Introduction and Story
Click Here To Get the Table of Contents
To the stars and beyond
Originally I was a bit apprehensive about doing a review of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. I was afraid that some super hard core fans of Meier's original turn based strat, Civilization, were going to crucify me for missing some tiny detail or something. But then it just hit me at 4:30AM one day. I was in the middle of another marathon Alpha Centauri session (or has it just been one LONG play session since 4 days ago?) when I realized it. The hard core Civ fans aren't going to waste precious minutes reading my review! They preordered the game months ago and are already busy conquering the Planet. They can hardly spare any time to shower, eat, or go to the bathroom, let alone read someone's review of their drug of choice. You're better off asking a pot junkie to pick up a copy of "High Times" and read a review of the latest and greatest crop from Humboldt. Err…not that I'd know anything about that. Really.
Realizing this, I felt a lot better, because then I could concentrate on presenting the game to people who may not be quite as familiar with Civilization, like I was. Yup, there's no use preaching to the converted. If you love Civ, you can stop reading and buy the game now. If you're not familiar with Civilization, keep on reading, and I'll show you how easy it is to get sucked into the most addicting game I have played in years.
The Unity on its way to Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri bears Sid Meier's name but probably more of the actual design credit goes to Brian Reynolds - the mastermind behind "Sid Meier's Civilization 2." Civ 2 and Civ always grace the controversial "greatest games of all time" lists that come out of various publications during slow news months. With that kind of lineage, Alpha Centauri had a tough act to follow. Namely, how to please the old, faithful fans from days of 386 processors, and at the same time bring in the flocks of new games who have had no experience with the Civ franchise.
The story begins with the launch of a colony ship from Earth to the planet near Alpha Centauri. The ship, ironically called Unity, breaks up into seven philosophical factions after the ship's captain is mysteriously killed. Each faction gets its own colony pod and is isolated from one another as they land on the Alpha Centauri surface. With just one city and one scout unit, each faction starts off on the same foot, searching for domination in the alien world.