There are some games that are all about war, there are some games that are all about economy, hell there are even games about politics but where is the game that rolls them all together to form the ultimate real world simulation? It’s here, well it’s on my hard drive, Superpower2 is a game that dives into this rough subject of gaming, geopolitics. This is a subject that will baffle the simple minded and appeal to the deep thinkers, there is more going on at any one time in SP2 than any other game that I’ve played to date.
Oh great more Haitian refugees, what the... their in tanks and jets!
There are many things that can shape a game of SuperPower2, like wars, natural disasters, economic aid & embargos, and so much more that it’s truly a sight to behold. In one game I lead my rag tag Haitian army on a military campaign to rule the world. I took many provinces after a few decades and I was quite happy with my accomplishments, then the worst thing happened, Mexico declared war on me. I held my ground for a few small battles but couldn’t sustain a noble campaign to rid the world of my evil cousins “El Mexicanos”. They beat me back to my homeland of Haiti where I stayed waiting for the next time I could launch my army of desolate fighters who just yearn for their fill of combat. Luckily before all was done in that last war I managed to liberate and annex the Dominican Republic to create on glorious Haitian island, this made me more capable of replacing resources lost and also replenishing my dwindled forces.
The Darkest hour, man’s last days.
With my new juggernaut prepared for action and ready to be deployed on the soil of those who forced my beloved Haiti to sign a cease fire I halted all action. Knowing that this time would surely end the same as last time except I would most likely be overrun and Haiti completely destroyed. I thought, “What could even the score and ensure victory, I know! NUCLEAR WEAPONS!” I began researching nuclear weapons at the cost of my economy and nearly went into economic failure, the only way I could stop it was to start disbanding some of my massive military. A year or so later I had my nuclear capabilities I then designed and build 10 nuclear missiles with enough range to hit any Mexican army that may interfere with my plans of conquest. In only a few days my army was prepared to embark on its righteous mission of expansion for the greater good of Haiti. War! War has infected the lands all around Mexico, my rag tag forces of mostly second hand though very well trained units stormed the shores of Mexico with a furious vengeance never before witnessed by the peoples of the Americas. One by one the armies of Mexico fell to my Haitian warriors until a massive sweep with dozens of Mexican divisions began to make their way to my slowly decaying army. I took it upon myself to unleash the hellfire that was stationed under the towns of my great land. With the positioning of the missles to their military targets I made ready to push the button and fire the nukes. Alarms sounded and 10 streaks of smoke shot from the depths of Port-au-Prince aiming directly for kill shots at the Mexican armed forces that meant to deal harm onto my great warriors. Clouds filled the lands of Mexico and they were effectively taken out of the war. Had I truly realized the consequences of my actions I would have not sent my weapons into the lands of the enemy, within moments of the world realizing I had nuclear capabilities and the mind to use them they all declared war on me. Nothing more could be done, in my haste to exact revenge I was made a fool by the rest of the world. But at least I showed those Mexicans a good display of Haitian WHOOP ASS!
READ MY LIPS, NO MORE FREE TRADE!
The economic structure is quite a task and people who are weak with numbers and economic structuring will thank the guys at Golem Labs for the automation features they provided. At first I was kind of stuck on what to do for economy until I went online and asked around. For some countries it’s better to raise taxes and lower spending, for others it’s better to raise trade taxes and lower personal taxes. Then there is another way to raise income, by attacking then annexing your very rich neighbor. Economy is the back bone of any good strategy game, without a strong economy war can’t be made and power can’t be achieved. SuperPower2’s economy is quite complex but not like you would find if you were the leader of a country, it isn’t so bad as to have thousands of little balances to iron out but it is complex enough to make you read up on global economic structures. You can use your economy to cripple other countries economically. Let’s say you have large amounts of cereals and you have it taxed pretty high, well someone else might “corner” the market on cereals and that might be the mainstay of said countries economy, all you have to do is lower your taxes to the point where the other guy doesn’t get as much business.
It wasn’t me it was the one armed man.
Covert ops in SuperPower2 are diverse and well... fun, you can run all kinds of relation breaking operations and then blame it on someone else. There is an underlying reason to blame covert operations on someone else, that is to lower relations against 2 countries in order to make them declare war on each other so you can join the defending side and not take that much of a relations hit because you didn’t start the war. Make Japan declare war on Taiwan in order to reap the benefits of Japans huge economy, doing this also can cripple many NATO countries that depend on Japan as a source of resources and economic aid. Covert ops are a huge part of the game and if you ignore that aspect of the gameplay you will find it very hard to do anything other than sit at home and work your economy. Trying to do anything more than that without the use of covert ops and you will have the whole world knocking on your door with bombers and tanks.
YAY a navy, um what do we do with a navy?
Naval warfare is not only a let down it’s simply downright useless to have one. Golem Labs dropped the ball big time on the naval aspect of the game. Near as I can tell the only thing navies are good for it to bombard coast lines and attack other navies. There are no blockades, carrier launched bomb strikes, cruise missile attacks, nothing that makes navies such valuable commodities throughout the history of warfare. Navies aren’t even needed to send troops across oceans, navies simple are useless in terms of determining factors on the outcome of combat.
Behold the Mad Scientist MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
SuperPower2 gives you the pleasure of devoting time and cash into researching technologies for use in creating new weapons, since units aren’t something graphical the research isn’t something that is distinct, you can research certain areas like stealth for increased protection for your aircraft, armor for better protection for your tanks, and payload for the tips of your nuclear weapons (you can’t start producing nukes until you research strategic warfare and research techs for your missiles). You can research units up to level “10”. That is what determines real world combat values, level points in certain areas to add to attack and defensive values for said units. An F22 Raptor has high stealth, missile precision, missile damage, countermeasures and so on because it’s supposed to be the best fighter to soar though the beautiful American sky. The more you research the better your units will work in combat, units that are completely maxed out will have such an upper hand in combat that I can’t even do the math. All I know is my 100 Japanese fighters codenamed “You just got owned” laid waste to the entire Russian Air force after their failed attempt to invade me. I would have massed produced them but 100 is all my economy could support at the time. The more techs you add the more the costs rise, a bomber with all techs maxed will not only cost your whole budget but it will take years to build. But a completely maxed out bomber will make America’s B-2 stealth bomber look like a seagull, so it is beneficial to make huge cost big tech units but you have to wait for them, and wait, and wait, and so on.
I see London, I see France, I see THE FREAKIN’ MOON!
Let’s just get this out in the open here and now. SuperPower2 is not a graphically rich game. The only graphical treats you get are a globe that can be zoomed in enough to see your home city (if it’s big enough) and the roadways around it. You can just about plan a trip on the globe (while zoomed in). While zoomed out you will see mountains, oceans, seas, clouds, and the damn moon! Yeah you will be treated by a cool atmospheric view of our great world in day and night conditions thanks to our orbit around the sun. You can get an idea of what’s happening in battles by clicking on the puff of smoke that represents a battle. You can even make commands to help certain aspects of battle from this view but nothing along the lines micromanagement, you will simply order “air supremacy” for just your air power to take on the enemy while your ground forces stay out of range. You can do the same with your ground troops by ordering “ground assault” or you can just let 'em have it by ordering “full assault”. But as far as graphics all you get are little icons on a static map that don’t move.
Ahh the sounds of space
The sounds (or lack there of) in SuperPower2 really put a damper on playing, near as I can remember there is only one song. I say “near as I can remember” not because I haven’t played the game that much but because I’ve played it for so long with the sound off because a game with length needs more than one repetitious song for a soundtrack and some sharp beeps when you select something. There is no use to keep the sounds on and I don’t, I play to the loving sounds of “Disturbed – The Sickness” and “Metalica’s greatest hit album”.
Any strategy game that has 32 players for multiplayer is a good game with me. 56k connections are not welcome though because of the vast amount of information that has to be piped to and from so many players. SuperPower2 if accented with a role playing element is awesome fun, making treaties, running covert ops, declaring war, requesting military removal, it all ads up to a good long fun time. I enjoy playing online and have devoted a lot of time to playing online (much more than my editor would like). Stability is a problem with SuperPower2, but luckily Golem Labs is pushing out patches to fix all of the nuisances that may arise.
Not everyone will pick up SuperPower2 and enjoy it but if time is given to learn the many workings of the game you will have found a good way to pass the time. Creating a superpower from Haiti isn’t an easy task but it sure was a fun run, I recommend SuperPower2 to people that like world simulations or to people that wish they could run any country on earth in anyway they see fit.
Awesome political experience, design your own units, strong economic experience, great multiplayer experience, being able to run any country on earth, running covert ops and blaming it on someone else, being able to see my home town of Lafayette Louisiana and the major roadways around it.
The sound while nice and relaxing at first gets a little annoying after a while, some stability issues, no use for navy, Uber units take Uber freakin’ long to build.