If you're looking for gratuitous eye candy, then you're obviously in the wrong place. Alpha Centauri's graphics are quite good, but they're not going to make anyone sit up and take notice. If that's what you're into, you'll always be better off with a first person shooter. In turn based combat, graphics are somewhat secondary; they're placeholders if you will, for the units and cities. Having said that, the graphics of AC are definitely more than adequate to the task. Terrain is 3D rendered with gently rolling hills, and lush green areas interspersed with rocky terrain and the mysterious red xenofungus. The oceans of the Planet feature shallow areas and fungus infested squares as well. Your units will move and roll across the terrain according to elevation: if you send a rover car up a hill you'll see it bank upward and drive up the steep slope. A little more variety in the unit graphics would have been nice.
3D landscapes and unobtrusive gridlines
Like many strategy games, the Alpha Centauri map is segregated into discrete areas. In this case, a grid pattern of squares is used instead of the hex, which is also a popular method of separation in turn based strategy games. The designers did a good job of making the grid lines visible, yet indiscreet so as not to spoil the overall beauty of the landscape. The point of these separations is to determine how far units can travel, and of course, whether or not a unit is within firing range of an enemy. The real eye candy comes with the cut-scene videos. As you gain new technologies through research, you'll be treated to some cut scenes that show everything from in house animation, to real world video clips.
Part of the many beautiful cutscenes you'll see
The Audio Aspect
AC has an unbelievably large amount of speech. All the voice acting was done well, and it was a nice touch how the designers used actors with genuine accents (the ethnicity of each leader ranged from Latina to Slavic to Indian). However, having a voice blurb after every little tech advance was perhaps going overboard a bit. The sound effects of the units and such were adequate, but nothing really special; also the sound effects of all attacks were too similar between weapons, which was a bit disappointing. It sort of follows the same line as the unit graphics - not too splashy but enough to get the job done.