Alpha Centauri (1999)

Video Game  -  Adventure | Sci-Fi  -  February 1999 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 201 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

Crash-landing on a world orbiting Alpha Centauri, 7 colonist factions of widely differing ideology must contend for dominance not only with each other, but also with a mysterious power called "The Voice of Planet".

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Title: Alpha Centauri (Video Game 1999)

Alpha Centauri (Video Game 1999) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Carolyn Dahl ...
Lady Deirdre Skye (voice)
Yu Lu ...
Chairman Sheng-ji Yang (voice)
Yuri Nesterov ...
Prof. Prokhor Zakharov (voice) (as Yuri Nesteroff)
...
CEO Nwabudike Morgan (voice)
Wanda Niño ...
Col. Corazón Santiago (voice) (as Wanda Nino)
Gretchen Weigel ...
Sister Miriam Godwinson (voice)
Hesh Gordon ...
Pravin Lal (voice)
Alena Kanka ...
Planet (voice)
Robert Levy ...
Datalinks male (voice)
Katherine Ferguson ...
Datalinks female (voice)
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Storyline

The chaos of domestic and international war is beginning to destroy the world, and the United Nations sends a space ship, the Unity, to escape Earth's death throes. En route, the Unity is damaged, and the captain is murdered by an unknown assailant. The crew seperates into 7 distinct factions, seperated not by ethnicity, but by ideology. When one of the faction leaders hears the words of the "Planetvoice", the last survivors of the human race realize that there is another 'faction' they must either fight or surrender to - Planet itself. Written by Chris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Future of Mankind In Space

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many factions' logos changed during development. The Hive's logo was originally the one used by the Peacekeepers. The wrench-like original logo of the University is still visible on the high-resolution pictures of their bases. See more »

Quotes

Sheng-Ji Yang: Technological advance is an inherently iterative process. One does not simply take sand from the beach and produce a Dataprobe. We use crude tools to fashion better tools, and then our better tools to fashion more precise tools, and so on. Each minor refinement is a step in the process, and all of the steps must be taken.
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Connections

Spin-off Alien Crossfire (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Worthy Follow-Up to CivII
16 October 2001 | by (Columbia, MO) – See all my reviews

Civilization II ends (for the non-warmongers) with the colonization of a planet in the Alpha Centauri solar system. I remember completing the journey for the first time and being sorely disappointed that I was not able to oversee the colonization of the new world -- instead I got a short cinematic. With the release of Alpha Centauri, civers everywhere finally got the chance to finish the job.

The game is remarkably more complex than its predecessor. Ideological factions take the place of nationality-based civilizations; a myriad of "social engineering" choices are available instead of simplistic governmental options; units are now customizable to an absurd degree; diplomatic tools are more plentiful; the list goes on...

Also superb is the atmosphere generated by the game's numerous snippets of wisdom, cinematics, and back-story. Each new technology and facility acquired is accompanied by a quote from one of several literary works, both real and fictional, or some other appropriate sound byte, usually read convincingly by one of the voice actors who portray the faction leaders.

I can think of only a couple of complaints. The game has a steeper learning curve than do the Civilization games. While this is due in part to the increased complexity of the game, another factor is lack of intuitiveness. With Civilization, it wasn't hard to remember the purpose served by the various units and improvements, because they were all drawn from history. In Alpha Centauri, the game is based in large part on the imagination of its designers, making it more difficult to get the hang of the game's components. But once you play your first several games, you'll be frightened by the number of the game's nuances you are unable to forget.

Another disadvantage of the game's complexity is that the AI isn't particularly adept at finding and exploiting the most powerful strategic configurations. Population Booms, Supply Crawlers, and certain customized units are game-breaking strategies, which are rarely if ever employed by the AI factions and the result is that games are not terribly challenging unless you stack the deck against yourself intentionally. The AI tries to make up for this by being overly aggressive, which detracts from the realism of the game. You have to shake your head when the "Peacekeepers" and "Gaians" (environmentalist faction) start tossing around PlanetBuster ("quasi-nuclear") weapons like cheap firecrackers. However the AI isn't much better at tactical planning than it is at civic planning, so this doesn't increase the difficulty of the game substantially.

This is a very-well-made game that takes a big step towards transforming computer gaming into an art-form. With the retail price of this game down around $15 as of now, you can't go wrong.


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