Six years on and Dungeon Keeper 2 never fails to enchant me. Every gamer owes him/herself the pleasure of playing this.
- Game play -
Like all God-sims, DKII requires a lot of attention and multi-tasking. As a 'Keeper' you have to build, master spells, protect your creatures, master combat, develop and build defensive measures for your demonic dungeon, train your creatures, mine gold (most importantly) keep your creatures happy while they inhabit your dungeon etc etc. The list goes on and you're doing all of this simultaneously literally every second you play. This may put your head in a scramble but don't worry. The dungeon is about 90% self-sustaining meaning that the dungeon will run itself most of the time requiring moderate input from the player as it develops.
Overall, the game play is pretty linear but keeps just enough complexity to give you the sense of accomplishment upon completing a level.
- Visuals -
Bear in mind that DKII was released six (or seven in the US) years ago. As you've expected, the graphics are aged and dated. Does this mean that they are bad? Absolutely not. Yes you will get the bad textures and yes you will get the dated polygons. But the graphics work. And they work perfectly, if I do say so myself. The visuals are unprecedented when it comes to setting the mood and atmosphere and that's a big factor that should be included in a game like this. After all, in this game, you're a God. An evil God, and so you can build an evil empire. You should also have the right to be mesmerized by your completed creation. The game's graphics do this perfectly.
Overall, yeah, the graphics are dated. But they work. By God, they work.
- Sound -
There is virtually only three (four if you count the choir track) tracks in DKII. The opening theme, the combat theme (but only if you summon Horny or things get really intense) and 'Disco Inferno' by 'The Trammps' when there is a jackpot winner in the Casino.
When you are playing you will only hear the very atmospheric drips. unexplained sounds, women and men screaming in torture in addition to dreary and sinister choir scores. It sounds pretty disturbing when you think about it but you're a Keeper! Those things are music to your ears!...sorry.
Back on topic, all of these things really make you feel and think like an evil God. It sets the mood, the atmosphere and puts you into character.
Probably the most intriguing factor about the sound is the mysterious and the strangely well-mannered adviser. The developers have made the perfect choice for choosing the voice of Richard Riding. His voice is what makes the game come to life. The adviser is always by your side giving you very helpful suggestions, insulting your opponents and on occasion saying something completely hilarious or random. Quite ironic is the fact that though he may be on evil's side he is extremely friendly and well-mannered with you. I wouldn't have it any other way as that sense of irony is gold.
- Value - On the main campaign there is about 20 levels with some hidden levels. The first few levels will last about 30-60 mins. But the later levels will literally last about 2-3 hours or maybe even more depending on your skill.
Aside from that there is a multiplayer mode which surprising still has a small amount of people playing. I've found that everytime I search for a game there is always at least 5 to 10 people on at all times. Multiplayer mode will surely keep you playing for an extreme amount of time.
There is a mode called 'My Pet Dungeon' which basically lets you build your own dungeon without any time restraints or any threat of enemies (unless you request enemies). Totally stress-free dungeon keeping is very addictive and takes up most of the ratio of hours playing this game.
- Conclusion - Get this game. No questions asked. For me, this is one of the few games that I know of that I can truly called perfect. No exaggeration. As I said, there is just something about DKII and that keeps you coming back for more. Ot's like...try it yourself and you'll hopefully see what I am rambling on about it. Nowadays, you can get DKII for around £5 (around $10) and seeing that it is 7 years old it can be played perfectly on any recent computer or even earlier computers for that matter. XP users might have some problems with crashing but this is easily fixed with a patch that is already included on the game disc.
There really is no excuse to add this game to your collection. It's cheap, it's fun, it's perfect.
P.S Thanks to all you losers not buying this game when it came out they have cancelled the DK3! =P EA have begun producing game under the 'Sold out' range so maybe if there is enough copies sold Bullfrog (now Lionhead) will reconsider a sequel. :)