Summary/ Civilization 3: As an only periodic player of previous Civilization offerings, I will be basing this review on the merits of Civilization 3 as a game unto itself, and not in comparison to its older siblings. Overall, Civilization 3 is an excellent single-player, turn-based strategy game. It is set in a grand historical context, meaning that during the course of every game, you will lead a civilization through time from its conception (around 4000 BC) to the modern age. This vastness of scale means that most games will take several days to complete indeed, I have spent over a month playing a single, large game. This is in stark contrast to RTS games, where you might be able to finish a scenario in 15 minutes.
Civilization 3 requires patience, a certain amount of dedication, and an appreciation for overarching historical processes. The graphics, while sufficient, are bare compared to most contemporary games. The sound effects are mediocre at best. For all these reasons, Civilization 3 (and the Civ series in general) have appealed to a particular type of gamer, perhaps more than any other individual title in PC history a slightly older, thinking-type gamer. A nerd, in other words. If you are a nerd, and want a game that grants you the feeling of being a God king, like Montezuma or Genghis Khan a game that lets you make all the decisions, a challenging game that you will not really be able to muscle-through then you should check out Civilization 3. It is got plenty of flaws, and it ain’t pretty but it is the type of game that keeps me awake at night imagining barbarian hordes, or talking to myself in the car about whether to build nuclear plants or focus on air superiority the type of game that actually seems to capture something real about human cultural history. And that is no small feat.
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