The Civilization games have been a personal favourite since their inception on the Amiga back at the start of the 90’s. They pretty much invented the modern 4X strategy format that puts a heavy emphasis on exploration. You control a fledgling civilization born at the dawn of time and over a few hundred turns must guide them to world domination some 4-5,000 years in the future.
At some point between Civilization II and the release of Civilization III in 2002 the rights to the franchise some how split in a very James Bond “Never Say Never Again” way and Activision published two of the best games in the franchises history. The first Call To Power came in 1999 and was quickly followed by Call To Power II that legally had to drop the Civilization moniker.
Call To Power brings a few improvements over the then aging Civilization II and it would have been really nice to have seen this rival franchise develop further in competition with the primary Feraxis brand.
The two biggest features that really improve the overall moment to moment gameplay are the ability to combine multiple military units in to armies and the option to assign build queues to cities. You can even create custom queues that can be assigned to each city as required. Mayors are also an option in automating the assignment of the build queue and prioritising civic works but although I set Mayors for each city I did find myself resorting to micro-managing unit building, especially in times of war.
Call To Power II is not the perfect Civ game but it did make giant leaps in the right direction that I’m not sure Civ III, when it finally arrived, fully expanded upon. There are things missing that latter Civ games got right. Religion is one the things Civ IV brought to the field that really opened the dynamics of the basic 4X gameplay. Likewise connected empire bonuses and culture/religion flipping boarder cities. Add these features with hexagonal unit spaces to CTPII and I think there is the makings of the perfect Civilization experience.