My addition was absolute, I frequently uttered to myself or anyone in ear shot "JUST ONE MORE TURN", before taking 43 more turns and blowing several more hours of needed sleep.
The addition continued with the release of SimCity 2000, and CIV 2, UGH! More lost sleep, more visions of world domination flowing through my head. Left Simcity behind with its third incarnation it had move too far away from the game that I knew and loved. CIV 2 continued on, being among the first thing installed on any new machine or OS load. Several derivatives appeared over time but the core CIV2 game remained the best. I started playing on line, delighting in crushing enemies near and far. I enjoyed the comments of horror and "OK, I'm screwed" from other players when they found my cities at levels over 17 or 18 and surrounded with nuclear Missiles at the ready. They approached in wooden ships powered by the wind, I attacked with jets and submarines, it was only 1641ad!
When I won on deity level in CIV 2 I packed it in that mountain had been summit-ed. I occasionally returned, but it just wasn't the same...I tried to slake my thirt with other games, Ultima Online and Diablo1,2 did for a time I played with my friend for nights on end the social aspect being the winner there, but even those faded. UO died a lingering death after it left its Beta period, the PK'ers and general A-Holes ruining that game experience. Diablo just couldn't really hold me for more than a single play through the game.
Sid gave me something to think about for a time with Alpha Centuri...however after a couple plays it just felt like Civ 2 in space with a little spiffing up. I enjoyed it, but it didn't slake the thirst. I tried Warcarft, and Star Craft and Command and Conquer, Dungeon Keeper 1,2 those were fun for a time...the scenario basis for those games wore on me after a bit, I wanted my building and goals to be more free form. Sure they kept me up late nights, but they didn't have the Power of CIV...
Then it came the release of CIV 3 ahhhhh, finally a new challenge, finally a return to the root of addiction. I bought it I tore into it, I played it, I slept! Others opinions may differ but it just felt like they took some of the stuff from Alpha Centuri, added a few new twists thru a new coat of paint on the whole thing, gave the AI a vicious jerk and bend to mess with the CIV old timers heads (proven strategies that had always worked died a painful death, and new strategies were elusive). It was a good game it wasn't the CIV I knew loved and forsaked sleep for in the past. I continued to play CIV 3 on and off over the last couple years, however its rampant cheating and violating of its own rules, never allowed me to take the game to heart.
About a year ago a new hope appeared, I caught wind. A new CIV was in the works. They were re-evaluating everything. Some of the greatest players were actively involved in the games specs, tuning and play testing. I watched I read I monitored, I hoped, a week go I read it was out there, I went to Best Buy I purchased, I played. I'm Tired!
Its good, everything that was right about CIV 1,2,3(there were a couple good things) is there. The game balance is excellent so far (I'm up to 1860ad as of 3:30am this morning), consulting with the CIV players groups and such seems to have brought back the game I knew and loved. It also seems to have added all new things for me to love in the game.
Warning If You Wish to find out about new game play on your own stop reading here
The best of the new innovations is the new focus on religion. It used to be pretty much limited the building of Temples, and Churches. Now its so much more. The ability to discover religions, and then have your citizens adopt them...Most of my Americans are Buddhists, a few have taken up Confucianism. This seems to be keeping me at relative peace with the Jewish and Muslim people that appear to make up the other civilisations I have encountered. So far I have played this game without attacking or being attacked by any other Civilisation. My only battles have been with Barbarians. They nearly took out one of my cities in the late B.C. years. I had gotten over confident and left one of the cities on the interior of my home continent undefended. Luckily I was able to locate a unit I had fortified and forgotten about and thanks to my excellent roads system get them their in time before the city was attacked (although much of the country side was pillaged)....
There is a great new focus on the diplomacy aspect of the game. All other Civilisations I have encountered are currently trading partners with me. They sometimes approach me annoyed that I continue to trade with other CI Vs. However I stand as Neutral on these matters I refuse to break off ties with the other CI Vs just to appease them. I generally accept any trade deal they approach me with, except when the offer is "Open Borders" I don't remember this one for earlier games, but its nice as not having open borders seems to keep them from encroaching on my land and building cities there. One of the things that great annoyed me in CIV3 was that other CIVs seemed to be able to wander in at will when you had peace with them and build a city practically on top of your own. Not accepting open borders seems to have stopped that thus far.
The Games presentation is one of the highlights of the new version. The music thus far isn't even getting annoying. In-fact the African Tribal Music that makes up the opening, and setup menus is truly incredible. The Game has also shifted to a 3D zoom-able(Mouse wheel) prospective that lets you look at your growing empire from as near or far as you like. The only draw back being if you pull back to far you can't see individual units and a stray click can send the active unit someplace you didn't intend. Zooming to far in takes away the ability to see where you are going and/or conveniently pan to said location. Neither is a big deal since the game really is best played from the mid zoom perspective. Speaking of zooming in...when you zoom on a city you see the things you built there in all their 3d glory! Very cool. The city management screen is greatly simpled, although with one exception everything a CIV player is used to having still seems to be there...The one exception. I can't seem to find the command to hurry the production of a unit (always useful when the barbarian horde is approaching)...used to be able to trade cash for production had get that unit quicker. Ah well I suppose actually cracking the instruction manual might be a good idea at some point.
So far the game is great I am looking forward to more sleepless nights.
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