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SuperPower 2 PC CD-ROM

Published by DreamCatcher Games
Developed by GolemLabs Inc.
Release Date: Out Now
Price : £19.99

Many strategy games can claim to have given you the chance to rule the world but none can claim to have done it on the same scale that SuperPower 2 has. Playing as anyone of 193 countries you'll have full control over Political, Military and Economic decisions in your bid to make your country the ultimate super power. The game claims to have used real-world data based on CIA and US Naval Intelligence information to create as realistic a world as possible. It all seems like the hardcore strategists dream game. Let's have a closer look at SuperPower 2.

SuperPower 2, essentially, allows you to be in charge of the country of your choice if you choose a custom game. Choosing a custom game will allow you to decide what goals you want to achieve. You can choose to conquer the world or to increase your nations GDP per capita by 50%. After completing the 2 tutorials that are on offer though you might want to try one of the games scenarios. You have a choice of political, economical and military campaigns and there are campaigns for beginner, intermediate and expert difficulty levels. If you wanted to be really topical you could choose the beginner military scenario and play as the USA whose goal is to invade Iraq or you could choose the expert military scenario and try to reunite Russia.

As the leader of your nation there are plenty of decisions to be made and you have to give credit to GolemLabs for including such an impressive amount of options. Want to put a limit on the amount of children per family? No problem. Is there a religion you don't want in your nation? Again no problem, as you can outlaw whatever you see fit to. Fancy designing your own military vehicles? It's all possible in SuperPower 2. You can propose treaties, form alliances, launch nuclear strikes, control the amount of money you give to foreign aid, and even propose a cultural exchange with the nation of your choice. No other strategy game to date gives you the options that SuperPower 2 does.

In theory then SuperPower 2 should be an extraordinary game that goes far beyond any other strategy game to date. However it just doesn't work out that way. I've played more strategy games than I care to remember but it took me a long time to get to grips with the game. Yes there are two tutorials which are easy to understand but even after finishing these I felt completely in the dark when beginning a scenario. There ought to have been a scenario or two where you're guided through, in order to help you understand how the game flows. With the amount of information in the game I feel it would have been far better as a turn-based strategy. Being in real-time it can easily become overwhelming (real-time strategies usually have nowhere near the depth of turn-based strategy game because of the need to constantly monitor events beyond your control) and for the first half-dozen or so games you'll feel like the game is simply playing itself which doesn't make for an enjoyable experience.

As you can tell from the screenshots there is little to say about the graphics in SuperPower 2. You have a 3D globe in front of you that you can rotate and zoom in close upon (enough to see the main highways etc.). Unit icons can be dragged and dropped in to the locations you desire but the icons are simplistic, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If you choose to take part in a battle you'll get a zoomed in side on view of the skirmish that looks quite similar to the battle screen in Civilization: Call To Power. Again this is simplistic but it enables you to have a clear view of what's going on. For the most part though the game is text heavy and graphics don't really play a major part.

SuperPower 2 is absolutely fine for deaf gamers. There is a minimal amount of speech in the introduction cutscene that isn't subtitled but this doesn't cause any problems. The entire wealth of information in the game is exclusively in text so there's absolutely no problems. Good use has also been made of icons and you will have a flashing envelope icon if you receive a message for example. Despite there being masses of information at your finger tips the game does a good job of keeping it all tidy and you're allowed to drag information windows to a location of your choosing. Mission objectives are given in text and these can be recalled at any time. The game manual does a good job of explaining the basics but like the tutorials it doesn't really help you put it all together.

In regards to sheer scale no other strategy game can claim to be anywhere near SuperPower 2. The main problem though is that it's all a little dry and uninviting which will put casual gamers off. If you're a hardcore strategy fan though and don't mind games with the complexity of Europa Universalis then it's more than likely you'll appreciate what's on offer in SuperPower 2. The game does have a few bugs to be honest although after we patched the game we didn't have any real issues and as I write a second patch has become available. The game also supports Internet play for up to 32 players if you fancy spending many hours against human opponents. In essence then it's a good strategy game that does little to earn the interest of the less dedicated strategy fans out there. If you're a strategy nut though you should appreciate what's on offer here.

Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
A strategy game that has the potential to be simply outstanding but it takes a lot to get into and it's all presented in a very dry fashion that isn't very inviting.

Deaf Gamers comment:
No problems for deaf gamers as the game is very text heavy.