Written by  :  Rick Jones (111)
Written on  :  Nov 05, 2001
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

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Another classic - but it''s got some flaws

The Good

"Civilization" and "Civilization II" remain the landmark classic in strategic gaming, so it must have been hard to improve on them. Nonetheless, Civ III does add some very nice changes; cultural borders add an immense amount to strategy, the new resources system is a tremendous upgrade, and diplomacy is much improved.

What can you say? It's Civ, but they fixed a lot of the problems with AI and tactical frustrations. It's still a remarkably addictive game, the sort that will keep you up all night with JOMT disease (Just One More Turn.)

The Bad

Unfortunately, Civ III has one huge, gaping hole in it; there's no multiplayer mode. No Internet, LAN, hotseat, nothing. This may seem like a bizarre oversight, and it is, but in all likelihood Firaxis's plan is to release multiplayer as a separate product you'll have to buy, despite the fact that Civ III was first marketed as a multiplayer game and the "no multiplayer" announcement wasn't made until AFTER all the preorders were made! This is a remarkably unethical business practice even by the dismal standards of the gaming industry, but more to the point it takes a HUGE amount out of the game; Civ III would be terrific in multiplayer, but as a single player game it's more limited. With multiplayer it might have been the best game of all time. Without it, it's not.

There are a few other play balancing issues, but nothing major, and they'll doubtlessly be fixed in a patch. The music is pretty boring, too.

The Bottom Line

A great game... as long as you don't want to play it multiplayer.