Industry Giant 2
by JoWooD Productions
Industry Giant 2 is the sequel to Industry Giant (of course) in which you played the role of a business entrepreneur. In Industry Giant 2 you are not just concerned with the selling of goods but collecting the raw materials, transporting them to the place of manufacture and then transporting them to the place of sale. The first Industry Giant was a difficult game but once you had become used to the ins and outs of it, it was fiendishly addictive. Industry Giant 2 improves on the original in every way possible and proves to be one of the most addictive games this year.
Fans of the original Industry Giant will be pleased to know that a great deal of depth has been added to this sequel. IG2 now allows you to get involved with the collection of resources, has 30 extra modes of transport, has multiple objectives, allows you to play a multiplayer game (LAN or Internet) against up to three opponents and offers three times the amount of game play as well as new gameplay elements such as Luxury points, which rewards good financial performance and allows you to purchase yourself a residence.
As we mentioned earlier you have to take care of everything for the collection of raw materials to the sale of the finished product. Let's take the production of picture frames. First of all you have to build a logging camp next to some trees. Next you have to cut the logs, that the logging camp produces, into usable wooden boards and this is done by the sawmill. A furniture industry will turn the boards into a picture frame. This chain of events is typical of what happens for the games 150 finished products. The game has an excellent built in lexicon that helps explain every product in great detail so you'll never be confused as to what needs to be done.
One area you have to keep an eye on is transportation. It is wise to keep the production buildings and raw materials buildings in close proximity and have a warehouse with the vicinity of them both. When you place a warehouse the area that it will cover will turn green. If a warehouse is in the vicinity of a building then the products will automatically go there and you'll save on transportation costs. A word of warning though if you build certain buildings too close to the towns then it will have a negative effect on the population. When placing a building, the nearby town will turn red if the desired location is too near to the town.
Transportation in IG2 takes many forms and you can use either water, air, road, or even train. All in all there are 50 different vehicles. The trick is to use the most cost effective method of transportation. Using the wrong, expensive mode of transport, or choosing an expensive variation of the correct mode of transport, will soon see you out of pocket. The depots have to be placed in the vicinity of the warehouse to collect and drop off the goods. Vehicles can be upgraded at any time and you can also build repair facilities into the depot to maintain the vehicles.
As you build your manufacturing empire and keep the towns well supplied in the different goods they need, the towns will grow and develop. This is advantageous as it will increase demand. Demand is calculated by the season. Sun tan lotion for instance is only demanded in the Spring and Summer and not needed at all in the Autumn (Fall) or Winter. You can increase the popularity of the towns you do business in even further, by placing special buildings such as universities, rodeos or parks.
The game has three campaigns. There is an Easy, Normal and Hard campaign. The Easy campaign is an extension of the tutorial and breaks you into the game without becoming too complex. The three tutorials are very short but nevertheless they are useful and explain the all important rudimentary skills needed to play the game. There are 20 maps (these maps all have different resources and will allow different goods to be manufactured) that can either be played as a single player game, solo or against 1-3 (from a choice of 10 very different) AI opponents, or as a multiplayer game over a LAN or the Internet. These options ensure there is a huge amount of replay value in the game. It is still disappointing that there is no map editor though especially as most games seem to come with one nowadays. Let's hope that one will be available to download soon.
Graphically the game looks OK. Rather than having a fully rotating 3D terrain map the designers have decided to stick with the classic isometric viewpoint. This is a shame but in light of the fact that it keeps the system requirements reasonable and affords a clear, uncomplicated view of the proceedings it is difficult to criticise. The game places icons over buildings to show what is being produced, and the level of production, and again this makes it easy to keep track of what is going on. There are multiple levels of zoom and the graphics don't look too bad when zoomed in quite close. I would have liked to have seen a zoom feature on the mini map though as things can look a little small.
Thankfully the game is totally deaf gamer friendly. Everything, including the tutorials, lexicon and all information is given solely in text. In fact there is no speech within the game. The text is clearly legible and is very easy on the eyes. You can even change the colour scheme of the interface if you wish. The only thing you have to watch is that the game does not automatically pause when a dialogue box appears like in other games. This isn't too much of a hindrance though and hopefully it will be an option in any future patch that is made.
Industry Giant 2 has improved upon the original Industry Giant in every way possible. The increased depth in the gameplay will keep fans of resource management RTS games, and fans of business/economic simulations occupied for many months to come. If you liked the original you'll love the sequel.
Overall Game Rating: 8.9/10 Industry Giant 2 improves upon the original game in every way possible.
Deaf Gamers comment: The game is perfect for deaf gamers. All information is given in text.