Dungeon Keeper 2: Worth the Wait
For those of us who eagerly bought Dungeon Keeper when it was first released, the world of DK is both rich and addictive. Even as recently as last week, my son and I spent the weekend replaying levels in Dungeon Keeper, building our dungeons, training our minions, and wishing that DK2 would finally get released.
That very Saturday night, my boyfriend returned from a shopping expedition with a treasure - DK2 had just hit the shelves, and he had one of the first copies.
The next morning was a frenzy of reading the manual, testing the various screens, and of course, beginning a Campaign. Every aspect of Dungeon Keeper 2 is an enhancement over the original. The graphics are earthier, the isometric view now adds a zooming quality as you move over the word. All of the characters - imps, warlocks, bile demons - are familiar, but the graphics are vastly improved. This is especially apparent when you possess a creature and look around your subterranean world.
The levels follow the standard strategy game model. At the beginning, the game leads you through what you must do, prompting you if you do not build a large enough lair large enough, or if you forget to build a hatchery to feed your minions. The familiar joy of designing rooms and foraging for gold is improved by the new, interesting graphics used both for rooms and for walls. Libraries are supplied with extra reading shelves if you fortify their walls. Lairs are decorated with new carpeting after a length of time. Chickens sometimes wander out of the hatchery into the adjoining corridors, much to my son's amusement.
One slightly annoying improvement involves the end of a level. In the previous version of Dungeon Keeper, you could hit the space bar when you were ready to end a level and move on to the next. This gave you time to gather up any extra secrets you missed, or to simply wander around and explore the level. In DK2, as soon as you kill the Lord of the Land, a Horned Reaper descends to collect a gem, and the level is ended.
In between levels, there are vastly amusing cut screens. One has a bile demon using a pair of chickens as martial arts weapons, while another has a hapless chicken being used as a handball. The violence is not graphic. The little imps hacking at each other are quite tame, and even the introductory movie is far less violent than the original from Dungeon Keeper.
In addition to the deliciously interesting campaign, there are also a number of other ways that Dungeon Keeper 2 can be played. There are multi-player missions that will work wonderfully over the Internet. There are also "My Pet Dungeons," stand alone missions where you can explore and roam to your heart's content. You get extra points for following their suggestions, but there is no compulsion to do so.
In all, we are extremely glad to have grabbed this game as soon as it became available, and I imagine we'll be playing it for the next year, at least until they finish up with Dungeon Keeper 3!
UPDATE!! There is a Patch Update that you should read!!!
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