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Industry Giant 2 Review
publisher: JoWooD Productions
developer: JoWooD Productions
PII-350, 64MB RAM, 16MB Video Card
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Aug 30, 02 (released)
|» All About Industry Giant 2 on ActionTrip|
In real life, you can rarely ever have a chance to experience the pleasure of making a huge amount of money in a fairly short time and feel the power and glory that go with it. And even if it is rare in real life it is not necessarily so in the virtual world. This is where Industry Giant 2 hops in. The developer and publisher of Industry Giant 2 (AKA Industry Tycoon 2 in the US) is the renowned Jowood Productions - Rally Trophy, Aquanox, Etherlords, Gothic2, etc.
On the shores of my hometown, that's where I lost my virginity.
Breed cows then you can eat 'em. AT, has the highest respect for cows.
Now, imagine yourself as a pioneer - an entrepreneur at the beginning of the 20th century in America; a sea of opportunities before you - developing major business in various markets, harvesting huge fields abundant with resources in the next eighty years ('till 1980). The mere fact that there are more than 150 different products and resources and 50 different types of transports in the game only goes to prove how detailed the game is. All this versatility promises long-term fun.
For those of you who are not overly proficient in this type of games (it most resembles Transport Tycoon and the unavoidable Sim City); Industry Giant 2 features three excellent tutorial campaigns, which will let you get better acquainted with the principles of play. Once you get through these three campaigns, you can choose to play the rest of the maps on one of the three difficulty settings - four easy campaigns, and five medium and hard campaigns, followed by twenty endless campaigns (no time limit). The game will be interesting to beginners and experienced gamers alike, primarily because it gives you an infinite number of possible solutions, giving you in turn a chance to prove yourself as an economic strategist. You start the game with a certain territory containing smaller and bigger towns, resources spread all over the map, a basic road network, and some money in the bank. You will have to develop a business and make a designated amount of money in order to achieve your goals. The harder the campaign is, the less starting money and resources you will have, and you may even be set on a hostile terrain.
Bigger cities are an ideal target for starting a business, and you will logically first focus on them. You have to organize a complete chain from resource gathering to selling the final product. There are many different products you can cover, and your choice will have to depend both on assumed market demand and resource availability. This means that you will have to carefully calculate possible profits that can be achieved from a certain product. On some maps you will make more money on producing and selling wooden toys and furniture than bread and eggs, and on other maps, you could only dominate by providing the town with food. On the other hand, the distance between the town and your factories can also prove to be a major problem on some maps, making trucks a far better means of transport than trains.
Just like in real life, the demand for some products will only exist in certain times of the year, and hence it will be crucial to organize production and transport to bring the product to the shelves just before its season commences. A couple of times I happened to miss half of the season due to poor organization, and ended up missing the estimated earnings by about 100%. Not even the products that are in demand all year around are always a bull's-eye. For instance, bread is always in demand, but wheat has to be sown in the spring and harvested in the fall, and if you don't provide sufficient quantities, you won't be able to meet the demand, which will induce losses. Your transport vehicles will keep breaking down and deteriorating, so that you have to make sure you have a sufficient quantity of them at any given moment. As the years go by, new means of transport will be introduced together with new products, all of which have to be used in order to achieve the ultimate goal.
Love that grass. Almost like Wimbledon.
There's a house that seems to be out of toilette paper.
Once you get grip of the basics, moving through the game is easy thanks to the clear, intuitive interface (you even have a small floating map), and all possible aspects of your work can be seen on the set of tables and graphs. AI is OK, and in direct duels against the computer it can turn out to be more than you bargained for. The vehicles move in a pretty logical manner - they will wait at the junctions and get stuck in traffic jams, with the slight exception of trains which tend to pass one through another if they happen to be on the same track and moving in opposite directions?!? This even happens when you have several free tracks, and the train decides to take an occupied one. There is no train signalization, but train control has been done pretty well.
The graphics are detailed and very good for this genre; game resolution can go up to 1600x1200, but you still shouldn't expect spectacular special effects. This is still a business strategy. The view can be zoomed in to see the all the tiny details, which will at times be really necessary - for instance, for laying roads between two truck terminals. I truly loved some of the visual effects, like the waves crushing against the shore. Maps contain a number of non-interactive critters which only improve the overall experience by making you feel that you're playing in a real live world.
Sound effects are versatile, and mostly quite becoming, and the music is very good, but too repetitive, so that it tends to get boring after some time.
Multiplayer gamers can fight online or on LAN, and the game also includes a skirmish mode where you fight AI controlled opponents.
Even though it heavily relies on some famous titles in its genre, Industry Giant 2 is more focused on transports than business; the game is very interesting and features great gameplay and replay value. Initial failures will make you activate your little gray cells, and think more commercially. Believe me, there is great pleasure to be found in the fact that you are capable of making $10 million in four years. The lack of the map generator will surely be made up for in one of the future patches, and the only problem that remains is that once you figure out a way to make easy money, everything becomes overly simple ... but still interesting, nevertheless.
8.1 Very Good
Good graphics, many missions, long gameplay, versatility;
Monotonous music, no random map generator, some AI glitches. Can become overly simple once you figure out a few neat tricks...
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