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Civilisation III (PC)

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From Sid Meier, the creative genius behind some of the most critically acclaimed computer games ever produced, comes Civilization III. Experience a game of epic proportions where players can match wits against the greatest leaders of the world in an all-out quest to build the ultimate empire. This highly addictive journey of discovery includes exciting new features that build on and enrich the Civilization experience. Now there are new ways to win, new pathways to explore, strategies to employ and more powerful tools to build and manage.

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    4 Reviews
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      30.04.2013 14:25
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      Marvellous game, but not the best the series has to offer.

      Sid Meier's Civilization series will always have a special place in my heart. I've played all iterations except the latest (Civilization 5), and it's only my utter hatred for the intrusive and irritating Steam client that stopped me from buying that. But that's fine. Civilization 3 is a game surpassed only by Civ 4, a game so perfect I find it hard to see quite how they can improve upon it.

      Civ has the same sort of format. You choose a particular Civilization and guide it from humble tribal beginnings through the renaissance, industrialisation and the nuclear age through to ultimate victory. In this instalment you can win through a cultural victory, military (Domination) victory, successfully sending a manned spacecraft to Alpha Centauri or Diplomatic victory. This provides a welcome balance, allowing for a number of varied types of gameplay. Each Civilisation has two particular abilities, including specialised units.

      The world is made up on a grid of squares representing land and water. Land tiles can be improved by workers, depending on what it is. Grassland could be irrigated and then hold a farm. Mountains or hills, mines. This is on top of existing productivity or natural resource that tile already has. Roads and railroads can also be built, increasing production and easing movement of your units across it.

      All this requires the ultimate precursor, the building of cities. Each city has to be at least 2 tiles away from each other. Ideally, you're going to want more than this as each city can draw upon up to 20 surrounding tiles, dependant on population. Food is used to grow cities. Shields (production) are used to build everything from movable units to buildings and wonders. The third element produced by tiles is economy. A city's economy can be split between research, tax and luxuries. The balance is crucial, and may shift. One of the main aims of city development is keeping your citizens happy.

      Citizens become unhappy for a number of reasons. Being shelled by an unfriendly power doesn't help, but general unhappiness is caused by famine, religious unrest, insufficient sanitation, boredom, lack of luxuries or envy of another civilization. When the bulk of the population are unhappy, the city falls into disorder and nothing gets done, stored or sold. Leave a city in this state for long, and the population will start destroying city improvements. Get your balance right though, and Citizens celebrate your rule, boosting the economy.

      All a city's inhabitants are labourers, but you can take away labourers by making them specialists. Entertainers, scientists or tax collectors. It takes no great leap of the imagination to figure out what each one adds to your city.


      A city can contain a whole host of improvements, dependant on technological advancement and size. These can have military connotations, from city walls to keep raiders out, to barracks to train veteran troops, to missile batteries and more besides. They could have religious connotations, from Temples to Cathedrals. They can buff research through universities or commerce through banks, or population boosts through granaries and hospitals, reduce pollution through recycling centres or mass transits or general happiness through theatres and coliseums. Police stations and courthouses reduce corruption. Each improvement requires financial upkeep, so things can get dicey when your finances are in trouble. This richness of choice, effect and counter effect is what makes Civ so chest thumpingly addictive.

      You are going to want to expand as soon as possible, ideally by finding and building on the choicest tiles of real estate. Expand too quickly, and your new cities are vulnerable. Expand to slowly, and you can find yourself fighting a loosing battle with vastly larger empires. Wonders are back again, though this time around you have small wonders as well as wonders of the world. Small wonders can be built once by each civilisation, whereas their bigger brothers can only be built once per game by any civilisation. If an opposing civ builds one of these, the only way you're going to get your mitts on it is by capturing (not destroying) that city.

      Scientific research is as important as exploration, settlement and city development. Scientific advancements lead to new units, improvements and wonders. Technology can also be traded with other civilisations, though be careful you don't give away something great for something not.

      Another new feature is culture. Your city's culture expands out influence to nearby tiles. A common strategy is to build culture generating improvements in cities bordering other civs. Whereas a war can grant you cities, they are often in ruins. Use culture to conquer, and you get everything as is. The older the city, the more turns it has had to build culture. A 2,000 year old temple for example, will have generated more culture than a fifty year old university.

      There is a host of different military units, on land, sea and air. Fortifications can boost defenders. Artillery can bombard from a distance. ICBMs can ruin your whole day. That enemy sub off your coastline could be carrying tactical nukes. Some units will require not only technological advancement, but relative resource availability.

      The only real caveat owning Civ 3 has, is the sheer amount of time that you will be spending with it, and the fact that Civ 4 goes one better. With the addition of so many different ways of winning, the replay ability factor is huge. An unreserved four out of five stars.

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      11.08.2011 16:55
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      a dominating RTS game

      I sometimes have trouble getting into real time strategy games. Very often I want to get straight down to the action. However, from the first time I played Civ III, I was hooked. I got introduced to the game by a couple of friends, and after playing a game, which lasted several hours, I realised how good the game was.

      The game allows you to choose from a wide variety of different tribes and countries, such as England, Russia and the Aztecs. You start the game with a worker and a warrior, and from there you set about building towns and cities, exploring the land, finding other settlements, advancing technology, creating alliances and going to war.
      While you start with very limited technology, you can slowly start to advance your technology, either through learning it, trading knowledge with other tribes or being given the knowledge from settlements. As you advance you can begin to create new warriors and ways of travelling. But to do this you also need to find resources, meaning that you must explore and create links between all of your cities. This can be time consuming but very rewarding.

      Very often you will find other tribes either requesting things from you, looking to make a trade, or informing you about your troops being on their land. You have the choice of sorting these things peacefully or by going to war. If you go to war you can request alliance from other tribes to fight alongside you. Once in battle you can try and take over their land, either choosing to take over their towns or destroy them once you succeed. You can also choose to completely wipe out the tribe or sign a peace treaty to end the war.

      During the course of the game everything will advance, towns will sign their allegiance to you, your towns will sign allegiance to other tribes, and eventually one of the goals will be reached, either by reaching a certain population, owning a certain percentage of the world, wiping out all the other nations, winning the space race or by score if the game reaches its limit.

      Overall Civilisation III is an extremely addictive, incredibly fun game.

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      30.04.2010 22:04
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      Good fun but much better with the expansions.

      Well Civilization 3 follows the same sort of gameplay style as the previous 2 games of the series, slow, tactical and strategic, requiring good thinking in order to win on the highest difficulty levels.

      Probably the most notable update is the graphics, units and cities now have a more 3d look to them, and the terrain also looks more realistic, instead of being squares, the terrain is curved. Despite this improvement the system requirements are very low, requiring only a 300MHZ processor and 32mb of RAM.

      Some of the units have changed, although it still retains the usually units, the technologies are also similar, with the addition of a few extra ones, to support the extra units and buildings you can produce.

      Some civilizations were removed from the game, there are only 16 civilizations present in Civ 3, whereas Civ 2 featured 21 civilizations.

      A new and fairly significant feature added in civilization 3 is Culture. Certain buildings will increase your cities culture rating, the higher your culture is, the faster your influence for that city will expand, with the right settings, highly cultural cities can take over less cultural cities, this can be done without provoking a war. Culture can also be used to gain a cultural victory condition if that setting is selected. Cities with a city wall cannot be taken over by culture.

      Another notable feature in civilization 3, is the addition of unique units for each civilization, this includes the F-15 fighter for the USA, Panzer Tank for Germany and the like. There are a few other additions for civilizations, such as each civilization have 2 different civilization styles which give them certain abilities.

      Personally I liked and disliked the extra sophistication of this game, so its up to you whether you prefer Civ 2 or Civ 3, but I like the simplicity of the 2nd one myself.

      A big downside is the complete lack of multiplayer, get the Play The World expansion for Hotseat, E-mail, LAN and Internet Play.

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      16.09.2005 18:19
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      Nothing can beat this game. Forget work , friends and family you will be hooked.

      This has got to be the best strategic game of its time. So much as gone into the making of this game it is untrue.

      The game is like a mass of intrigue , knowledge and discovery.
      You can either play the game itself or play scenerious.

      Firstly you choose which great leader you are going to be :

      options = Elizabeth I , The Bismark , Ceasar and many more.

      Then you have to lead your civilisation from the begining to to the present and become the winner from a number of factors for example the most powerful , most advanced , largest etc.

      Its not easy because you are the decision maker and money is involved. You have a treasury to spend on armies ? Science ? or entertaining your people ? Will you improve your towns and create cities ?

      If you have a weak army you will be destroyed. If you do not entertain your people they will leave you and join a rival civilisation making them stronger. If you do not invest in Science then you can still only build Cavalry units when your rival can build tanks. Decisions , desicions.

      The game also offers you opportunities to trade goods that are found on your land this will create extra revenue for your civilisation but your rivals will also have goods like Ivory which your people demand to have. You will have to create trade , treaties , protection packs and later on in the game start espionage missions as more and more advanced technoligy is gained by your rivals including Stealth fighters and nuclear missiles.

      Your cities can be improved by building Temples , Cathedrals ,Aqueducts (early on). Each improvement having a purpose some improvements will make your populations happy , some will educate your people ( University , Library ), some buildings will prevent disruption , starvation and corruption.
      Later on in the advanced years your cities will need airports , mass transit systems , the possibilities are endless.

      Just like reality this is what this superb game offers. It gives you a real chance of living through the ages and discovering what it takes to be a great leader.The game is also educational and definetly historical.I could write a full book on the game because it has so much depth.

      When you finally have the satisfaction that you have won after weeks and weeks , hours and hours you will then discover the other levels you have to get through to be the ultimate. I am at the second to the top level and it is killing me but I love it.

      If you do get stuck on this game you can find forums and followers on the internet and from these you will get useful tips and support. Sid Miers has got a huge and growing fan club

      Sid Meirs should offer one million to the first winner of his next game the world will be hooked.

      Please be patient when you first start to play and you are learning the ropes because at first it will appear slow going for you because there is so much to learn but once you grasp it you are off. the game comes with a full help screen which describes absolutely everything that is part of the game it is just like an A-Z and believe me you will need it.

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