Civilization III's strategic resource feature may lead to some problems if it isn't perfectly balanced. If one civilization has access to iron early on in the game, it could quickly field an army of swordsmen with which to overpower any other nearby civilizations. Hopefully the game's attempts to de-emphasize the necessity for combat will be fruitful. Ultimately, a game whose scope is as ambitious as that of Civilization III must be painstakingly balanced to be successful.
Perhaps the most significant addition to the Civilization series is culture. Once you construct churches, libraries, wonders, and other such buildings and let them age for a while, you start to gain culture points. These points increase your influence over cities that border your civilization but aren't a direct part of it. As they begin to admire your culture more and more, there's a much better chance that they will join your civilization. Essentially, culture gives you an alternative method for conquering opposing civilizations, so building an incredibly strong military is no longer a necessity.
It appears as though development of Civilization III is coming along nicely. The new features seem to integrate very well with the older ones, which have also been changed around slightly, all in order to make Civilization III play like a brand-new game. It's clear that Firaxis has put forth a strong effort to make Civilization III much more detailed than any other game in the Civilization series--and that says a lot.
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