The Plot (5 out of 5)
If you love the concept behind the civilization games but you don’t really relish the idea of starting out with the Egyptians or the Romans then this title may be the one for you. In this title, you start out in the year of 1492 and runs for 300 years. You start off by choosing between one of four nations: England, France, Spain or the Netherlands. Once you are ready to go and you have your plot of land, your interests seem to shift from those of the colonizer to those of the colony.
At first your job is going to be relatively simple, keeping your new colony from going under. That comes down to keeping your people both safe and fed. You will spend a considerable amount of time working on your diplomacy with the Natives, other colonists, and your home country. It is also a good plan to get yourself a founding father as soon as you can. Each one gives you a different benefit and there are no duplicates in the event that someone else recruits first. You recruit by running the best colony you can.
Once things are running well you can start to make your goods by processing the resources that you harvest with tradesmen. When you sell these goods however, be aware that you will not be getting all of your profits. Your friendly neighborhood monarch will be taking a cut of all of your dealings. Oh, and that won’t just happen when you make trades; his royal highness will at random intervals come by for an extra handout of your revenues. As you become more prosperous, your visits will get more annoying which leads us to the ultimate goal of the game.
The real goal for your colony is to become so self sufficient that you can buck off the reigns of your masters and make a bid for independence. Of course, this doesn’t happen without preparations and the support of your people. That road to the war for independence is not going unmonitored, and you will know that you are taking steps in the right direction not only by your peoples feelings but by the increase in presence of the royal army.
Controls and Graphics (5 out of 5)
The controls are simple enough and will be familiar to any civilization fan. Since this title is a stand alone, you can play it without owning the base title. The graphics are probably the best in the whole series but still not exactly what you would call cutting edge. They get the job done well enough though. Overall if your gaming needs are not driven by instant gratification, then you will enjoy this game.
Disc drive:4x CD-ROM drive
HDD: 900 MB free disk space
Video: DirectX 9.0c-compatible 64 MB (128 MB for full) video card with Shader 1.1 support
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible