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Thursday, May 31, 2001

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More Civilization III Previews
8:52 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

More previews for Civilization III have surfaced with new details regarding this upcoming title. Currently in development for the PC by Firaxis, Civilization III follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, allowing players to build a civilization from the ground up, trading with and conquering other civilizations during play to gain strength.

A recent preview found at StratosGroup notes that among the much-noted graphical improvements of this title over its predecessor are the animations of combat units. No longer are they restricted to one animation for attack, defense, etc. Noted were animations such as flying capes and breaking spears, with over 60 units boasting at least 170 frames of animation each.

Another graphical improvement is the random continent-generation system, which now creates more believable worlds by generating larger land masses rather than the straggling squiggles that sometimes occured in previous titles.

StratosGroup reports on some new gameplay additions as well. New luxuries, such as wine, can be used to improve the general tempermanents of citizens. Resources are now a time-based commodity, and will come and go as time marches on and technology progresses. In addition to this, resources will also be concentrated to specific empires, assuring that one empire will never have control of all it needs to thrive at first.

An entirely new aspect has been injected into Civ III as well - culture. Vaguely defined, culture in the game seems to be more of a personal identity for a civilization than anything else, but one that can greatly influence the balance of the game. For example, if one civilizations culture is admired by another, they might be inclined to support that civilization should the need arise.

Games Domain's preview of Civ III takes a look at the advisors and other leaders available in the game. Well modeled and animated, the portraits of these computer-controlled characters will display their feelings with various facial expressions when dealing with players. Players offering great deals may be greeted with smiles, while those seeking to undercut may be turned away with a scowl.

As to the subject of "winning" at Civilization, Games Domain has this to say:

It's unknown at this time if you'll be able to win the game by racing to Alpha Centauri or not, as you could in Civ2, but Conquer is almost certainly a way to win. Infogrames did hint at another new victory condition: culture points. As you build libraries and churches, and other mass media, you accrue 'culture points'. Culture Points affect the game in a lot of ways. Take a city, and if that empire has a high culture value, those citizens might rebel right back into the enemy empire. You also might find it easier to bully or influence a neighbor whose citizens are jealous of your culture.
Civ III is currently slated for release for the PC this winter. MacSoft has picked up development rights for the Mac version and is hoping for a near-simultaneous release, though they have yet to announce a developer for this title.

Games Domain - Civ III Preview
StratosGroup - Civ III Preview
IMG - Civ III Mac Status
Firaxis Games
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