Call to Power
"Meier'd" in global
Hot on the heels of
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, which took the Civilization franchise into
space, comes "Civilization: Call to Power," a fairly standard update of
the original concept for this classic game.
This title makes no
mention of Sid Meier, but you can see the Meier fingerprints all over
this new version. Civ:CTP ups the graphics ante and adds some new features
and other gameplay improvements, while also throwing in a couple of minor
annoyances just to ensure we don't experience game perfection.
Call to Power's graphics
are comparable to those in Civization II, which means they're colorful
and detailed - andindividual
units can easily distinguished from each other - for the most part. Generally,
the animation is good, the maps look good, and the sound effects are also
up to snuff.
Call to Power gives
you many more choices of civilizations from which to choose - even those
warmongering Canadians are included! Gameplay is generally consistent
with earlier versions, in that you begin with a settler unit and use it
to found your first city. From there, the sky's the limit - depending
upon what the rules of other civilizations have in mind, of course.
Along the way, you
make advances in your civilization and build Wonders of the World. The
end goal is to rule the world, at the expense of the other civilizations,
while achieving the highest civilization score possible.
in the game, assuming you make it that far, you can start construction
on the ocean floor or in earth orbit.
Add to the diplomacy
feature of earlier "Civilizations" a lawyer figure - and all the good
and bad that foreshadows; the trade feature has been enhanced quite a
bit, too: you can set up trade routes from city to city and an animated
line showcases the route on the map.
Combat between forces
reminds one of "Conquest of the New World," in which a separate window
opens up and the battle is played out there. This way you can actually
see all the different units involved in the conflict, and know which unit
is offing which.
A nice feature that's
new to this version is the ability to group units into more effective
fighting forces. This means that, instead of attacking with one unit at
a time as in earlier versions, you can attack with all the units that
are occupying a particular square. Up to nine units can defend and attack
simultaneously, which makes the combat of Civ:CTP much more satisfying.
is pretty straightforward. Clicking on a unit selects it, and then you
can choose from various options offered in the bottom window, including
build, fortify, etc. We had some difficulty with the interface which,
if you're not careful, will send unit heading off to parts unwanted. While
the idea behind the control is good - the highlighted unit is attached
to your cursor and wherever you click the mouse is where the unit heads
- we found that we would rather have the game wait until you clicked on
a unit instead of having the highlight appear automatically, sometimes
when you're on a far away part of the board (which causes the distant
unit to begin heading to your part of the board, even if you've already
assigned it to a particular mission).
On the whole, however,
Civilization: Call to Power is pretty good. It doesn't really break any
new gaming ground, but it offers a new opportunity to play one of the
best computer games ever designed.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think