Populous 2: Trials of the Olympian Gods
The original Populous – the quintessential ‘God’ game – placed the player in command of war-mongering tribes. Populous 2 ups the ante by placing the time period into Ancient Greece, and also by increasing the number of worlds you can conquer. As in the first game, the player looks down on an isometric landscape, home to his worshipers. Mythology plays an important aspect. You can generate ‘mana’ – a measure of the player’s mythical strength. As healthy worshipers increase, so does the mana which, in turn, acts as fuel for spells. These, combined with a healthy army of worshipers, determines which side is victorious.
The number of spells, or “Divine Intervention Effects”, are now so great they are spread across six categories. Each category relates to either the people, vegetation, earth, air, fire, or water. There are a total of 29 spells, each with its own price tag. With enough mana, you can let loose some fairly cool stuff, such as floods or plagues or create hero-type characters. These spells are never available at the same time, however, as each world places only a handful of spells at your disposal.
All of this might sound good, but at the heart of it all is a game that is still somewhat unbalanced.
Some of the battles feel to tough to win, and have a very sharp learning curve. At other times, levels can become incredibly easy once you find that correct strategy. Although the ‘gods’ were given different names, they all fought pretty much the same way. None of them had any strategy or tactics that were noticeably different from any of the others. So long before the game ended I was simply applying lessons learned earlier to defeat ‘new’ opponents.
System Requirements: 80386 CPU, 2 MB RAM, DOS 5.0
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