Sid Meier's Civilization III (Limited Edition)

aka: Sid Meier's Civilization III (Collector's Edition)
Moby ID: 5283

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Player Reviews

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 3 reviews)

Mr. Meier took the fame... and then went to sleep.

The Good
Sincerely, I have played many Civ3 games, hopelessly trying to find what… what I loved of the original Civ. Well, if I have to put something positive here, I suppose graphics are improved, at least part of them are better.

The Bad
Bad things… well, today I have time to spare. To put it in simple words: Civ3 lacks many good features from Civ and adds a few botches:

I said before that graphics were improved, but I find portraits and GUI are really awful. And for the sound, isn’t spectacular. However, the ugliest of graphics and the nastiest of sounds mixed with good gameplay shouldn’t be a handicap, at least for me. They took away wonder movies, with the excuse of “they slowed and interrupted the flow of game”. Instead, we have “special animations”. If I get bored of movies in Civ, I disable them, but I find building a wonder has lost all charm, and “achievement victory”. I never disabled movies in Civ2; I really loved watching them! (specially the Hanging Gardens with that beautiful music… a personal taste, sorry).

Diplomacy seems to be improved, but really is not: it’s impossible to have a conversation with another leader. The AI mistakes continuous “give me ALL or die” messages for diplomacy and trade. Treaties (of which there isn’t much variety) are easily broken and war is the order of the day. Uh, oh, I‘ve spoken of war… the simplistic and nasty combat system from Civ and SMAC still here! Still here after a decade! Why? Yes, there’s a way to form an army; several units that really work together… if you get a “special” general… my God! And how about phalanxes beating tanks? Not kidding! 9 tanks beaten by 1 phalanx defending a city: I’ve seen it.

The city development system, the talent/drone system… all remain the same. They were good a decade ago, but today we expect more complexity and realism (yes, a game about empire building set in a pseudo-historical setting needs realism) than that. Government system remains also the same: Social Engineering was a good idea from SMAC… why scrap it? The “specialties” of each civilization are also a poor and simplistic idea. Again, SMAC was better. All those are signs of moving backwards. Culture? Nice idea. But a system where I get points for constructing specific buildings is all Civ3 offers (and pretty useless, since when conquering a city by culture, in only a few turns they get the city back. Nostalgia…?). Resources? Another good idea, and again badly implemented. Only one piece of salt around the entire world? Don’t think so. Obviously, forget about trading something for it; a waste of time. Take by force if you can.

Game quickly becomes a matter of expanding as many as you can, build as many buildings as you can, and recruit as many units as you can, especially for the AI. It’s annoying to see an enemy city in the middle of your territory. And do you think they stop if you ask them to leave? Not only they don’t: they declare war so offended on you.

I could go on speaking, perhaps about the die-hard cheating AI (and game in general) or … well, corruption, but I think all those and many, many more have been spoken of to the death; there’s no need to continue.

The Bottom Line
This game is plain bad, even if you haven’t played Civ before. To all of the above add some bugs uncorrected even today, and you have a piece of junk released at least a year before its date. Hard terms, but Sid Meier promised Civ3 will be the best strategy game ever, and made this… thing. A patch, a good patch, can make it appealing to newcomers, but this game needs to be turned over 180 degrees. And editing text files to correct their errors is not my job.

If you are a real Civ fan, don’t buy this, at least until Sid & co. correct the large list of flaws, and even then think twice. Teach them that merely putting a famous name in the box is not enough. I made the mistake, and all I have now is some money thrown to the trash.

Windows · by Technocrat (193) · 2002

good but Disappointing

The Good
Civilization is one of those line of games that many like, some love, and a few lose their jobs-wife-friends because of it. Luckily for me I have managed not to lose any of those things but it has been close.....

Civ III like 1 & 2, has wonderful options. I can choose to be American, I can choose to conquer the world, I can choose to win by building a spaceship. The choices almost never end. I LOVE the way the graphics (not sound) in unit fighting, excellent! War weariness is cool as is the "new culture". You can tell a lot of love and thought has gone into parts of civ 3...........

The Bad
That's why its so hard for me to get to this next part.....

There were several things that really prevent Civ 3 from being a Great game. Here they are....

  1. Horrible sound effects. On the nice movie cd that I received with the Limited Edition, one of the speakers said "there is tons and tons of sound in this game, it has been timed so that when you see a unit swing a axe you hear the sound at the same time" (not exactly word for word) Only if that was true..... Most of the time the sounds drag and are louder than other sounds. A ship can move 3 times and have 3 different sound levels each time! That means that I can never have my sound settings where I want them. (Sometimes I barely hear a unit; sometimes it blasts me out of my chair)

  2. SERIOUS-SERIOUS-SERIOUS-SERIOUS bugs I can’t play my version of Civ for more than 30 minutes! After that the game crashes hard. I have to back out every 20-30 minutes and then get back in. I have called customer support 4 times and they still can’t get it fixed. (Drivers are new and computer is a dell not a home build)

  3. Limited Edition - why did I pay the extra 10 bucks again? When I pre-ordered the game the guy at EB told me it should include a Hint manual. Now I have been playing civ since it came out in 91. I don't need a hint manual but I do collect civ game boxes and material, so I didn’t mind getting one. When I opened my new tin I was a little surprised that I only got the tin, movie cd and a letter from Sid for my 10 bucks. Come On! You could have at least given me a nicer tech map or something?

  4. Yeah! The Tech map! Very small and totally useless. The other tech maps from other versions where much better.

  5. Rushed feeling You just get the feeling that some of the issues of this game were just rushed into production. Which is glaring, considering other parts are very clean and professional.

The Bottom Line
What disappointment!

I tried so hard to give this one a chance. I spent my whole first day of owning the game trying to get it to work. After all that I can only play for a hour or two before I get tired of the spotty sound effects and lockups. That just makes the extra money I spend on the Limited Edition more painful. My recommendation is wait till it gets patched. Then buy it for the reduced cost.

This is one of the most painful reviews I have ever written.....

Windows · by William Shawn McDonie (1130) · 2001

Same game as Alpha centauri.

The Good
I'm not a civilization fan, but still play a lot of turn based games, and think I have the right to review this game anyway.... In the beginning of the game you explore the continent you start at, and this is more fun than anything else in the game. You really want to know what's on the other side of those mountains.... Another good thing is the interaction between the different civilizations. The diplomacy system is very complex.

The Bad
What I don't like is the fact that I played this game a few years ago, then it was called Alpha centauri. It's the same game! Yes, the units have been changed and the graphics are beefed up a little, but basically it's all the same. You can wonder what took them so long to produce this game, when it's just a copy.

The game is sloooooow! On a big map the AI turns can last for 5-10 minutes (I'm not kidding, 5-10 minutes).

The city management is boring.

The Bottom Line
A bad copy of a game made several years ago. Only civilization freaks should think about buying this game, and even they may be disappointed.

Windows · by Grov (657) · 2001