|Developer: Golem Labs||Publisher: DreamCatcher|
|Release Date: October 12, 2004||Also On: None|
The original SuperPower game was the type of game in which critics laughed at, yet was still very playable. SuperPower 2 is similar to the first game, due to the fact that critics also laugh at this game. Unfortunately, SP2 is far from playable.
When you first start up SP2, you see a detailed globe that you can zoom in on to see the different countries in it. When you start a new game, you pick a country you want to take control of and the game starts off from there. There are also a few scenarios that deal with today’s issues, such as the war in Iraq, the Cuban trade embargo, and the China-Taiwan issue.
The main concept of the game, however, is idiotic. Most of the time you just try to conquer the world. I agree that conquering the world is fun, but it’s too unrealistic in this supposed-to-be realistic game. I was looking forward to a game in which the player chooses what he or she wants to do, and not being pressured by the game. Instead of conquering countries, I really wanted to focus on trade and crime. A game like this should let the player choose the action, and should let the creator choose the reaction of the action. The idea of conquering countries is a very simple concept that requires very little creativity. It is very easy to conclude that the creators took the easy way out.
Each country gets distinguished by these three parts: the military, political interactions, and economical interactions. Most changes in any of the three parts of the game all bring slight changes, which kill all hope for any amount of strategy in this game.
The military concept in the game is horribly done. Since this is a game of macro management, you don’t control your troops, only where they go. Normally, I like macro management. However, in SP2, I was so bored that I wish I could have done some micromanagement. Instead of watching a spectacular battle when your troops meet enemy troops, you see a screen counting down the number of soldiers both you and your enemy has. In fact, there is almost no point to invade a country with soldiers. All you have to do is nuke the country you want destroyed, and then stroll in with some soldiers.
The political part of the game is abominable. It is mostly a bunch of charts and graphs showing how satisfied your citizens are with the government, what treaties you should make or break, and pass laws. Most of the laws you make and treaties you sign will make almost no difference on your country. For example, I made the US become a dictatorship and stopped freedom of speech, and my approval rating just dropped a couple of points.
The economy part of the game is just as dull as the political section. You can increase the minimum wage, raise interest levels, and manage trades. Whatever you do, it will not make much of a difference in the game, unless your country’s income goes below its expenses. For example, if you sign a treaty with Poland (“Don’t forget Poland,” one of our leaders reminds us), your nation’s economy rating will only be boosted by about .1%. The effects of these choices will probably be extremely slight or unnoticeable.
The multiplayer mode is terrible. It involves you and a friend who also got tricked into buying this game, each take control of one country and try to conquer the rest of the world. Most countries are naturally unbalanced (e.g. China is naturally stronger than South Africa), and the creators’ efforts to make them balanced failed.
The graphics and audio are almost as bad as the gameplay. If you ever looked at a map before, you can understand how the graphics are, and if you ever put earplugs in your ears you can understand how the game sounds.
While I was writing this review, one reader emailed me about this game. In the letter he said that it is near impossible to have a geography game that is creative. I beg to differ. Back when JFK was president, he was left with the decision to either blockade or invade Cuba. If JFK blockaded Cuba, then the nukes wouldn’t get dismantled. If he invaded the island, then WWIII would probably start. Having some incredible luck, war didn’t break out. I want a game like that. I want to play a game where there is a reasonable proportion between luck and strategy.
Let’s say you take control a Middle Eastern country, and imagine if American companies are sucking up all your oil money. Should you make oil drilling a government owned industry? What happens if America doesn’t like that? This game could have shown the public what a good leader does: think of every possible situation. If SP2 was just that good, then you could even consider this a series of political messages to the gamer.
Overall, SP2 is a terrible game. Despite its great potential, SP2 is boring, lacks strategy, has poor multiplayer modes, and is aided with poor audio and visuals. If you want a good geopolitical simulation, I suggest you just look at a world map and imagine playing something nice. Stay as far from this game as possible.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||2|
|Written by Simon||Review Guide|