I know we’ve all been through those games where a hero goes through a dungeon in search of treasure, only to have the most vile, insidious monsters lurking at every corner. But how many of us wanted to take on the other side?
We all really wanted to be the most evil dungeon creator ever known, setting up the most hideous traps and recruiting the lowest of the low to patrol our dank, dark corridors. Bullfrog took this idea and ran with their original Dungeon Keeper, and now with the sequel, it looks like Bullfrog is still doing what it does best.
DK2 continues the same style of evil gameplay the original DK had, but improves everything else tenfold. First of all, the dungeons are now shown from a full 3D perspective. All the dungeons can be seen from the usual top down view, right down to the monster’s perspective. And for some stages, the first person perspective is a must.
Each dungeon starts simple enough, with a Dungeon Heart [the source of all the evil] and a few imps. But as your imps break open rock walls to reveal new land, new facilities can be constructed.
For starters, dungeons will require lairs so your monsters can rest and chicken hatcheries to supply food. But also libraries can be built to learn new spells and training rooms can be built to improve your monster’s fighting skills. In addition, there are treasuries to store more gold, guard rooms to spy on invaders, casinos to entertain your beasts [or steal their money], and torture rooms and prisons for your unlucky captives.
Not only do these rooms add to your dungeon, but they also attract specific monsters to your lair. Libraries attract warlocks, torture rooms attract dominatrices, and guard rooms attract Dark Elves, to name a few. Knowing this, you can plan on which monsters you want to summon from the portals you uncover when digging out rooms.
It’s also important to keep an eye out on the morale and duties that your creatures partake. If they are upset or idling, make sure you get them back on the right path, whether by giving them jobs, offering them service pay, feeding them — or when all else fails, giving them a slap with the back of your evil hand.
Each stage is protected by a do-goody hero, and he and his cronies need to be destroyed in order to capture his portal gem. But when all else fails, you can always summon the services of the most evil of all the monsters, Horny the Horned Reaper to do your work for you.
With a decent 3D card, the graphics in Dungeon Keeper 2 are gorgeous with all the ambient light sourcing and smooth details. And in the first person perspective, you can almost smell the decaying bodies. The sound is pretty good as well. Sure the ambient music is nothing to brag about, but the dungeon sounds are great and the voice acting of the Ultimate Evil is unforgettable, reminiscent of Scar from the Lion King.
There are also a lot of humorous parts in the game that come up from time to time as well, proving that Bullfrog has not lost it touch of humor. When your monsters hit the jackpot in the casino, they all begin to dance to Disco Fever. And if you happen to be still up late reviewing the game at three in the morning the mentor’s voice booms, "Your nocturnal perseverance has awarded you a special gaming tip: GO TO BED!"
But not me, I’m too addicted. This game gets a perfect 5 GiN Gems.