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It stands as a bridge between more deep but obtuse titles and the easier, shallower ones. It won’t placate those raised on a diet of Sisyphean XP bars, but to the scholars and plotters among you, Making History II will eagerly stoke your slow-burning fires into world-consuming flames of conquest. Or peaceful Hegemony, if you wish.
All in all, Making History II is a solid strategy game. Sure, it may need a coat of paint or two to gloss things up, but at its core the mechanics are all there. If you enjoy turn-based grand strategy games, Making History II is right up your alley. If you are new to the genre (or just suck at it like me), you may want to start with something a bit more simple like Sins of a Solar Empire until you gain your strategy bearings.
On the bright side (I am fair and balanced), Making History II features a nice, streamlined, and easy to comprehend economic and production model. The AI is very competent, and large (32-player) multiplayer matches are possible using the game’s matchmaking service for those who prefer human confrontation. The ability to control any country, no matter how dull or uninteresting it may be, and the expected future editor sweeten the pot, but we’re still left with too many little problems that add up to one big headache. There are simply better grand strategy games, and Making History II fails to deliver on its potential.
In retrospect, the most disappointing thing about Making History II is that it seems like Muzzy Lane put a lot of effort into making all of those unique units and depicting the ethnic makeup of the world as it was 70 years ago. Unfortunately, the game is plagued by performance issues, uninspiring combat, and an insane depiction of international relations. On the bright side, numerous updates for the game have been released in the past few weeks that have improved performance and crushed numerous bugs, so Making History II might one day be a functional game. As it currently stands, however, it's not worth either your time or your money.