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4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • ASIN: B00000I1BP
  • Media: Video Game
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,167 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)

Product Description

If you can't experience Civilization II--one of the best computer strategy games of all time--on a Mac or PC, this faithful PlayStation adaptation is the next-best thing. Gameplay is turn-based and takes place on a world map that's broken down into an octagonal grid, with players controlling a civilization from its inception in 4000 B.C. all the way through A.D. 2020. You "win" the game by either conquering the world or being the first civilization to successfully colonize space; how you go about this--in terms of the social, economic, and political strategies involved--is entirely up to you. This freedom in decision-making, along with a good amount of game options and the fact that the "world" is randomly generated each time you begin a game, adds extremely high replay value.

While Civilization II has been slightly pared down and doesn't look as good as it does on a computer--the graphics here are muddy, and text can be hard to read--the customized PlayStation control interface works surprisingly well. (Keyboard and mouse controls generally don't translate well to the PlayStation controller, to put it mildly.) --Joe Hon


  • Faithful adaptation of one of the best computer strategy games of all time
  • Control interface has been customized for the PlayStation
  • Extremely high replay value
  • Muddy graphics; hard-to-read text


There have been a lot of great moments in the world of gaming, but starting a game of Civilization II has to be one of the best. There you are, cast into the distant past, alone in the wilderness with nothing but a small band of settlers. Before you lies the greatest challenge imaginable: to build an empire that is powerful enough to span the globe, advanced enough to reach the stars, and durable enough to stand the test of time.

Just gives you chills, doesn't it? No wonder the Civilization series has been among the most popular ever released on the PC, and that its creator, Sid Meier, is widely recognized as one of the best game designers in the world. Now, PlayStation owners have a chance to experience this empire-building phenomenon firsthand, with the newly released Civilization II.

A little background is in order. Civilization II is a turn-based strategy game that incorporates a seemingly endless array of options. In playing the game, you'll build cities, construct wonders, research new technologies, raise armies, develop an economy, and engage in diplomatic tete-a-tetes with other rulers. The game begins in the prehistoric era (around 3500 BC) and ends in the late 21st century (assuming you survive that long!). The goal is to wipe out all the other empires on Earth - you must contend with the likes of Genghis Khan, Catherine the Great, and Napoleon, among others - or be the first to colonize a planet successfully in far-off Alpha Centauri.

As you might have gathered by now, playing Civilization II is a highly involved intellectual exercise that puts a premium on strategic thinking and long-term planning. It takes patience to learn the rules, although a tutorial mode helps quite a bit. The games themselves can last 30 hours or more. In other words, if you are in search of a quick adrenaline rush, you are advised to run, not walk, away from this game.

However, if you're willing to invest the necessary time to learn and play Civilization II, you will be rewarded by some of the most intricate and involving gameplay available on the PlayStation. The level of control you have over your empire - everything from the political orientation to the tax rate to the names of cities, is under your command - lets you build a civilization that reflects your own personality. Be a violent dictator, a benevolent prince, or a noble republican. Forge alliances with other powers and then betray your allies when it suits you. Build a peaceful, economically oriented civilization and then convert your wealth into military might and crush your unsuspecting enemies. The bottom line is that just about whatever you dream up, you can do, and that is what makes Civilization II such a joy to play.

Not that this version isn't without some shortcomings. Even in its PC form, Civilization II was never much to look at, and things have gotten considerably rougher with this port. As the game progresses, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between units, and it's consistently hard to read the fuzzy text on the screen. While the control-pad interface is quite efficient, the lower resolution means that almost all the game's menus and information screens have been redesigned for the PlayStation, and many of them seem thrown together. (The world map is particularly horrible.) The sound is also dull by today's standards, and the background music gets monotonous as the hours go by. (Fortunately, you can turn it down.) And at ten blocks per saved game, you'll be stacking up the memory cards in no time, since you'll want to save every few turns.

For purists, I should also mention that there are a couple of fairly significant gameplay changes between this and the PC version. The first is that this version appears to use the combat engine from the original Civilization, rather than the more sophisticated engine introduced in the original version of Civilization II. This isn't that big of a deal - personally, I always thought the older engine was better - but it is somewhat curious. The other major change is that the PlayStation version doesn't include certain automation features (such as "smart" settlers that automatically improve your cities), which means you'll have to do a little more micromanagement than you might expect if you have had experience with the PC version. Finally, it seems that, level for level, the PlayStation version is somewhat easier than the PC version. (Either that, or I'm a lot better at this game than I used to be!)

In the final analysis, Civilization II is just that - a game of analysis - and as such it's a welcome change of pace for the PlayStation. If the graphics were better, it would be a must-buy, but as it is, Civilization II is a solid, if not spectacular, game that strategy fans will not want to miss. --Vince Broady
--Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging? Oh Yes. December 30, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Civilization 2 is one of the best, if not the best strategy game out there on the market today. In this game you choose one of many different civilizations to be (ex. Persians, Romans). You are then made ruler of that civilization. The game starts in 4000B.C. and works its way all the way to the 21st century. Through that period of time you are faced with many decisions. Should I make peace with my neighbors or should I crush them with various military units? In order to win the game you must eliminate all of the other civilizations with various methods. Also during the course of the game you are faced with building decisions. As your scientists discover more and more, you are faced with options such as building wonders of the world and up grading your military units. You must make the right decisions or else your cities will start to corrupt. The only bad things about this game is how time consuming it is and how much space it uses on your memory card (10 blocks). All in all this is a must buy for all you Civilization fans and anybody looking for a great game.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great game---if you've got the time. November 20, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Civ II is undoubtedly one of the best games on the market for the Playstation. It's fantabulistic for any one who really digs on strategy advice to you crazy couch dicatators is to run, not walk, to buy this game. The only reason I give this game a 4 star rating instead of five is it's loading time. We all know the Playstation takes a long time to load anyway, but this game takes a REALLY long time. Especially on the large map mode against 5 other civilizations. In the time it takes the game to set up between your turns you can run to the store, make lasagna, call that friend you haven't talked to in four years, and catch up on all of the work you've been procrastinating. However, this did not turn me off to the game. What ends up happening is that you spend 12 hours at the time playing it. It envelopes your life in it's addictive clutches. You find yourself saying: "Sorry, honey, can't make it to that movie, I've got to help the Babylonians take down the Egyptians!" or "Can't make it to work today, sir, I've just developed Gunpowder and the Cathaginians are willing to go to war for the secret!" or "No, sweetie, I'm not going to class today, negotiations with the American diplomat didn't go so well." So, if you ever have a week to blow, lock yourself in a room with some Cheez-Its and Coca-Cola and go to town (oh, and try to get in at least 2 hours of sleep a day...sleep deprivation does not a good dictator/monarch/prime minister/premier/president make.)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its got its pros and cons November 28, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
I also played this game and found it to be probably the best of its kind. It is very in depth on all levels of your civilization. Economic, military, science, deplomacy. You have to have a good long term outlook on the placement of your cities and your empire in general. The game is somewhat interactive as it can tell what you are up to before hand. The only reason i gave it a 4 was because it is a very slow game and i literaly lost sleep over it. It does have a trance like effect on those who like this genre of gaming. It is very slow paced even on the easier levels of difficulty. I wont even try to play this game at diety level.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary Civilization-building experience! November 10, 1999
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
This game works at SO MANY LEVELS! You start out with a stone age tribe and attempt to move them into the 20th century. There are a LOT of problems along the way, the biggest being the presence of OTHER civilizations, controlled by the computer. You've got to concentrate on a variety of areas, among them your civilization's technical prowess, military strength, expansion of cities, and diplomatic skill. Too much attention to technical growth could leave you militarily weak, but concentration on armies weakens your efforts to advance scientifically, and that could lead to your have a huge army of spearmen facing an enemy armed with tanks! It's very tough to maintain that perfect balance! Making numerous alliances with other civilizations is a good idea, but they can often be pushy in demanding you share your scientific advances, and that, too, can lessen your chances to maintain superiority in the crucial areas of this game!
The really fun thing about Civilization II is that you don't HAVE to fight anybody if you don't want to. The victory conditions can either be MILITARY (conquer everybody) or SCIENTIFIC (be the first civilization to launch a space mission to Alpha-Centari), so you have the option of either being a military genius/tyrant or world diplomat! A very challenging & enjoyable game!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clumsier than the PC version July 9, 2003
A fairly faithful adaptation of the classic computer game. Players start the game as one of a number of civilizations and attempt to grow and survive until they have wiped out the other civilizations or colonized another planet.
Players build new settlements and then build different buildings and military units to help their civilization grow. Combat, diplomacy, and civil engineering all combine for fascinating gameplay.
My only real problem with the console conversion is that the main graphics are rather clumsy looking while most of the incidental graphics are taken straight from the original game. The game controls are also clumsier than they need to be. Obviously a game controller is more limited than a full keyboard, but I don't think the controller is used to full advantage. The controls mean that the length of a game is longer than in the PC version.
Although a little slower and clumsier than the original version, this is still an enthralling game with a very high level of replayability.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I have lost years of my life to this game.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love the game
Published 4 months ago by christopher J smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Stickers included
I got it the next day and it was packaged better than I could have imagined AND decorated. Good Job!
Published 11 months ago by C. Luttrell
5.0 out of 5 stars playstation game
It is a game I love playing and has so many variations to it I play it over and over again.
Published 15 months ago by thumper101
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Game
Great strategy game that gives attention to detail. If you're looking for a time-consuming yet rewarding experience, pick up Civilization II.
Published on August 20, 2011 by txtree
5.0 out of 5 stars Civ II - AWSOME Game
If you don't have a PC for gaming, this is the next best thing. Civ II is a great game and the Play Station version is spot on. Read more
Published on October 6, 2007 by C. Husted
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as PC version
Let me start out by saying that I am a huge Civilization fan...but....the Playstation version does not hold a candle to the PC version. Read more
Published on December 21, 2006 by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis on the council????
I originally rented this game out of curiosity, and quickly got hooked! Ended up buying it because a 3-day rental isn't enough time to win here. Read more
Published on August 27, 2005 by Brad Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars strategy pure and simple...
If your looking for a strategy game tht challenges you... this is it. Its not pretty to look at, terrible music, and this game takes a long time to beat at its maximum level. Read more
Published on April 11, 2005 by Daniel Wornica
5.0 out of 5 stars A Model of How the World Works
Civilization II is a decided improvement over Civilization I, already an outstanding game. Civ II features a number of new, improved, and snazzier units. Read more
Published on March 22, 2005 by Thomas P. Au
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