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Populous III: The Beginning

Populous 3Before I start this review let me just say, damn you people who use the priests. Ok now that that's over with let's get onto what you're dying to know, how is the next part of the Populous series? Well, first off, practically everything in the game is unique, even the storyline. The game takes place as you, the shaman, realise your destiny to become a god. However, the problem is that enemy tribes are opposing you and possess knowledge that you need in order to achieve your goal. It is up to you to lead your men against those that would seek to destroy you and to claim your place in the divine realms.

One of the major thing that I think catches attention in the game is the graphics. Really, some of the best graphics I have seen come by in a long time! Many have already complimented it, however it does deserve much appreciation because it really makes the game more enjoyable. The sounds also come clear and precise which also adds to the game's quality.

Populous 3Strategy is one of my favourite parts of Populous. Unlike the typical "send men in and kill", Populous relies on true strategy based on timing. For example, let it be known that the shaman is the most powerful unit in the game by far, you need to eliminate the other side's shaman as soon as possible or she could quite possibly destroy your whole army. After you kill the shaman you only have a certain amount of time before she resurrects to do the most damage possible. However there are several unique units in the game which all have their own uses. One such example is a priest which can convert an ENTIRE army towards the opponents' side (that's why I hate them it's happened to me one too many times). However if you are willing to take casualties you can do a mob assault of up to 200 men into an enemies base. Generally they will win, however, you never know with all the different units and events that can go on in the game! Even defence is based on how you make it. You can use the land modification spells to make big lakes surrounding your base or connect two tall mountains to make an impassable wall.

Populous 3Another great focus on the game is spells. Clearly a lot of attention was put on spells which allow you to do anything from cast lightning to altering terrain. There are 26 spells in total each of which does it's own effect in a glorious show of graphics. Spells also compose a great deal of strategy. A single shaman could take out an entire army merely by earthquaking the land beneath them. Strategy and spells help make Populous a unique game, but for the better!

Multiplayer is also made easy by Bullfrog's Populous Match zone. Here you can log onto the Populous server and have matches against other Populous gamers such as yourself! This provides countless hours of fun as you send in mobs of men to the enemies' base and use your spell's damaging effects to the fullest. One of the great parts of Populous is it's ability to be very challenging but enjoyable. When the opponent comes and destroys half of your base it's not the end of the world. You can build it back up and take down half of their base as well too. The victory will probably go to the person who knows how to use the shamans with the normal units the best!

Overall, I think that Populous: The Beginning definitely is a buy. Die hard strategy fans will especially love the new twists to strategy as it gives them a whole new world to conquer. Incoming strategy fans will love the graphics, ease of use, and mass destruction!

Graphics *****
Playability ****
Detail *****
Load Time ****Star-Grey.gif (913 bytes)
Entertainment ****
Single Player ****
Multi-Player *****
Control ****Star-Grey.gif (913 bytes)


System Requirements:
Windows 95
Pentium 133
Direct X 6.0
16-bit sound card
Windows 95, 98
Pentium 200
Direct X 6.0
3D accelerated card (Microsoft Direct 3D compliant)
16 bit sound card


Developer/Programmer Bullfrog Productions Ltd.
Publisher Electronic Arts
Reviewed by Roupen,
Review Date 8th December 1998
Copyright Roupen Mouradian
HotMagma 1998


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