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Published by:
Activision, Inc.

Game Genre:
Turn-Based Strategy

Game Cheats:
Are Available

Requirements:
Pentium 133, 32 Megs RAM, 4X CD-ROM,
16-bit Sound Board, Mouse, SVGA card

Retail Price:
$39.95
Our Ratings:
Features

Graphics

Sound FX

Gameplay

Overall

Screenshots:
Civilization: The Call to Power


Game Review - by StormDaemon
One of the most popular strategy game series of all time has a brand new addition that tries to take on the challenge of improving a classic such as Civilization. Using updated graphics, sounds, interface, and just about everything else, Call to Power will please fans of the original game, and maybe even create some new fans of the entire series. The amount of things to do, build, destroy, and take over are numerous and make the game very enjoyable, and that is not even counting the huge amount of strategy that is involved. Even the most minor decisions can affect your civilization, so everything must be planned carefully and executed even better than that. This is not an easy game, and it is not a short one, so be prepared for a very long and challenging adventure.

Features:
Call to Power features an enormous amount of units to build, technologies to discover, and ways to fight. With all of those available, anyone will be able to play for hours and continually find something new to play with. Over 65 units are available to build and deploy, and there are over 90 technological advances, which is a big improvement over the original Civilization and a whole of fun to use and destroy other civilizations. A player can choose from a huge amount of civilizations to control, and they can deal with just as many within a game.

The menu interface in the game is nice looking and has a lot of options, but it really needs improvement in the area of speed. The creation of something requires several selections and menu jumps, all of which take time and after an hour or so of playing, that time has built up and became incredibly annoying. Other than the general annoyance of the menus, the rest of the game controls and options are good, but sometimes the control can get in the way of the rest of the game. Movement of units is also limited at times, and only moving one square every once in a while gets old real quick.

Gameplay:
Call to Power is a good strategy game that will provide for a good challenge with the only lacking parts being the control and interface. If those parts are ignored, then there is a lot to do and build, all of which stay within the grand tradition of previous Civilization series games, involving discoveries, time, and some hard work.

In the beginning of the game you'll start off with a settler or two who will be able to build you your first city. From then on you'll have to set your people to work, building warriors, settlers, traders, scientists, and many more units. You'll also have to research new things and build wonders of the world, which will give you great bonuses. The Labyrinth, for example, makes it so that no other country can declare war on you, but you can declare war on them. Whenever you discover some new kind of technology, you gain the ability to either build new stuff or discover more technology. As time goes by, you'll also discover new types of governments, and you can enact them, but watch out for your people's happiness, they may not like the current government. That happiness is also a big factor in the game because if you don't treat your people right, they'll revolt and make it real hard to dominate the world.

The range of time periods to progress your civilization is great. You'll start out with a basic tribe and maybe even progress to the modern era. If you're lucky, you may even get to colonize in outer space and start researching alien technologies.

The only bad part of the gameplay was the control and interface of the game. The units didn't really move very much, usually only one square in the beginning, which is really slow and boring at times. As for the interface, the ending of a turn gets confusing because you can get confused over if any units can move and when to exactly end the turn. Sometimes the turns will end automatically, and sometimes they will not. Going through all of the menu and tabs and selections is way too much and can drive you crazy after a while. Other than that, the game was fun.

Graphics:
The graphics were better than could be expected from a game like this with all of the intricate detail and great looking movies and pictures that are spread throughout the game. All of the units were intricate and ornate, accurately reflecting what they were supposed to be without looking sloppy at all. They only looked bad when the view was zoomed out because things would get out of proportion, but for the majority of the time they looked good and had nice little animations that kept them from looking like stiff game pieces.

The movies that occurred during the game were of very good quality and provided for a good gaming experience and heightened the atmosphere. Whenever a major event occurred or a major discovery was made, a movie would pop up, supporting whatever was happening.

The interface has a nice look to it, and is just as detailed as the units and the maps, with its fancy buttons, tabs, menus, maps, and much more that all come together to look like an ornate and detailed screen. The menus before the game and during it are all just as ornate because the game designers seemed to want to have a specific feel to everything, and that feel seemed to be one of grandeur and royalty, which fits in nicely with you being the head of the civilization.

Sound FX:
The game music is incredibly varied and reflects the popular music of different time periods, giving an atmosphere from ancient times to the future. For example, at some times, tribal music can be heard while at other times music from America in 50's and 60's can be heard. Also, you'll hear techno music that sounds like it comes from the future. The majority of the music is very good, but after a while the tribal can get annoying because of the heavy use of drums and other instruments like that.

The sound effects tried to emulate some real time strategy games with having the units say a little something whenever they were ordered to move or attack. Other than the sounds from the units, there were not many other effects, just mainly the music, which was good enough at it was.

Overall:
Call to Power is good and strong strategy game that has a number of good qualities and a few bad qualities. The main good things are the numbers of units and technologies, while the bad things are the control and the interface. The graphics are very nice, and so are the sound effects, with the music being the best. That all adds up to a nice game that is fun to play, but sometimes difficult to control. This game is really for anyone that loved the original civilization and wanted to see an update version of it, and maybe for someone who wants to check the series out a little.


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