Beholder 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Developer: Warm Lamp Games
Publisher: Alawar Premium
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Beholder 2 – Review

Site Score
9.5
Good: Diverse gameplay elements, Immersive story
Bad: Too easy at times
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Back in November of 2016 Warm Lamp Games introduced us to the dystopian world of Beholder. We were taken to a world where the state is always watching you, coming up with ridiculous laws for which the smallest transgression will get you executed and the citizens are all too eager to betray each other. The game met with well deserved critical success and Beholder 2 returns us to this nation, with refreshing new gameplay and a story that delves deeper into the corruption than before.

Story

Beholder 2 introduces us to Evan. Evan’s father was a big-shot minister for the state and though the two haven’t spoken in a decade, when he dies in a tragic accident Evan sees himself unexpectedly employed by the government as a department officer. Of course, this sudden job offer isn’t a coincidence and it doesn’t take long for Evan to learn sinister things are going on in his new office and knowing who to trust won’t be easy. One thing is certain though, his father’s death was not as accidental as it seemed and Evan will get to the bottom of this to uncover the state’s dirty little secrets.

As the game focuses on all-new characters, knowledge of the first game’s events isn’t necessary to enjoy this one. A cutscene at the start gives us the rundown of the setting, and after that you can explore to your heart’s content, learning about the world and people as you go.

Graphics

This game brings back the gritty, colorless and iconic art style of the previous game, with a few notable upgrades. The animations run smoother and are just a tad bit more complicated, as well as just having generally better looking graphic elements. The complexity of the backgrounds and the diversity of the NPCs also seems to have improved, especially considering this game has a lot more areas to explore and people to meet than its predecessor. Overall, the looks of the game fit the general oppressive atmosphere of the ministry and greatly adds to the experience.

Sound

Similarly to the above, the music in Beholder 2 sounds very much like it did in the first game. That’s not a complaint, but if you didn’t like the slow, gloomy sounding tracks of the previous game you probably won’t like these either. Just like the monochrome art though, it suits the aesthetic of the game perfectly. The sound effects are decent and while there is no actual voice acting, the characters do make a kind of nonsense sound when talking, meant to represent a fictitious language, which means they still sound like they have different voices.

Gameplay

Beholder 2 is a strategy simulation game, just like the first game was, though besides tackling a completely different story it also changes up the gameplay significantly. As a government official, it is now your task to help the citizens of the nation that come by your desk with whatever they need. To do this you simply fill in a form on your computer based on what they tell you, which will send them to the right ministry department that can help them further. The form is filled in three steps, starting with what kind of appeal they have. This can range from giving out information to reporting a crime to filing a complaint. The second step is choosing which ministry has to deal with this. If the appeal concerns education, for example, you need to defer it to the ministry for Social Care. Lastly, you will need to choose which office number to send the citizen to. Every ministry only has a limited number of offices and they’re not all open every day, so you need to take into account the date as well as how many appeals you’re getting. If you don’t have an available office, you have no choice but to reject the appeal.

Filling requests correctly will earn you both money and reputation. Money is of course used to pay your bills, though you can also use it for some other means, like buying episodes of tv shows. This is important for your main quest, which is finding out what happened with your father. To do this, you will need to be able to collect information, mostly from other people. Talking about tv shows is a great conversation starter, and as you become better at your job and earn more reputation, you will be able to climb higher up the corporate ladder. Befriending your coworkers is key to this, and doing them favors is always a good way to make them indebted to you. There are also skills you can learn by reading books, which you, in turn, can use to gather more information. With enough reputation, you can even persuade people to share sensitive information with you.

Time management is important in this game, as every task will take a certain amount of time, displayed onscreen when selecting them. There’s only a limited number of hours in the day, and while a short conversation only takes 10 minutes, some tasks will take hours to complete, so you need to pick and choose what to spend your time on. However, time does not progress unless you are doing things, giving you plenty of time to decide on the best course of action or even to check the help manual. Sometimes this can lead to the game becoming slightly too easy, as there is no rush to complete your quests promptly and there is little to no penalty for filling out forms wrongly.

Conclusion

Beholder 2 is different from its predecessor in all the right ways while retaining a lot of the things that made the original game so much fun. The story is solid, with a mystery element that keeps you invested and plenty of side quests to fulfill. While some experienced gamers might find the gameplay too easy, there is plenty of depth in all other aspects to keep you entertained through the entire game.

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Beholder 2 - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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