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Aspyr Media
Strategy & War
Release Date

Civilization III: Complete
December 23, 2005 | Michael Phillips

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Back in January of 2002, Civilization III made its way to the Mac OS and there was much rejoicing. We booted into Mac OS X and played as one of 16 different Civilizations from the enlightened Greeks to the English empire. We spent many a lonely night longing to be in the arms of Queen Elizabeth, because let's face it folks, she's hawt. Civilization III was many a strategist's dream, at least for awhile. Then, expansion packs arose; first Play the World and then Conquests. Unfortunately, neither of these expansions made it to the Mac and we were left out in the digital cold. No multiplayer support. No new civilizations. No exciting new gameplay elements. All we had was Civilization III proper, its campaign editor (which is actually pretty impressive all by itself, but still…) and Queen Elizabeth, hummin' up and lookin' oh so sexy. Luckily, all the previous is about to be remedied thanks to the crew at Aspyr Media and their upcoming release of Civilization III: Complete.

New Civilizations for the Win
For those completely unaware, Civilization III is turn-based strategy game of epic proportions in which world leaders battle it out for supremacy through diplomacy, cultural influence, technological dominance and military force. Civilization III: Complete will be comprised of the core Civilization III game, as well as both expansion packs, Play the World and Conquests, all on one shiny DVD. Both expansions combined will give Civilization III fans a plethora of gameplay enhancements.

For instance, one area in which Civilization III lacked back when it shipped back in 2002 was multiplayer support. Simply put, there was none. However, with Civilization III: Complete and its inclusion of Play the World, Mac gamers will be able engage too in several different multiplayer modes. Connection types will include LAN/TCP/IP, hotseat and the ever-cerebral play-by-e-mail (PBEM) method. Each connection scheme only supports Mac-to-Mac networking, but nobody likes those PCers anyway.

One thing that plagues multiplayer turn-based strategy games is that when many players are involved, each taking several minutes per turn, a single game can take days to finish. Thus, Play the World offers a few new spins on the turn-based genre. Instead of alternating turns players will have two new options. The first, simultaneous movement, has all the players taking their turns at the same time. Once the turn clock runs out, all the moves and orders are carried out at once. This may seem impossible, but trust me it works.

Players will also have access to turnless mode. Here there are still turns, but they run in real time in an unending sequence. At the "end" of each turn, production from cities is added up, population grows and research and taxes are applied. Each unit also has a clock that prevents them from moving until their movement points regenerate. This turnless mode looks quite intriguing and should add an intensity that has been heretofore unheard-of in the turn-based strategy genre.


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