This review of one of the best games ever appeared on Reviewcenter.com in 1999.
Your adventure begins in the year 2100. Your job: colonize a hostile and unforgiving planet and save the future of mankind.
The problem: six other factions are out to stop you at any cost.
In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, you play as one of seven ideological factions, battling against six others. Choose from The University of Planet, a science and information related faction, or Morgan industries, a faction bent on economic issues. You can also play as Gaia’s Stepdaughters, an ecology related faction, or the Spartan Federation, led by a great military power. You can also be the Lord’s believers led by Sister Miriam, the Human Hive, or the Peacekeeping forces of Brother Lal.
Every faction has its strengths and weaknesses. You really have to find your niche in this game, and that can take time. In Alpha Centauri, the follow up to Civilization II, Sid Meier has created the ultimate colonization and battle game.
We’ve never seen graphics as stunningly good as these in any game. The 3D rolling terrain is awesome. The military units are well shown, and the videos are just as good. Each faction fights for technical superiority, and we’ve never seen a tech-tree as cool as this one. All the technologies are based on ones today. Make your way up the tree, as you concentrate research in different areas. You reach your peak when you make Transcendence: The next step in human evolution.
This game is infinitely playable. There are so many variables available. You can choose from one of many levels of difficulty, randomized terrain and map sizes. You can pick your faction and even design your own map. I think that this game is difficult, yet fun. It offers a challenge to all those who get bored playing typical build and conquer games. Games can last lots of time. I found myself immersed in a game for over ten hours one day. This game is truly a step above and beyond typical games.
Another good element to this game is Diplomatic Relations. You must maintain a constant balance between friends, choosing allies and enemies carefully. You must vote on different planetary issues, including the UN Charter, planetary governor, and whether to salvage the ship you crashed on. This element of the game is very difficult, and makes the game even more interesting.
The units in this game are simply amazing. They range from simple conventional troops with conventional weapons to specially trained amphibious marine troops that can drop out of the sky that carry chaos guns. You can choose from infinite variables to design and implement your own troops or naval units. Use these troops to crush your opponents or defend your borders.
I totally recommend this game, for those who own high-end Pentium based computers. Although I did play this game on my minimal P133, I recommend at least a P266. The graphics are infinitely better, and the game play is much faster. You should also have a computer stocked full of RAM. I again recommend at least 32 MB.
There is only one true gripe I had with this game. You could only quit when it was your turn. This leads to waiting a few minutes before you can quit. If you have your own PC, great, but if you share it with a family, they’re bound to get mad at one point or another. But, in my experience, I have never seen a better build and conquer game than Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri.
Ye Olde System Requirements
- Pentium 133 MHz
- 16 MB RAM
- 60MB hard drive space
- 2MB video memory