Written by  :  Terrence Bosky (5472)
Written on  :  Feb 24, 2003
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
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Be Sauron!

The Good

Dungeon Keeper 2 inverts the typical game setting, allowing the player to harness the forces of darkness and defeat the good. You do this in several ways including providing lairs to attract monsters, planting traps, and tunneling into the Hero Domains.

The story revolves around collecting crystals held by the Heroes, which would be better off in your taloned hands. Each level begins with your selecting another province on a map to attack. An omniscient voice tells about the current situation and what obstacles you may face and then you can begin building your dungeon.

Using imps, magically created creatures, you carve your dungeon out of the rock and then designate certain areas to be a room. Rooms include lairs, torture chambers, and combat pits. The rooms you have determine which creatures enter your dungeon. As you acquire creatures you have to ensure that they have a place to sleep, food to eat and money. They can also be motivated with a slap.

Most levels have the general objective of slaying all the hero creatures; some are more specific- requiring you to capture certain areas. A few are timed which provides a good challenge.

The game’s graphics are dated, but still very serviceable. The predominant dungeon view is an overhead shot, fully 3D and rotatable. You can also possess creatures and explore your dungeon first hand. While this is nifty and you can see how different creatures perceive the world, this isn’t that useful. There are certain actions that can only be handled in the First Person Perspective, but nothing vital. In the Possessed mode, you can also fight, but DK2 works poorly as an FPS.

The omniscient voice I referred to earlier provides hints and warning messages and provides some comic relief. The voice has a hollow, ominous echo that works well. Each room has unique sounds, the traps sound great, combat effects are fully realized. The AI is largely good, but I noticed that the enemy AI in the FPS mode was not as good as the overhead view.

The Bad

For me the biggest weakness in DK2 is its incompatibility with Windows XP. Some people have been able to run it, but since I’ve upgraded I haven’t been lucky.

I found some of the earlier levels to be too easy and starting from scratch every time was a little old. I also wish I had more control over the creatures in my dungeon.

The Bottom Line

It's a demented Sims or Majesty for the dark hearted.