Civilization 2: A Retrospective Review - AshaMan3000 Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Civilization 2: A Retrospective Review

Special thanks, (or a big double middle finger, I'm not sure yet), to Reddit user Lycerius for playing this game for ten years.  Another to Adam Biessener for pointing it out to me. 

After Adam's post the other day about a game of Civ 2 that has lasted nearly to the year 4000 (see picture below), I promptly found a free download and started playing (endlessly so far) what I refer to as my favorite of the series.  Civ 2 originally came out in 1996 when I was about the age of the average user on this site (possibly older, don't ever grow up guys!).  I had just gotten to college and spent many an evening telling myself "just one more turn..." as I waged war and diplomacy on the other six nations chosen to be my opponents.

For those of you not knowledgeable about the series, Civilization is a turn-based nation building simulator with deep diplomacy, warfare, exploration, and research components.  Think SimCity meets risk and you're on the right track.  You start the game with a lowly settler (two if you're lucky), to build your first city and the rest is, as they say, history.  Through a simple but deep system, you build defenders, choose research options, explore the surrounding land, meet and trade with neighboring civs, and ultimately destroy them with superior firepower. 

Is it as good as I remember?  Hard to say.  It's a fantastic game, but some advancements made in the three iterations since cleaned up the interface and added much needed polish to the overall experience.  I have a hard time accepting that all nine of my troops died because the stacking rules aren't what I remember them being.  It's odd to be able to attack ground units with ships again.  Not being able to see what my cities are building at a glance is annoying, as is the inability to right-click a square and have my units auto move to it. 

I know it sounds like quite a few gripes, but when the strategy is as compelling as this, I find myself having a difficult time turning it off.  Nothing beats being the first nation to research monotheism and gain the use of crusaders or building a wonder of the world just in time to stave off riots or a nasty deficit.  A game last night pitted me as the Vikings against the Romans.  I had already subsumed the English into my empire and was rapidly expanding down Europe when the Romans decided to break treaty and sneak attack me.  Luckily (or not, I HAVE played this game before... A LOT), I had 3 triremes loaded with crusaders and catapults in the Mediterranean.  A quick pincer move from land and sea later and Rome was mine.

  

(Not an actual screenshot from my game.)

Going back to the first sentence I'm going to have to thank, (and not flip off), Lycerius and Adam.  The experience isn't what I remember, but the strategy is.  Now if only I could quit long enough to do anything besides blog about it...  Max Payne 3 still sits in my disk tray unbeaten.

Even with the issues that arise from being as old as it is, 9.5!

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