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Civilization III (PC) artwork

Civilization III (PC) review


"Civilization 3 Complete was released in 2005. It brings together all three games of the series into one complete package. With Civ 3 complete you get the original Civilization 3, a map editor, Play the World Expansion Pack, and Conquests expansion pack. For the money there is a huge amount of strategy, and one can expect to play countless hours of addicting turn based games. Let me tell you, there is no other strategy game out there that will get you hooked and keep you playing. It's really almo..."



Civilization 3 Complete was released in 2005. It brings together all three games of the series into one complete package. With Civ 3 complete you get the original Civilization 3, a map editor, Play the World Expansion Pack, and Conquests expansion pack. For the money there is a huge amount of strategy, and one can expect to play countless hours of addicting turn based games. Let me tell you, there is no other strategy game out there that will get you hooked and keep you playing. It's really almost annoying how addicting the game can get, and you just keep saying to yourself one more turn, just one more turn...and that will add up to another two hours of playtime. Keep reading to find out why this game is so darn addicting.

Sound + Music

Civilization 3 never struck me with having that good of music. The tunes are barely there, and are all subtle/mild guitar, piano, and tribal music that will put most people to sleep when listened to alone. The music accompanies the game well, but there is nothing catchy, or nothing memorable, or hummable if you know what I mean.

Music Score (5/10)

Sound effects on the other hand are great. Every unit has several different and appropriate sounding effects. You'll hear the clank of shields and spears when battling against a spearman, and hear the gunfire of musketmen, and tanks. You can hear the small noise of workers working the land, and hear the yells of barbarians and unit upgrades. Sounds are actually memorable, and distinct, and there aren't many improvements that could be made.

Sound Effects Score (9/10)

Graphics

Now one shouldn't come into Civilization and expect breathtaking graphics, or anything of that matter. These graphics are really simple, and yes, even outdated in 2001 when Civ 3 came out. Now this is bad and good. Simple graphics and easy navigable menus keep the game and core strategy going fast and easy to manage. The map runs smooth, and units attack with no lag. It's easy to scroll around the world maps, and the game isn't too graphically detailed as to get you confused. It is a graphical upgrade from Civ 2, but not by far. Each unit and map square looks like it should, and there's only confusion in telling mounted units apart. The other good thing about simple graphics is that it keeps computer requirements to a minimum, and I can easily run this game on my Windows 98. For those who need improvement, move on. Civilzation doesn't try to win any graphical contests, and it doesn't need too. Better graphics would be nice, but they would detract from pure and simple strategy, and make things cluttered. Better to be safe than sorry.

Graphics Score (7/10)

Gameplay

The original gameplay of Civ 1 and 2 has been preserved, but many good improvements give this game a worthy overhaul. You get units to build towns, (settlers) units to improve towns (workers) and once the town is built you can make military units, city improvements, and wonders of the world. There is a ton of micromanagement in Civilization, and that can be a dream or a nightmare for people. Once you have built a city, workers can be used to improve the terrain around that city. They can irrigate to bring more food to the city, or mine to improve production. Civ 3 has many different terrain tiles to build on. There are plains, deserts, mountains, and forests, all which have different bonuses. Each tile has a unique amount of defensive bonus, food, production, and commerce. As in the real world, building in deserts is tough, while building in grasslands and forests is rewarding. New tiles make the game, like volcanoes and marshes which experienced Civ players will appreciate. Found on some tiles, are resources. Resources can be luxuries like silk and wine that make your people happy. They can be improvements like whales and cattle which give cities food bonuses. They can be for commerce like gold which give cities more cash. Also, new to this game are strategetic resources. A link to these is absolutely vital for creating some military units. They include coal, iron, and oil, and horses which are necessary for creating things like railroads, ships, tanks, and horseman. All of these resources are useless however, if you can't build a road to them to use them. If you can't do that, you can always try trading for them with another civilization, but you'll be in bad shape if you don't have them in your domain.

Once a small empire is in the works, you can change tax rates for more money, or for more happy people. You want to find the right balance to make money, and keep people happy. Governments are a crucial aspect of Civ 3, and affect your whole empire. A few new ones are added too, including feudalism. Different governments change your production rates, the amount of money you get, how happy your people are, and how fast you research technology.

Another aspect of Civ is your culture. Culture is how positively you influence other countries, and you can improve culture by building libraries, temples, and wonders of the world. With high cultures, your borders will expand, and allow your city to grow and become better. Also, other culturally weak civ's may admire you and join your empire free of violence! You can culturally crush other empires, and win all their cities without starting wars if you're that good!

Science is another key aspect of the game. You need to build improvements toward science so you can get further ahead. Getting new technology gets you better military units, and things that will make your cities better, and people happier. You progress just as humanity did, starting out with little knowledge, but to eventually learning about nukes and tanks, and miniaturization if you play right. It's fun to compare how you learn things in relation to the real world. The game is run in years, starting from 4.000 B.C. to 2050 A.D. For example, if your science is great you may learn how to fly airplanes in 1820, while in real life that did not happen until like 1903. There is a whole tree of technology, and you can learn and specialize in certain areas if you wish. You can research everything needed to get to airplanes if you wish, and not learn other technologies like recycling to reduce pollution.

In Civ 3 you now get a panel of advisors that is improved. Domestic advisor adjusts science and taxes. Culture advisor shows the cultural value of your cities. Military advisor gives you intel on other militaries, and how you stand up against them. Not to mention how good your's is doing as well. There is the trade advisor that shows your resources, trades, and more. And most importantly is your foreign advisor. This one is much improved from the last game. With foreign advisor you can keep track of your peace treaties, see who's allied with who, and make trades with opposing civs. If you contact another civ you can do many things with that leader. You can make a peace treaty, or military alliances against another civ. You can trade workers (new), trade cities (new) trade resources and luxuries (new), gold, and technology. Trade helps everyone, and its good to have friends to watch your back.

This game works on a turn by turn basis, and each city can takes a certain amount of turns to create things depending on its production. The more production, the faster you can build military and city improvements. Once you move all your military, or are done making adjustments, a turn is ended. The A.I. then goes, and then back to you. The strategy of the game lies in the turns, and you want each turn to be the most efficient so you can win the game. Many new military units have been added in Civ 3, and some revamped. Planes and catapults no longer can attack directly, but instead they can bombard which destroys city improvements, and terrain improvements. New units include Modern tanks, recons, curraghs, and many new horseman. Another great addition are the civ specific units. Each different civ (Egyptians, Romans, Germans, etc) gets their own special unit this time around, and makes playing as other new civs much more fun. And many new civs are added this time around. We now get more Indian tribes, the Dutch, Persians, and Japanese. In addition to that, there are even several new ways to customize and win each game! You can now choose continent types and sizes such as Huge, or tiny, and land types like Pangea (continous land) or archipalego (many islands). You can choose the amount of water you want, and which civs to verse. You can battle anywhere from 1-12 civs, and they can be random or of your choice. New difficulties have been added, and the latter are really really tough. Perfect for veterans. The new ways to win the game truly rock. You can win by domination or space race again, or win by having 66% of the land or population. You can win by being elected head of the U.N., or by having overwhelming culture. This adds many new reasons to replay an already lengthy game. You can now play different “arcade” modes. As in a shooter you have your elimination and deathmatch and such, and so now does CIv. You can play capture the “princess” domination, elimination and many more. In short, let me just say that it triples the amount of times you need to play the game, and opens new doors for people who didn't like the main mode of the game, and wanted something a bit more “arcade.” Whew, almost done. Now multi-player has been added, whether it be between friends at the same computer or over online. I haven't had experience online, but the at home multi is pretty fun if you've ever had the desire to play this game with a friend/family member. There really is just is a lot of satisfaction in humiliating another human with your superb virtual civilization.

A map editor is also added in this game, and offers more potential this time to create a perfect world. I haven't played with it much, but it does offer enough for people to play around and create a few maps themselves.

Gameplay Score (10/10) !

Wow, to cut it short here is a Pro and Con section to help you weigh the negatives and positives of the game.

-Pros-
+New units!
+New land!
+New ways to win
+New modes to play!
+Multilplayer
+More customization
+More Wonders
+More Civs
+Enhanced Graphics
+More Worker Actions
+More difficulties
+Better management
+A Civilopedia (help guide, and historical references)
+Map Editor

-Cons-
-Outdated graphics
-May not appeal to a large audience
-If you already have Civ 3, Civ 3 complete might not interest you
-Online multi-player has issues
-Games often take long hours
-Deleting old saves is confusing
-Music is boring and not catchy

This is just a small taste of what Civ 3 complete offers. I could've dragged on about things like exploration, maps, and go in detail about everything, but that would need a walkthrough. It was very hard for me to summarize this awesome game, even in a review as big as this. This game is recommended to any fan, even those who have Civ 3 already will want to upgrade. Newcomers have a good entry point to the series as well. Everything has been improved from Civ 2, and it would really be hard to go back to playing the original. There's just so many improvements and strategy for your money that's impossible to comprehend. There is truly a limitless amount of strategy to be had in the game, and if you can open your mind a bit, you can truly appreciate Sid's perfect strategy game, and maybe even learn a bit from it too.

Rating: 9/10

G_Dub's avatar
Community review by G_Dub (February 24, 2008)

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