In Civilization II: Gold Edition,
players will enjoy the classic Civilization II
and two scenario packs: Conflicts in Civilization
and CIV II: Fantastic Worlds
. Combined with the multiplayer features, the Gold Edition creates the ultimate challenge and the ultimate value in strategic gaming. Civilization II: Gold Edition
includes all of the features of the classic Civilization II
with the multiplayer option providing a whole new level of competition, vicious backstabbing, and unpredictable human-enemy leaders!
Sid Meier's Civilization II is one of the best games ever made. The game is so well balanced that its replay value is counted in years, not months or days. The goal is simple: As the leader of a band of settlers in 4,000 B.C., grow your civilization to the point where it can colonize outer space or kill all other civilizations before they can do the same.
Settlers build cities that produce military units to explore and conquer the world, and buildings that improve the economy and technology. Ignore any of these elements at your peril. Without research, your military units won't get more powerful. Without banks, you can't pay for upkeep on your city. Without exploring, you won't know where your enemies are. Without an army, the most primitive civilization can conquer you.
Civilization II is a celebration of humanity. From the meanest ancient hovel, to the most advanced battle cruiser, the game incorporates just about everything the human race has ever done. Gunpowder and nuclear fission are balanced by mysticism and refrigeration. These civilization advances allow various units, such as dragoons and marines, and city improvements such as aqueducts and airports. Wonders of the World are special city improvements that commemorate significant accomplishments in human history, and give benefits to the city that builds them.
Sound familiar? Civilization II is a new version of Civilization, which was originally released in 1992 by MicroProse. While it uses the same concepts as the original, right from the get-go you can see enhancements. There are more civilizations to play, and you have the option of being male or female, which results in a different default name. The world map is now in isometric view as opposed to a flat earth, and has much better graphics. Overall, the entire game has better graphics than the original. One absolutely fabulous improvement is the automation of settlers - you can send them out on their own to build roads and irrigation. While this frees you from some micromanagement, you do have to watch that they don't make too many mines on hilltops, or you'll be plagued with pollution and famine toward the end of the game.
Civilization II actually uses multimedia for good, not evil - it enhances the game instead of getting in the way. Each Wonder of the World has a video showing its history, which also explains the benefit you get from building it. Your high council is composed of five advisors. Click on these advisors' buttons, and they tell you, in QuickTime videos, how the various aspects of your civilization are doing. You also get sound effects when you finish a building, when a military unit is fighting (the elephant trumpeting is cute), when a city is in revolt, or when you complete a Wonder of the World. Game options allow you to turn these off if you wish.
For those who made it past the warlord level in the original: don't even bother playing on the chieftain (easiest) level. Unlike the original Civilization, which could present a challenge on this level, Civilization II's chieftains are way too easily subdued. You'll conquer the world before you even get gunpowder. Even the warlord level is not as difficult. On the other hand, Civilization II rounds out technology enhancements in the modern era, which used to end in a manufacturing plant. Now there are supermarkets, stock exchanges, superhighways, offshore platforms, and airports. Be sure to conquer aggressive civilizations before they get to the modern era because they will use nuclear weapons. Tip: Establish embassies with the other civilizations in order to check on aggressiveness.
It took about 15 hours to play the small game to completion culminating with the launch of a spaceship. A larger game can take well over a week. Once you've mastered the art of guiding a civilization to the end game several times, you may want to start tinkering. The scenarios that come with the game start you out with prebuilt civilizations and give you an objective to meet. There are also plenty of Civilization II scenarios created by PC users available for download on the Internet. To use them, you need to change the creator and type codes (with a utility such as Snitch) to match the codes of the scenarios that ship with the game. And if that doesn't satisfy you, Civilization II comes with a world builder and a cheat mode that lets you create your own scenarios.
Civilization II really is a great game for a personal computer. First-person perspectives can be had on any platform, while console machines lend themselves well to games on a track (think Wipeout or Sonic). It takes a big hard drive and more RAM than your average PlayStation to manage and store the complex model of an entire world, and it take lots of keys to direct your minions. It's this complexity that gives Civilization II its legs - you'll be playing it for years to come. - Kathy Tafel
Good News: Improved graphics from original, improved interface from PC version. Don't need CD-ROM to play. Runs adequately on 68K machines.
Bad News: Some interface quirks (see Laundry List). No Net play. You will wonder what happened to all your free time.
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