This is not a game to fill a spare few minutes - this is a long-term strategy game which will eat up weeks of your life. But it's worth it :-)
The basics, and setting up:
The setup is very simple and intuitive but feels annoyingly slow after the first few times, as you repeat most of the settings you used last time. It's only a few minutes though.
A single game takes about 4 hours to complete at an absolute minimum - and can take weeks. You can save the game to a memory card as long as you're still using PS1 - although you can use the game in a PS2, it will no longer save which I have found to be a bit of an issue. Serves me right for being too tight to buy the PS2 version I suppose :-)
But this is not a game you will have "completed" within a week - there are several levels of difficulty, the world's cartography (layout) is different every time, you can choose how many other civilisations you're competing against, and you can take so many different strategies. I've played this on and off for more than 5 years and although I leave it for months at a time, I always come back eventually.
Playing the game:
You start with a unit of explorers, who can wander through the world discovering territory and encountering other civilisations, or they can settle down and build a village. Villages grow into towns and then cities, and can produce more explorers as well as military units.
You can play the Romans, the English, Indians (your chance to be Ghandi!), or Zulus (there are around 30 options) but it doesn't really make any difference. You are king / prime minister / president / dictator / God of the civilisation, and you will have your work cut out keeping your civilisation growing and succeeding.
A settlement can only concentrate on one thing at a time:
- Build a unit (soldiers, settlers/engineers, diplomats, or in later stages ships and even aircraft)
- Build a city improvement (a temple to improve the happiness of your citizen, a city wall to protect them, a harbour to provide more food, and so on)
- Build one of the WONDERS OF THE WORLD. The 7 wonders of the ancient world are available, so you can build the Great Wall of China in England or the USA, or the great Pyramids in France or Russia. There are also 7 wonders for each subsequent age - things like Michaelangelo's Chapel and the Statue of Liberty. These bring various advantages, some more valuable than others.
But while this is going on in the foreground, in the background they are growing their populations, and adding to your scientific knowledge. The crib sheet provided with the game which shows the development of knowledge is invaluable - all advances have pre-requisites and they're not always obvious. The cribsheet helps you identify a path suited to your strategy - for example if you want to set up a monarchy you will need philosophy first (who would have guessed??)
You have to spend quite a lot of time checking that all your settlements are doing what they need to and that the citizens are happy. This can be time consuming and honestly a bit boring - especially once you've taken over most of a planet. There is also a limit to how many towns you can build (presumably a memory limitation) which can be frustrating on the larger maps.
While your citizens are busy at home producing, your army can be out and about taking over the world. You can use military units or more peaceable ones, and meet other civilisations as well as warlike barbarians. You can build relationships with other civilisations and trade knowledge - or fight them to the death. Your choice - loved leader, or warlord.
Aim of the game:
It is your choice whether to aim for world domination, by wiping out all other civilisations, or for peaceful development towards space flight so that you can colonise another planet.
There is a scoring system, assigning points for the size of your population, how happy they are, and how far your science has advanced. But it's quite artificial and heavily biased towards size of population - the real test is how soon you can dominate the planet or expand to a new one.
What it is:
Involving, complex, requiring of concentration and patience, different every time.
What it isn't:
Quick, straightforward, suited for the butterfly mind, realistic graphics.
This is a long-term game for those who prefer strategy and detail to speed and excitement. If that's your style then it's great - fairly easy to use and with plenty of variation to keep you interested for years to come.
Newer versions have better graphics - but for me at least are a lot less intuitive and logical. I have tried others but for me the Civilization series stops at II.
Civilization 2 is probably the best ever strategy game you will ever play.
The object of the game is to choose a civilization to be such as the Romans, build cities on a world map and conquer the world.
Once you build your cities you can build within each city. Things you can build include units such as warriors to attack other enemy cities, buildings to increase wealth and growth and other various things.
You must learn new technologies in order to progress and develop better buildings in your cities. There will be other civilizations in the game who will also be trying to become more powerful than you.
You can become allies with other civilizations or enemies. You must keep relations with these civilizations and you can swap technologies, trade and exchange other items.
You can win the game in two ways. By conquering the whole planet or by being the first to launch a shuttle into space. Either way is just as much fun as the other.
There are varying levels of difficulty in the game, perfect for when it gets just a little too easy after all your hard practice.
The only problem with this game is that using the Playstation to play it really is an ache. Its much better on the PC with the keyboard as your control station.
Civilization 2 for the playstation tranfers the player to the status of god of his own world. This game will rob you of hours of your life, and I have found myself playing well into the twilight hours without realising. Taking control of one of many possible empires, the race is on against the machine to build the most successful trade routes, powerful armies and advanced technologies. The game is vast, with countless possibilities - lead the Roman empire into a war against the Chinese, or build alliances between cultures seperated by thousands of years and miles. The enemy is chosen randomly, and with each game a new map is created requiring exploration of a new world. Unfortunatly, whereas the PC version allowed the game to be played on a regular atlas, the playstation version allows only these fantasy worlds.
This game can steal hours and hours of your life, in two completey different ways. As a big fan of "god" games I bought civII shortly after it first came out. After a couple of hours of working out the controls and reading the manual, I was just about realising what the game had to offer. Huge world maps, hundreds of things to reasearch and build, and extremely in depth game play. Before I knew it, several days had passed by and i had got quite far with my civilisation. Within a couple of weeks I had successfully reached one of the game goals, and although I had the choice to carry on with my civilisation, I was anxious to try the game from start again, this time learning from my previos mistakes. With a different approach I soon got far further, far sooner, with my new civilisation. As I did so however, I started to see a few, initially annoying, aspects to the game: First off, there is a very little choice in music, just some four tunes, each four times as annoying as the last. As well as this, it is not possible to turn the music off independantly of the sound effects; frustrating if you wanted to have your own music playing at the same time. Another thing that imediately caught my attention was the somewhat dated graphics, and a few graphical bugs in the program. Eg, when I built the great wall of china in one of my cities, all I got on the city screen was, well I don't know really, a speckling of dots? The final problem with the game is the somewhat tedious loading times, both when waiting for a large map to be formed, and when waiting for opposing civilisations to take their turn, once they are quite large. All in all, this game is a time guzzler, but is it a time waster or a time passer? I'd say both, it's a great game when your civilisation is small, on a small map, but anything more and the playstation just isn't fast enough. I should think the PC version would be a wiser
investment if you have the choice. Definately a good game at heart.
Two years ago this game nearly wrecked my life by making me fail my GCSE's. Luckily I came back to my senses in the nick of time and managed to put it down long enough to revise and pass them. So on getting my new PC at Christmas I thought I had better buy the new version for the PC, except by the time I got round to it I then thought I should leave it until after my A-levels. So I finished last Friday, and then on Saturday I ordered Call to Power 2 (the latest Civ game) from Amazon. So here I sit waiting for it to come, but I admit I couldn't wait so I sneaked an hour (or five) on the old Playstation this afternoon. And it just reminded me how great it really was. Naturally when I get and play to death the new game I'll review it here on Dooyoo, but for now you're going to have to make do with my feelings on the old game! For those who don't know it, Civilisation is the brain child of one Sid Mier, and although it has appeared on many formats under many guises, every version of this game has rocked - BIG STYLE! Well, I actually don't think that 'ROCK' is quite the word to use for this game. It's not a game for all you Quake lovers out there, because this is probably the one of the longest and slowest games ever. But that's good (desperately trying to convince all the sceptics!). The plot is....well there isn't one as such. You choose one of a number of Civilisations, from the Mongols to the Japanese. You start with one settler in 4000BC, and using this one settler you create a city which will become the centre of your empire. The city starts off small, but soon grows and produces military units, explorers and other settler to colonise more of the world in which you live. As your civilisation grows inevitably you'll run in to other civilisations, and this is when the fun can start! Some civilisations you will get on with and become life long allies, others you will go to war with. O
ther may bully you in to giving them money, but then you could always send in a spy to sabotage their water supply. You see, one of the greatest things about Civilisation 2 is the massive range of things that you can do. Whilst expanding you empire you also conduct research which helps you move along the massive technology tree that Civilisation 2 contains. You start off a barbarian race, but as time passes you move through the various ages, inventing new technology, weapons and forms of government eventually reaching the present day complete with that monstrous device, the nuclear bomb. How you run your civilisation is down to you, and basically what kind of person you happen to be. There are 3 basic ways to win the game. Firstly if you should conquer every other race in the game then obviously you win as you are the only civilisation left alive. Secondly you can construct a ship and send it to Alpha Centauri - the first Civilisation to successfully reach the planet wins! Thirdly you can simply score more points. Points are awarded for a variety of things, such as having a happy population, technology researched and how peaceful your reign was. You build units who can fight for you, ranging from warriors on horseback to stealth fighters depending on your technology. The game is turn based, so you can move all your units their allocated distance each turn and manage your diplomatic relations and look after your cites. When you end your go the other civilisations take their turn. This does have the effect of making the game slow, but rather than boring it becomes akin to a large game of chess, but much more fun. My only criticism is that the chugging old Playstation can take longer than you would like play out the oppositions turn, and by later stages it does actually become nigh on unplayable, especially if you use a big map and lots of opponents. The reason for this is that so much is going on. While you may be fighting France, France
themselves may be having a battle against Japan, who in turn are helping the Americans fight the Egyptians. You get the idea - you are not the centre of this game, you are just one small part of a wider world. And I'll say it again, it may not sound good, but this game is great. The game runs from 4000BC to 2020AD. Initially each turn spans around 25 years, but as time progresses this reduces until each turn is 1 year long. Unlike the newer games Civilisation 2 doesn't proceed in to the future, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The newer games have added more and more, but this remains the pure, uncontaminated version of Civilisation that will forever be a classic. Of course, the PC version is infinitely more popular than this Playstation version, but this is a good conversion never the less. One point to note is the awful graphics. Now they don't matter to me, because the game more than makes up for them, but to the new gamer theses are a big put off. They are basically ugly, and I actually think that a bit more effort could have been made. The sound on the other hand is great, with awe inspiring music and great effects. Controls could have been a problem, as the game certainly favours a mouse, but they have done well and it plays surprisingly well with a joypad. A top notch game - a change from all those driving, fighting and shooting games!