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Call to Power 2 Review

publisher: Activision
developer: Activision
genre: Management

P166, 64MB RAM, 470MB HDD, 16-bit video card with 4MB
ESRB rating: E

release date: Nov 19, 00
» All About Call to Power 2 on ActionTrip

December 04, 2000
Nikola "Bunny" Zakic

Activision programmers decided to finish off the job they started several years ago, and if possible, make a few bucks with it. The original Civilization: Call to Power appeared at a very awkward moment for this genre as Firaxis and Sid Meier just published Alpha Centauri a couple of months earlier, and Microprose decided to release its Civilization2: Test of Time, right after CTP appeared. All in all, the harsh competition and some minor technical flaws saw to it that Activision's favorite does not meet expected popularity or profit.

Call to power II is all its predecessor should have been. The authors listened to players' suggestions, enhanced the old engine and introduced some novelties, and hoping their new game will please sim-players, published it.

The thirst thing I noticed was that the game has no "Civilization" in its title. That might have something to do with Hasbro insisting to retain the copyright to the title. This however, didn't influence the game concept, which remained the same ever since the first Sid's Civilization. Isometric view, turn-based gameplay, exploration, colonization, city development, diplomacy, warfare and scientific research - all that with one goal, you have to stand side by side with world's greatest leaders.

As this is but an upgraded version of the old game I'll just focus on the novelties.

This sequel starts (like all other games of this genre) in 4000 BC (because first settlement had been founded about that time). You will have to reach one of the four goals by the year 2300. So, you'll have seven centuries less to complete your tasks, but, as time flux has also been changed, you'll end up with some 900 turns more. This will give you sufficient time to conquer your opponents, construct the Gaia Controller (a project that would create heaven on earth), achieve diplomatic victory (alliance with all nations), or have the highest score on the last year of the 23rd century.

The graphics are a bit better, and I think the units are much better animated. The interface has been remodeled. The large number of menus may seem a bit complicated at first, but once you get used to it, you'll realize this is for the better. You will be able to do anything you want in many simple ways. Economy has also been changed - a lot of things you had to do on your own have been automated. Mayors will now run cities according to your directions, leaving you enough time to take care of crucial matters. City growth will spread the urban zone up to 30 squares. The first Call to Power introduced the possibility to colonize space and sea. The second part no longer features this option.

State borders are visible so you'll know when you breach into anybody else's territory. The main objection to the first part was on account of the weird way the program calculated the victor of battles. The old game would sometimes calculate a victory of spearmen over bombers or tanks. The programmers claim they had that fixed. Units that can attack only ground forces will now be completely helpless against air attackers. The number of units in an army has been increased from nine to twelve, and it is crucial to combine ranged and mÍl'e units. The combat is now much more true to life, but it still misses some advanced options. I mean, if they granted us all those units and features they could have given us a way to organize them properly. This could save the lives of some important units who could get killed because the computer calculated the results of the battle on its own. The game features special units, which do not destroy everything in their path; they are used for subtle sabotage operations. The idea to leave the decision of weather to charge at enemy with a group of tanks or CETI lawyers to players was nice, but they somehow ruined that concept by favoring the second option too obviously. The balance of power has remained the same, making various prophets, spies and preachers far more powerful than rocket launchers and future infantry.

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7.2   Good

Multitude of different units and technologies, everything good about civ. games, great scenario generator;

Doesn't bring anything new to the genre, lacking the possibility to take direct control of battles, minor bugs.


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