PCs & Gaming

Review: Civilization III & IV Complete Edition


If you’ve never played civilization before I must warn you that this game does take a bit of time to learn and I ask you to persevere with it as you’ll be glad you did when you finally get the game play. Let me start by explaining the different games that come in this pack and a problem with the first one:

Civilization 3 complete:
You begin the game by selecting a nation and building an empire. It’s basically a turn based game (like a board game) where you make your moves and then all the other players, human or computer, take their turns. You move military units around a black space at first to discover the world. You then build your first city (your capital city) and workers begin adapting the land to make it more productive to your empire such as increasing food production which makes your population grow faster.
You then build up your civilization by adding more cities, fortifying them with military units while exploring the undiscovered world. The whole world starts off as a black space and as you discover it, you are able to see land, rivers, sea and other civilizations. You can trade or invade other civilizations as you meet them. The goal is to take your civilization from the dawn of time through to the modern world and win by becoming the greatest military power, the biggest nation, the most cultural nation, be the first to build a space ship to fly to alpha centauri; there are many ways to win. This game will actually take you many days to play so if you like something you can finish in a couple of hours I would not get this game.
This game is actually so detailed that it really would be impossible for me to explain everything in this review. But I will say that if you like strategy games or city building games then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this.

1) Keep the on disc manual handy as this game does NOT have a decent tutorial mode. It does have the option in the options screen (called preferences) of selecting tutorial mode but this never works with a new game and you have to start a game, and then find the preferences screen (top left in a drop down menu) and then select tutorial mode. But if you’ve never played it can be very confusing.
2)When you’ve played this game for a long time and the whole map is revealed it really does slow down while the other CPU players are having their turns. So much so that I have to go into options and turn off my automatic moves and friendly moves of other players (basically turn off as many animated moves as possible). Not doing this will cause you to watch for 2-3 minutes while all your workers walk around the map. And if any war is happening in the game you are forced to watch every single move of every unit which can lead to you sitting, getting bored. Unfortunately even turning off the visual fight doesn’t stop the lag of waiting for other CPU players to decide their moves.

Lastly I would say that when I first installed this I really didn’t know what I was doing and I nearly gave up on the game, but persevere and play a few times (keep the manual handy, especially the section of getting started)and it really does then click and you’ll have no regrets about buying this.

Civilization 4 complete:
This game is a graphically and gameplay better version of civ 3. It comes with a handy tutorial mode which is a great help as this game is actually more complex than the former. The graphics are superb and you get to see the game from different angles. But the game is so much more complex that I still find myself drawn back to the more simple civ 3, despite it’s issues with lag.
The game is very much like the first but introduces more resources and religion, which won’t offend anyone as all the religions are treated equal and are merely an extra added feature to your civilization not a leading factor. Like before you explore new areas and build a nation but there are far more things to factor in to this game that again it can take a while to master the concept, even if you got used to civ 3.
The great thing about this game is I have encountered none of that pesky lag from the previous game and you can really lose yourself in the game that there is a built in alarm clock in the options screen, just in case you lose track of time, which is so easy to do.

There is an option with both games to play them without their expansion packs and I could recommend this for anyone new to civ 4. Don’t select beyond the sword of warlords if you want to master the basic game before dealing with the more complex blood lines and spying features.

Civilization: Colonization:
This is a bonus game that installs when you choose to install civ 4. This is NOT and expansion pack but a separate game focusing on colonizing the Americas. It has the same graphic quality and gameplay of civ 4 but plays very differently and I actually found it quicker to grasp and more fun to play than civ 4. This game first gets you to settle a small colony somewhere in the Americas (which can be a true to life map or a randomly generated one). You gather resources which you have to ship back to your country, England for example, and earn money to further expand the colony. along the way you encounter native tribes living there. They are not like the tribal huts you encounter in the other games but small civilizations of natives. You can befriend them in the hopes of gaining resources and people or you can destroy them and take over their land. The main goal is to become independent enough to break free from your native country and face a battle at the end with (eg England) which if you survive you win.
I found this a great bonus game and it only comes with this complete version of both games. I would recommend anyone to try playing it as it’s very different and I believe a quicker easier game.

I’d recommend this pack to anyone who likes strategy games and just ask anyone new to persevere and if you don’t like one game try the others first before abandoning the whole this as all three games really are very different to each other. And this works on vista, which is what I use. Enjoy!

Rating: 5/5

Review published on amazon UK, click here


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