/10 Luckily for the Call to Power crew, it is really hard to mess up what Meier installed with his first two games. However, they did try to do just that it seems. While they left the basic system in tact, with all the older characters and many many new ones that just fit into the older molds, they did add in some things that muddied up everything else. Whereas settlers could build the terrain advancements in the previous games, this right was removed from them, basically making them nothing more than city builders. This was one of my major complaints, but far from the last. Then, as though to make up for that, they tried to allow colonization of both the seas and space, which would have worked brilliantly had sea bases been far too weak and space bases incredibly strong. Basically, the balance of the previous games was lost in this bad translation and upgrade of graphics. All things said and done, I would have much preferred a copy of Civ II with these newer graphics than what they packaged as a Civilization game... This was not a Civ, and the lack of Sid Meier’s name is only further proof.

Graphics: 7/10 Again, the graphical overhaul was nice, especially since they did polish everything and smooth it out nicely. Yet that is all that can be said in that aspect. It seems as though too much attention was paid to the graphics and not enough was spent on testing the game’s playability. Sure, the graphics do look nice, but I even expected more. The slightly original, yet surprisingly ugly, battle scenes that you can turn on or off whenever units collide reminds me that these people were just going for graphics. Why mess with a good thing? Because these developers didn’t know what they were doing.

Sound: 6/10 Yet again, it is not possible to mess up the sounds from a Civ game. All you have to do is just recycle the songs and effects from the previous game, and that is exactly what happened here. Unfortunately, that is all that they did, seemingly. Sure, they added a few new effects for all the new units’ attacks, and they added a few new tracks, but the majesty and triumph that I used to associate with the Civ games seemed to be gone, or was that just the gameplay suffering? Either way, sound isn’t that bad, and the background tracks still play throughout the entire game, looping but changing, and allowing you to really get a tune for them. I still love hearing some of the classics, but it seems that you don’t hear those often enough, and so, I reminisce and wish that this game could possibly live up to its prequel.

Overall: 6/10 The one and only reason this game is as high as it is can be attributed to building on the marvel that is Civ II. If you really are a die-hard Civ fan, and you just need something else before the next Civ comes out, then I suggest you learn patience anyway. This game will do nothing but upset you and make you even more impatient. I am saddened by how badly this game ended up. True it isn’t a bad game, but it could and should have been so much better. This is a disappointment to the Civ games, and maybe that is why Sid Meier didn’t put his name on it. Or is that another reason the game suffered? Who knows, but I have learned my lesson... Play if you must, but don’t expect it to match the greatness of Civ II.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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