Sid Meier’s Civilization (1991)

Info

Genre Period Developer Publisher Theme
Turn-based Strategy, 4X Classic (1990 – 2000) MicroProse MicroProse Historic, Flow of Time, Geo-politics, Conquests, Economy, Resource management, Military tactics, Diplomacy

Civilization is a turn-based strategy game designed by Sid Meier of MicroProse. The game intends to simulate the historical progression of various human civilizations from their birth in 4000 BC to the space age. Cities are the backbone of this game. You create cities to gather resources and cultivate technological growth. Citizens live in cities and work for you, but they have to be kept content or happy. Rival civilizations will try to crush you through war or negotiate with you through diplomacy. You ultimate goal is to survive across time till the space age, attain the adequate technological level required, and send space craft full of settlers to the Alpha Centauri system for colonization of its planets. Civilization is a game that is one of the very firsts of its kind and can be called a fore-father of the 4x (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) genre.

Game Assessment

Complexity Matrix 

Complexity Parameters Values (0, 0.5, 1)
Control Scheme 0.0: Point n click
Complexity 1: Quite complex
Story 0.0: Sandbox
Lore 0.0: Though technically historic, the in-game history is free-flowing as in it does not really follow world History; historic ingredients are there to be mixed and matched based on whatever players prefer
Immersion 0.5: Technically role-play but flaws in the presentation and the primitive graphics reduce the immersion, and it cannot be compensated with imagination either. The free flowing histroy also contributes to this and also the inaccurate geographical representation of the earth.
Difficulty 1: High
Learning Curve 1: High
Total Score 3.5/7: Mediumweight game 

Satisfaction Matrix

Needs Satisfaction Score (0-3)
Analytical 3: Well met
Creative 1: Slightly met
Mastery 3: Well met
Destructive 0: Not met
Entertainment 0: Not met
Pace 0: Not met
Horror 0: Not met
Total Score 7/21: Good Game

Game Review

TL;DR A game that has not aged well inspite of its innovation and brilliance. Only useful for experiencing the historic progression of the franchise, but that is all.

Pros

  • High strategic complexity
  • Combat has tactical aspects

Cons

  • Geographic and cultural flaws
  • Historic ingredients are used, yet history is bent too far making the whole thing ridiculous

Game suspended. I really tried to get into this, but the interface, and the presentation, and the ridiculous bending of history to an extent too far just could not keep me hooked.

Purpose – Study and Challenge

Gameplay – Gameplay is okay.

Graphics – Quite poor as expected from 1991.

Performance – Can run on a coffee-maker.

Entertainment – Absolutely nada. Even the historic characters are ridiculously portrayed.

Plot (if applicable) – Not applicable.

Replay value – Technically infinite replay value.

Immersion – Not immersive at all for me. Somehow it lacks the charm. The presentation and the interface just did not work for me. The bending of history in whatever direction you will, also did not work for me. I would have preferred some degree of historical accuracy.

Overall it is a good game in terms of innovation as it gave birth to the 4X genre, but that is also the only reason to try it out; just to experience how the root of 4x feels like. Definitely the genre has been refined a lot lot more in subsequent games.

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Saint’s Row 2 (2008)

Info

Genre Period Developer Publisher Theme
Action, Adventure, Open World, Sandbox Modern (2001-2010) Volition, CDProjekt THQ

Deep Silver (Presently)

Organized crime, Thug life, Grand theft auto, Gangsters, Racing

Saint’s Row 2 is the second installment in the Saint’s Row series of GTA clone games. Although, these games are GTA clones, imho they are actually even more fun to play than GTA games. Maybe not as deep or satisfying as GTA, but definitely more entertaining. SR 2 is no exception. In contrast to GTA, you can create your own character as male or female with plenty of customization options. The character models are one of the best I have ever seen actually. In every other way it is basically like any GTA game, you do missions all around the city, some are story missions and some are optional side missions. Collectibles strewn around, gang turf mechanisms, and all the rest of it. Another important aspect in which it is different from GTA, is the ability to recruit upto 3 gang members as your followers, who can basically act as your bodyguards.

Game Assessment

Complexity Matrix 

Complexity Parameters Values (0, 0.5, 1)
Control Scheme 0.5: Moderately complex
Complexity 1: Quite complex
Story 1: There is a story
Lore 1: World of Saint’s Row
Immersion 1: Role-play level
Difficulty 0.5: Moderate
Learning Curve 0: Easy
Total Score 5/7: Heavyweight game 

Satisfaction Matrix

Needs Satisfaction Score (0-3)
Analytical 0: Not met
Creative 0: Not met
Mastery 2: Moderately met
Destructive 2: Moderately met
Entertainment 3: Well met
Pace 3: Well met
Horror 0: Not met
Total Score 10/21: Good Game

Game Review

TL;DR A very entertaining game with all sorts of whacky humor. If you are a fan of open world GTA like games, then you must get hold of this.

Pros

  • Create your own character
  • Lots of character customization options
  • Plentiful wardrobe options
  • Recruit gang members as followers to help out in combat
  • Good collection of vehicles
  • Whcky exaggerated humor

Cons

  • A bit short compared to what GTA games are

Game completed. Gametime 59 hrs.

Purpose – Entertainment

Gameplay – There is no complains in this department. It is just fine.

Graphics – Maybe falling a bit short for its time.

Performance – No issues for modern systems.

Entertainment – Very very entertaining. The humor is way more exaggerated than in GTA, and overall this game is super fun.

Plot (if applicable) – Plot is cliched but more or less okay.

Replay value – There is quite a bit of replay value, especially due to side missions and collectibles which you might miss in your first play-through.

Immersion – Good level of immersion due to highly customizable character.

Overall a very entertaining game experience.