Industry Giant 2 Review

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Originally, Industry Giant 2 was a 2002 PC game. Developed by Reactor Games, this business simulator received some fantastic reviews when first released. Now, with a re-release on PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, Industry Giant 2 is back to try to wow the next generation of gamers.

Even though Industry Giant is a pretty solid business simulator, aspects are missing, specifically the finer points and details like job positions and with no interest in the workers of these towns and no extra mechanics added in. Intrinsically, the game is a supply chain simulator more than that of a business simulator. Praised for its tactical and strategic managerial avenues, the game does give off a real life vibe and helps the player understand how supply chains work in the real world (if you’re into that sort of thing).

Although Industry Giant 2 was re-released it unfortunately wasn’t remastered. This means that a 2002 game is masquerading around with the newer next-gen games, and with a hefty price tag of thirty-five pounds on the PlayStation store, I can’t imagine a lot of people will pick it up. Especially as it still plays like a PC game, and this game could be something really distinguished and enjoyable to play, but as of now its just an old game trying to keep up.

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Starting in the 1900’s, with the change in your pockets and a head full of industrial dreams your one objective is to be the best. Using certain techniques learned through playing the game, your conglomerate dreams can become reality. Well, at least simulated reality. If you fancy yourself a fruit farmer or even a lumber manufacturer then this is the game for you. With a brilliant range of specifications, the game gives you the chance to make yourself whatever businessman you’d like to be and with a range of factors affecting your produce and crop yield, how successful can you be?

Apart from the time difference between the two releases, the main aspect that brings the overall game down is the fact that there isn’t any particular narrative. Although RTS (Real Time Strategy) games are privy to as little story elements as possible, classic RTS games such as Age of Empires or Red Alert still manage to give that little extra narrative for the enjoyment of the entire game. Industry Giant 2, lumps you in a generated map and expects you to just get on with it. The problem is that games, in the same way as films, are only amusing to play when there’s  a real reason behind it or when there’s previous subject experience. I can’t imagine anyone these days has specific experience of 1900’s empire management, so I’m not sure who the target audience is.

Another unfortunate feature is the general look of the game, the graphics are obviously outdated and almost unpleasant to watch, but that may be because it’s the original format. Due to the game being played on a larger scale, taking a close look at the individual cars or buildings shows that unfortunately not much detail has been put into these smaller aspects, which is obviously understandable but doesn’t help the playability. You can tell almost nothing has been changed since its 2002 release, from its retro icons to the pixellated pedestrians of your town.

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On a surface level the game looks enjoyable and easy to get to grips with,  but jumping down the rabbit hole doesn’t always end in wonderland. Through a foray of confusing hoops to jump and odd controls, Industry Giant makes itself impossible play without going through its four long-winded and boring tutorials. After getting past those annoyances, it’s a miracle if your even still able to play the game if you haven’t already quit, uninstalled and asked for your money back. But with a couple different game types to play, including campaign levels and an endless mode, it helps with the actual playing of the game due to the endless mode being adaptable to your play style, which is definitely a bonus in this shame of a game.

Thankfully, the game has some pretty nifty automatic features. Through the grand scheme of growing products, gaining salary and utilizing that to expand your town; new technologies, transport and products are unlocked enabling you and your town to flourish further with coal powered trains carrying automobiles (its a big thing in the 1900’s). As you progress through time, inevitably you’ll  unlock more and more contemporary procedures and products, giving the player a vague sense of achievement. Also with more capital during your reign your town will automatically become bigger, though with great power comes great responsibility and you’ll have to work harder to keep your fortune. This as a mechanic brings in a deeper level of difficulty and challenge to the player.

In  conclusion you can tell the game itself means well but in essence its a game that you’d be too happy to put down. It lets the player down in a number of ways. For one, it presented itself as a game similar to Tropico; a town simulator, using produce to fuel your advances through campaign missions. Unfortunately, in reality it was as dissimilar as it can get. Industry Giant 2 has relatively no story, its controls are confusing and hard to get to grips with, the graphics look like an offshoot of a terrible red alert and generally its a pretty boring game especially alongside the new releases of 2017. Unfortunately, and as harsh as it sounds, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of reason to play unless you have a keen interest in 1900’s manufacturing processes.

Bonus Stage Rating - Very Poor 2/10

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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