Staying up until 4:30 in the morning
playing a video game pretty much drains the life out of me. Hell, when
Civ 2 came out, I didn't sleep for two days and I was still fine.
Anyways, let's go over a few basics before I give my immediate review
of Civ 3.
Civ 1 and 2 are, hands down, the best damn game ever
made for a
computer. I understand that people have different tastes, and everyone
is entiltled to an opinion, but if you don't agree with that statement
then it's to the back of the short bus with the rest of the special
needs kids for you.
Sid is a god. Not so much in the all knowing, pick a
chosen people and
put them through grief, nail your son to a tree sense. More along the
lines of a member of the norse pantheon. Not perfect and all
loving...just a god that kicks ass.
The end of the 20th century was a tough time for us
fans of turn based
In other words, when reviewing Civ 3 you have to put the game in
context. If it had just been dropped out of the sky, with no previous
Sid games or no Civ games ever made, I would be screaming from the top
of the highest mountains on how frickin' incredible Civ 3. I would be
selling my posessions, leaving my wife, and sending my son to be
raised by Armenian yak herders until such time as I have time to pull
myself away from the game.
However, the game does have to be looked at in relation to the Civ
series..and therefore, I can find little things to bitch about.
Is the game good? Oh, hell yes. Is it great?
Could there be any doubt
about that? But is it perfect? Sadly, no.
shall rule you all
The good: Where to begin? Let's start off by saying
that it's Civ, and
all the Civ goodness is still evident in this product. You find
yourself obsessed with it. You find yourself sitting in the shower
thinking about where to direct your empire. Everything that worked in
the first two work here. Equally as important, the game has been
refined beyond where it was before. Let's take one
example...resources. If you want to build horse units, you had better
have some horses in one of your cities...or be willing to trade with
another empire for them. This small change gives you a pressing need
to expand and battle your enemies into submission. Wars fight over
Iron resources, for example, take on a whole new dynamic. Trade too
sees a major overhaul. No more building caravans to conduct trade.
Instead you must build a series of roads or harbors and conduct real
negotiations for the trade goods you need.
The bad: The changes in the game rules seem
explicitly desgined to
ruin my finely crafted strategy of empire building. Let me explain. My
strategy in Civ games has allways been that of the crafty builder. My
empire stays in a state of relative peace while I develop technology
and wonders. Most of my towns sit undefended except for a resistance
against barbarian attacks. I build a perfect society of peace and
science...until I develop an overwhelming military technology and then
roll over my enemies with tanks in the 3rd or 4th century. My strategy
is enhanced by forceing the development of wonders. In Civ 3, I can't
do this. you can't rush wonders, the tech curve makes it nearly
impossible to dominate other nations, and the AI is more agresive in
pushing it's borders. Is this a bad thing? For me it is.
The ugly: If anyone ever wondered what Brian
Renyolds brought to the
party when working with Sid, one just has to look at this game in
comparison to SMAC. In SMAC the level of customization could be set as
per the players wish. You could desgin your own units, set the rules
the way you prefer them, and play the game the way you wished to play
it. Not so in Civ 3. Civ 3 is more straightforward in the way which it
presents the game experience. In some ways it's like comparing Windows
to Linux. Both have their strengths, but in many respects I miss some
of the flexibility in SMAC.
Civ 3 is a better game than SMAC is, but
the limitations in the rules are definatly felt.
Then again, I'm just bitching about minor facets of the game. There is
no doubt that this is the best damn strategy game to come out since
SMAC was released years ago. It lives up to the Civ name, and is
adictive in the special way the series has allways been. Hell, any
free time I have (and still looking for a job, i have plenty of it)
will be spent with the game. It's a game that every person who
considers themselves a strategy game enthusiast MUST have on their
hardrive. It's much luv, and makes my pants tingle when I think about