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Sid Meier’s Civilization series has inspired many modern strategy games like Rise of Nations. There have been several sequels to the series, but the epic feel and scope of the Civ franchise has remained rock solid throughout all games. From early prehistoric settlements to space age, Civilization 3 lets you reshape history and guide your civilization in any direction.
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Civilization 3 has all the unique aspects of its predecessors. You can choose your favorite nation, start with a group of settlers and workers in 4000 BC and explore different regions. You will try to dominate by founding new cities, creating and maintaining civic improvements and building units to wage war against your opponents and struggle to achieve dominance all the way up to 2050 AD and further. You will also trade and negotiate with different nations for resources and gold and try to be competitive by acquiring more territories.
There are many new additions to the Civilization 3 setup. The diplomacy and trading system is different from the previous games. The game has made the trading process far simpler than Civ2. You will first have to establish contact with your rival by offering an audience and then start your negotiations. You and your rivals may trade a wide range of resources as well as cities, gold (wealth) and knowledge through an easy setup. You just have to click on the resources that you wish to offer and then click on your rival’s treaties that you require. However, it is not necessary that your opponents will accept the treaty. Sometimes they tend to be less active and follow a similar trade pattern.
Civilization 3 offers different ways to play the game, courtesy of several victory conditions. You can win a scenario through conquests or even by cultural dominance. There’s also a space race victory condition where a civilization who first builds a spaceship to colonize Alpha Centauri wins the game. You can download Civilization 3 and see the difference in gameplay. You can also download several mods that can enhance your gameplay experience.
The game has a very simple and intuitive interface. With just a click of your mouse button your new advisors and city governors will make micromanagement much easier and helpful for you. There are many advisors ranging from cultural and military to foreign and science advisors. For beginners, there’s a detailed 230-page manual that will solve all problems. And if you are still confused, there’s an in-game Civilopedia with many helpful links that can assist you to maximize the growth of your city and educate you on different terms such as corruption, despotism, communism and democracy.
There are 65 units in Civilization 3. Though the units resemble the same features as of earlier civilization games, Civ3’s all 16 civilizations have a special unit. The unit can trigger a golden age if it wins a combat situation over other civ. The golden age lasts 20 turns and during this age, you will enjoy elevated trade and productions. Special units include the Greek hoplite, the Japanese samurai, the American F15, the Indian War elephant and many more.
While the gameplay has all the fun aspects of a turn-based strategy game, Civilization 3 may be very boring for the new player because there’s loads of micromanagement stuff involved. Moreover, this is not a real-time strategy game and all the technological upgrades and unit improvements require turns. You will need lots of patience and understanding. The play may last for many days or even months, if you are an expert Civ player. There’s a save game option available to save your progress. In the end, victory will touch your feet if you get past lengthy gameplay and slow pace of the game.
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Graphics in Civilization 3 are not flashy, they are plain and quite subtle. There’s lot of art involved. Units and cities are rendered very beautifully and they resemble miniature tabletop war games. The animations are quite simple, but show a marked improvement, if compared to Civ2. Most units will show the same animated combat moves.
It would have been better if the game had improved more on animated movements and combat styles. The main map is easy to read and understand. The interface is simple and when you zoom into the city you will be able to check whether your citizens are happy or not as well as the status of your production.
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The music in the game is impressive and lively and sets the atmosphere. The sound effects are average and repetitive, particularly when the units move or get involved in a combat. One of the frustrating aspects of the game sound is the chirping of birds, which I think is very loud and exaggerated. Low and subtle ambient sounds are required in such types of games. However, the sounds do not distract the gameplay experience.
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Civilization 3 is one of those turn based strategy games that does not focus on intense graphical battles or lively action, but concentrates on planning and strategy. In simpler terms it is more like a tabletop game, but with animations. The animated actions are very limited, yet much better and improved than Civ2. Whatever be the glitches or gameplay problems, the game is revered as one of the best Civ games in the history of computer strategy games.
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Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 95/ME/98/2000/XP
Processor: 300 MHz
RAM: 32 MB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 400MB
Video Card: DirectX 8.0a compatible graphics card
Sound Card: DirectX 8.0a compatible sound card