Cultures 2: The Gates of Asgard
To get anywhere at all in Cultures 2: The Gates Of Asgard you need the concentration of a chess grandmaster and the extreme pain threshold of a professional boxer. If you think you have those rare qualities then press on - you may well find something here that interests you. If not, turn the page now and read about something that's worth spending cash on.
Cultures 2 continues the story of Bjarni the Viking and his efforts to avoid Ragnorok (the end of the world) while establishing thriving Viking settlements and killing or trading with a variety of tribes and races. The game can be played in campaign mode or a series of stand-alone skirmish levels. Either way you're in for a rough ride.
Like its predecessor, Cultures 2 possesses one of the most contrived interfaces you're ever likely to come across in a strategy game. The first problem is that these Viking imbeciles rarely do what you ask. When you select them and right click on the location where you want them to go, they either fall asleep or bugger off in the other direction and start picking berries. The next problem is setting up production chains.
Because there are so many different goods to produce and so many different buildings to create, it's easy to become hopelessly lost in a sea of resource collection and distribution.
Of course it wouldn't be so bad if your citizens had the sense to find the resources they required, meaning that you have to literally lead them to each one. However, if you love micromanagement in a very literal sense, you'll find yourself in seventh heaven as you take control of even the minutest of details of your thriving society, one which is totally incapable of any worthwhile action without your help. Sadly, though, due to the poor quality of the Al, Cultures 2 reeks of poor programming and leaves you with an interface that's so cumbersome and infuriating, that the game can often descend into pure farce. To top it all off, the maps for each level are so massive it takes about ten hours to complete each one.
Graphically Cultures 2 looks like a mid-'90s Amiga game. The characters are blocky and woefully animated, as are the landscapes and the pitiful creatures that live within them. The battles too are unrefined and unsophisticated. They're virtually impossible to direct with any degree of accuracy due to the random behaviour of your soldiers... And that's not even taking into account the horrendous slowdown that mysteriously appears at the start of every skirmish.
To conclude, Cultures 2 is the sort of game that will put you off strategy games for life, unless you're severely anal or a complete control freak. Its lack of innovation and hideously dated graphics mean it scores decidedly less than, its slightly more accessible predecessor. Honestly, video games are supposed to be fun, and for most of you, Cultures 2 will prove to be anything but.
Download Cultures 2: The Gates of Asgard
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP