I will start this review in two seperate forms, one for interested newcomers and then the Old Guard.
I will list off the pros first before the cons of this game, Civilization 3 is a different twist of the game than you may be familar with 4 and 5. Go in understanding this switch:
-Its an old game, if you can run the actual game, there should be no real issues.
-Graphically, it's a sound experience and not many real issues, the modding community can find you bug fixes or new skins. Its pleasing regardless and you won't really be let down by this game.
-Combat is similar to Civ 4, simple dice combat where units have health bars going between 3-6, strength and defense stats play their parts and very simple to understand. There are Offensive Units, Defensive Units and Manovuer units, no exceptions and combat is based on these theorectical roles.
-31 Civs that each have 1 unique unit, unless mods are involved. Civ bonuses are general in that they have two traits which give them bonuses which are shared by others, Militaristic, Religious, Industrists, etc.
-Diplomacy is sound and reliable, techs can be traded directly as well as maps, I will faults soon
-Happiness is based per city, with simple factors involved including conscription
-Civfanatics Community and its modding community are lovely and its still alive and well, just no Workshop
-Civ 5 has a prediction based combat, units do no die with one attack on even matches. Not the case for this game, they fight till they die unless they are manovuer units against inf. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ can and will happen, don't cry.
-The AI Diplomacy is very defensive and almost always cautious, wary or spiteful towards you, no exceptions.
-Its really easy to find yourself fighting half the world because of one war, tech trading is enabled so you can find yourself backwater as they maintain amiable relations and trade those tech with one another while they fight you.
-Multiplayer is old, the members are not exactly nub-friendly, I myself was 3 years old when this game came out.
-Game doesn't work for you, you're ♥♥♥♥ed, not much anyone can do for you.
-In my opinion, the hardest Civilization I have every played, it will humble you many times over.
In the end it is a Civ-game, you can't really go wrong with trying. It is the game that personally got me into Civilization and its unique-ness will likely find you some memorable gameplay. Hey and if you get the game and love it, I'd always be willing to play with you by e-mail or I might even try GameRanger. Good luck on your adventure To Stand The Test of Time
Returning Civ 3, should you get it on steam? Yes and no, while digital copies are nice, its not any different from the disk. That being said, I prefer it on Steam. I have purchased this game three times, one the authentic Civ III Gold Version, which was outstanding and I loved it. However, eventually I got a new computer and it turns out the disc was ruined. I got the game a third time over E-bay, the only source I could find which remains, this time the Complete. Features were missing and I couldn't even access them no matter what I tried, the conquest files corrupted and Play the World missing. I got a new computer, my current, running Windows 8.1, 4GB RAM and Integrated Graphics. The disc would not load the game, but viola, I found the steam version was the cheapest to begin with. Its the same game as you know, and for me everything was working well. Underneath I will discuss the major steam issues:
-For me at least, Steam Overlay does not appear to work and I wouldn't know how to fix it, it could be a personal issue, I don't know.
-There are serious issues people have with getting this dinosaur game to work on new computers. Win 7 tends to have more compatiability issues with the game than Win 8(.1). Your at risk here, but this is usually the cheapest alternative
-Modding is simple but remember, access the files through the properties tab by right-click the game in the Library Tab
-Multiplayer is not run by Steam servers, nor GameSpy Arcade, it shut down if you haven't followed the game. It is now accessible over GameRanger. I do not know how that works or even attempted to access multiplayer.