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Expand, explore, exterminate!
The original Deadlock was a decent enough entry into the science fiction 4X genre, something like Master of Orion but perhaps not up to that classic's standards. This follow up is pretty much on the same level as its predecessor and is just as interesting but the biggest disappointment is that it's almost the same game again, with very little in the way of new elements. Once again, you find yourself in control of one of several alien races, stuck in a state of war on a single planet. As is typical for the genre, your choice of race depends on how you want to play, with certain species better at combat or politics for example. Once you've picked your race, it's then time to start expanding your territory, creating places for citizens, factories for constructing machines of war and so on. Of course, you're soon going to come into direct conflict with the other races, which is where combat comes in, while there are also political and diplomatic elements which also need careful consideration. If this all sounds familiar, well, it's because this is pretty much the same as every other game in the genre. However, if you can get past the lack of originality, there's a solid game here, with some decently executed mechanics that might veer a little too much of the side of micromanagement for some players, but which are generally sound. The visuals and audio are nothing special but do the job well enough, with some reasonably detailed environments and units. Overall, this makes for a solid if unspectacular addition to a crowded genre and which is worth adding to your collection if you're a fan.
For the most part, the game is not so different from its original Deadlock game. Sure, there are some new things, like new buildings and more military units, a campaign and a level editor, but that's more or less it. The gameplay and art are virtually the same as before as is the plot and the objectives. This is more like an expansion then a sequel to the game. The objective is the same as in all strategies conquer and destroy whoever else is out there. But killing is not the only option, at least not first. There are a few diplomatic ways to do that too. But sooner or later you're going to have to vaporize them all and be the last one standing. The combat system is the game's biggest fault. You can't control the battles, you can only give out a few general orders and wait until the battles is finished and the only thing you can do is to see the replay of the battle to see how you did. The graphics are a lot better than in the prequel, the sound is in the standard frames and the gameplay is more or less the same as before. So, if you want to see something new and flashy since the last game, you're going to be disappointed because there is nothing new to see. But if you just want to continue the fun from a year ago, you are up for a treat. The game hasn't got any better, but it hasn't got any worse than before either.