Deadlock II: Shrine Wars
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Saturday, 03 December 2005

Sometimes developers manage to mix elements from other games into one, and do it good. Deadlock II is certainly a mix of different games, but is it a good mix? Read on to find out.

Deadlock II Shrine Wars is much about galactic warfare and expansion. On a far away planet seven different civilizations have just arrived, the future of your civilization is in your hands. You will manage a number of difficulties making financial, scientific, diplomatic and military decisions.

What instantly strikes me when starting the game is the overcrowded interface. There are a million buttons, many with good symbols and some with really unrealistic symbols. The fun thing is that the interface makes you go through the instruction book but then you just find out that the thing is quite simple.

For example the end-turn button is a red arrow in the middle of the whole bunch, pretty logic and it’s easy to learn even if it doesn’t look that way. Deadlock II consists of three views, one city or colony view, one world map view and a military view.

The city view is similar to what you see in Sim City 2000. Here you have to construct buildings, like nuclear power plants, factories, shipyards, housing and much more. Each building needs labor assigned to it in order to work, so you can’t just build and build without any labor, pretty neat.

As you make way through the game you will encounter other civilizations. You can interact with them through a pretty extensive diplomat system. Here you can choose to praise or threaten other civilizations, or propose different things (like alliances). You can also choose exactly what you want to say to the other receiver. For example you can choose to threaten a civilization, but not doing it explicitly. This opens up whole new areas of cunning diplomatics that I haven’t seen in many other strategy games of this kind.

Constantly when playing the game you have advisors. The advisors pop up in video windows and when each turn ends they give you advice on what to fix. It’s often very specific advice, so you know what to do most of the time.

Deadlock II will probably not get any prize for its graphics. They are made with limited effects and are just there to illustrate things with no frills whatsoever. However you see what the different objects are easily, and that’s what counts.

I’m quite disappointed at the military conquest options in the game. You basically just build units (which you need resources to build) and send them off to conquest a new part of the planet. If you have advanced in research or are superior in numbers you win. Sometimes you loose, but either way you can’t control the battles that much.

However you can watch the battles. This makes you even more frustrated since you see what simple mistakes your military does. For example when my forces attacked an enemy colony they just went straight at it right into the hands of the enemy. They didn’t try to flank or anything like that.

Deadlock II Shrine Wars is a neat game when it comes to developing colonies, diplomatics and sealing trade deals. But when it comes down to the military it really is limited and frustrating. This game probably appeals more to players who enjoy a good game of Civilization, but hate the military parts.

Related: Alpha Centauri, Civilization 2, Sim City 2000, Star General
Developer: Cyberlore Studios
Website for Game: N/A
Publisher: Accolade
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Where to Get: Download Demo Here
Year of Release: 1998

Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 2 X CD-ROM
Tested on:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon Graphics Card, Windows XP

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