Sid Meier's Civilization 3: Play the World
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If Ever There was a game tailor-made for turnbased play on the Internet, it would have to be Civilization III. Firaxis didn't think so when they originally released the game, although tenuous hints were made at the possibility of a patch appearing at a later date. The patch never appeared, but Play The World has, and with it comes your opportunity to pit your wits against Civ fans around the world for the first time. Playing online over the Internet or via email, or (for faster play) over a local area network, you can now take on human opponents utilising the classic turn-based mode, a simultaneous mode, or in turnless mode. The latter option is effectively a real-time mode which sounds great in concept but in practice does not give you the precision you need to A effectively pt manage your growing empire in the same way turn-based mode does, although simultaneous mode offers something of a happy medium between the two.
Game on indeed, if only it were that simple. The biggest problem with Play The World is the fact it appears to have been rushed out the door without even the most cursory of playtesting periods. It's very laggy for a game that doesn't exactly push graphical boundaries, and desktop crashes are way too frequent and often interrupt (or even ruin) games of any reasonable length. The fact there is already a 9Mb patch available for what is effectively a small expansion pack is something of an indication of how thoroughly (or not) the game was tested before release.
And it wasn't only me who had problems either. Many of the players I spoke to have had trouble connecting to games set up by other players, and when they managed to get in they were quite often booted out after a short period of time.
Ironing Out The Creases
There is little doubt that Firaxis will iron out all these problems with more patches in the coming weeks, but for now at least, the multiplayer setup still needs a lot of work and will almost certainly frustrate those of you who want to log on and start a game with a minimum of fuss. The real shame is it's actually quite playable and engrossing if you can get, and maintain, a steady connection.
The extra features (new tribes, new victory conditions, a new wonder) are all welcome additions but don't justify the asking price of this package on their own. Most Civ III players will be thinking of buying this purely for the multiplayer capabilities, and while PTW has great potential once the glitches are fixed, we can only suggest in the meantime that you visit the Play The World forums for updates on patches and user feedback before forking out your cash.
Download Sid Meier's Civilization 3: Play the World
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP