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A big question remains the editing of unit, city and terrain graphics. They are all in their own formats. However, Activision is working on a way around this. The good thing is that they seem to understand how important this is. Beyond that, almost every other graphic you might want to modify is in tga format, editable with any graphic program.

The manual isn't saying anything about the modification possibilities, and a lot might fall into the hands of the fans. There are a lot things to look into and experiment with, and we will probably have to do discover things by ourselves. Activision has promised that tips for scenario and map editing will be posted on the official site though.

I won! :)

Finally, the time to make a conclusion! The game is excellent. Is that enough? No? Ok...

A thing I've liked, beyond everything else I mentioned in the previous paragraphs, is that you if you're in a winning position the game is not won for sure, but you might have some surprises. For example, in a game on a small map, some time in 1700's I was winning the game, nothing could stop me, when I reached the 30 cities limit of Republic. I would have problems if I captured more cities and I hadn't discovered a more advanced government. Or something like that could happen with pollution. In my last game I tried to avoid a disaster but at the end I didn't. The ozone layer was destroyed, and I lost 20 cities(!) because of the raise of the sea level! I was still in a "nothing could make me lose" position though. In another case I might not be.

A bad thing? Well, the pace of the game is a little slow in the first half of the game. This also depends on the size of the map, but things get more "wild" somewhere in the middle to the end of the Renaissance age. Since you change the number of years each turn takes in each part of the game, it might be interesting to see a mod with the 500 turns ending at 2000, giving more time to the first ages.

So, CTP is a great game for a civer like me(and probably you). But how does it compare with SMAC? Well, it's hard to say, and a lot depend on personal liking. CTP is based on earth, with real history for the bigger part, while SMAC is 100% science fiction. Some people will say that CTP rocks because of the graphics, other people don't care about it. Some other people think that CTP sucks because of the lawyer unit.

However, a couple of things are more certain. SMAC has a better diplomacy part, a real 3-D map, custom units, has a real story based on the conflict of seven different ideologies and keeps the civ2 gameplay. CTP brings news ideas in conventional and unconventional combat, a realistic trade system, allows 32 civs, retains the civ feeling of "re-writing history" and reduces micromanagment...

My opinion? It seems that I will be playing both for the next two years :)

See you on the battlefield(earth or alien)!

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