November 2001 Archives

Civilization III Review

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Publisher: Infogrames
Developer: Firaxis Games

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 300 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM, DirectX 8.0a compatible video card capable of 1024x768 resolution, 550 MB HD space

Civilization III is the third generation in a series descendant from the seminal game that firmly established the empire building and management genre, Civilization. As with its predecessors, Civilization III begins with the player in control of a Neolithic band, just as they settle down to construct their first city. It ends with world domination, whether through military might, scientific accomplishment, diplomatic prowess, or cultural accomplishments. Broad in scope, players build cities, explore continents and oceans, interact with other cultures, direct scientific research, military conquest, and massive construction projects. As dictator, elected official, monarch, or proletarian, the player controls every aspect of a society, working in cooperation or direct conflict with the other cultures of the planet. Many aspects of the game can be automated, so the player can relinquish control to customizable city governors, or control individual workers as they lay railroad tracks or clean industrial waste. Civilization III allows players to control nearly every aspect of humanity and guide their people to glory. Multiplayer functionality has not been implemented, although this may be added in a future patch.

Anachronox Review

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Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Ion Storm

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 266 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM, 12 MB 3D video card

Anachronox is a console-style Role Playing Game that brings Final Fantasy-style play to the PC in a science fiction setting. Players take on the role of Sylvester "Sly" Boots, a private detective who works out of the back of a sleazy bar. No longer the bright-eyed success of his early career, Boots allowed his debts to overwhelm him as work was increasingly beneath him. Fortunately, two purchases remain: a multipurpose robot (the Personal Android Lackey), and a Cordicom LifeCursor. The LifeCursor contains the digitized personality of Fatima Dohan, Boots' old secretary. When she died, Boots paid to have her personality digitized and installed into a floating arrow, damning Fatima to an afterlife of managing the Anachronox interface.

The story centers around the long-dead alien city of Anachronox in which Boots lives. Believed by some to have been inhabited by millions of aliens quarantined for contracting a mysterious plague, the constantly shifting landscape of Anachronox is home to not only the dregs of humanity, but myriad alien races. Anachronox the city lies at the heart of Sender One, the largest in a network of mysterious alien sender nodes that can transport vessels at incredible velocities, making interstellar travel possible. Anachronox the game chronicles Boots' unwitting quest to save the universe while trying to make a quick buck. Along the way, Boots gathers uniquely skilled companions including an acerbic museum curator, an ex-love-interest, a scientist on the fringes of legitimate research, and the entire populace of the planet Democratus.

A staple of Boots' universe is MysTech. MysTech (Mysterium Technology) is a form of alien technology created out of a poorly understood material called Mysterium. MysTech is tied to forces that threaten Boots, and once it becomes active in a frightening development, Boots and his team can use it to supplement their skills in combat. Boots must uncover the secret behind MysTech, and in doing so, prevent Anachronox and the rest of the known universe from becoming someone else's sacrificial lamb.

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