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Aspyr Media
Strategy & War
Release Date

Civilization III: Complete
December 23, 2005 | Michael Phillips

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Hotseat and play-by-e-mail modes will also be included for those who don't mind taking a little more time with the games. In these games players will be able to set time limits per turn, thus a game need not take 30 hours to finish.

Multiplayer variations will also include flavors such as Regicide. In Regicide, players have special leader units scattered about the map. These leaders have few defensive abilities and must be protected at all costs, for when they die the game is over.

Capture the Princess is an intriguing variation in which players will have a "Princess" unit in their starting location. Opposing military units must venture into enemy territory to capture the enemy Princess and bring her home kicking and screaming. It's kind of the flesh trade's answer to capture the flag. That's just my personal take on things, others should feel free to choose their own analogy.

Play the World will also add eight new civilizations, each with a unique unit. Some, like the Scandinavian berserker, look as effective as they do cliché. Others, like the Spanish Conquistadors will offer a good mix of offensive and defensive abilities.

Last on our cavalcade of Play the World improvements is technology race enhancements. Players will be able to discover the Internet and win the game Al Gore style.

Conquests, on the other hand will offer nine new scenarios and a laundry list of changes to the core game. The scenarios will offer a chance to run through some of the watershed conflicts in history on a scale that's both expansive and specific. The abstraction and flow of the core game will be preserved, but the starting positions of each will usually be structured to thrust players into conflict using a particular group of technologies. In other words, there will be big battles and clashes set during various periods of history.

Many of the scenarios will offer locked alliances and enmities. In other words, there will be rival civilizations that won't ever make peace with one another. To counteract this, there will often be civilizations that won't ever fail to take each other's side in a conflict. Each new scenario come with its own Wonders, technologies and units. While most of these will merely change the name of existing improvements, there are a few surprises scattered here and there. The objectives will often be limited in these scenarios, focusing on controlling a certain amount of the land or population on a map. Some scenarios will be won by earning points for returning treasure units to certain cities on the map.

For example, the feudal Japan scenario looks to be one of the most involved in the expansion. Featuring 18 rival warlords competing across a huge map of Japan, it can take a few days to run through one of these. It's really rich in Japanese flavor, starting with samurai and ninjas and letting players weather the storm of the arrival of gunpowder. The king unit in this scenario can become an amazingly unbeatable fighter, but as in all regicide games, you run the risk of losing it all if he falls in battle.

Get Ready to Throw Down
I've barely scratched the surface here in terms of Civilization III: Complete's enhancements. The price of admission will definitely be worth it when the kids at Aspyr Media ship this title in the very near future.

Civilization III: Complete
Publisher: Aspyr Media
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