A Major Improvement Over The First Game But It Takes Quite A While To Truly Get Going
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
Developer: Warm Lamp Games.
Publisher: Alawar Premium
Release date: 22 October, 2019
Beholder 2 is an adventure game with some simulation-style micromanagement built-in. It takes place in a totalitarian society and is heavily inspired by the book/movie 1984 by George Orwell. This game takes place a year after the events of the first game in 1985 and features a new character, setting and overall objective. If dystopian games are your thing, do keep reading.
Story and Setting
As mentioned, Beholder 2 features a brand new main character who starts out as an intern at the main Ministry building in the country. There are many ways to progress the game’s story and equally as many possible endings. You can choose to simply be a diligent worker, befriend your co-workers to rise through the ranks, or you can choose to be wholly evil and merciless in how you proceed.
There are a few major storylines to choose from as well. The one I’ve been focusing on is to be a spy for a division of the government that’s investigating the leaders of the Ministry the main character works at for defaming the leader and being wholly corrupt. Your job is to take down your leaders one by one by rising through the ranks of the ministry to eventually reach the top. The danger of being found out is pretty minimal in the beginning but as you get to higher positions in the ministry the danger increases and you’ll have to tread carefully.
Each day in the game you’re given 9 hours at work. This time depletes as you perform various actions in the game world. You’ll need to use this time wisely though because it’s a limited resource and it goes by quickly. One of the most important things to do is your actual job, which may be a bit tedious, but it gives you money to pay your bills at home, which are numerous and expensive.
Your job for a good portion of time is to sort citizens into various areas of the Ministry. You do this by selecting the type of inquiry, then the proper office and then a clerk for them to go to. This is actually harder than it sounds and you can mess up easily if you aren’t paying full attention to what they’re asking/saying. Each correct sorting earns you $50 which isn’t a whole lot compared to the amount you have to pay for bills each day. More often than not you have to do this multiple times to earn the proper amount of money. If you happen to make a mistake then you receive no payment. When you reach your quota you’ll receive 100 authority.
Authority is another important currency in this game. It allows you to get promoted to a higher position within the ministry, which is your main objective in this game. Authority can also be used to acquire useful information from people. You can gain authority by performing your job and by completing quests. One quest I did to spy on the first boss’ party granted me 10,000 authority just for recording it and getting him arrested.
At the end of the day, you can save some of your work time for your home time. While at home, you can call people on the phone, pay bills, watch TV, or read books. Paying your bills on time is of immense importance. If you fail to pay even one of them, the police will arrest you and it’ll be game over. Watching TV allows you to strike up conversations about the show with your co-workers to befriend them. Finally, reading books allows you to obtain new skills, like hacking computers or picking locks, among many others.
When you manage to befriend a colleague at work new quests in their stories will open up. Your colleagues are your competition though, so you can choose to be nice to them or you can be wholly evil towards them and do awful things to them which will drive them out of the Ministry itself. The choice is yours.
This section will be a bit small since there isn’t much to talk about but I figured they were worth mentioning. In the PS4 version I noticed that there were some hitches and slowdowns in certain areas of the game. Usually when entering a different room of the Ministry. The most noticeable one was when you leave the ministry to outside where there’s a lot of people walking around. It’s also noticeable that it doesn’t run at 60FPS, which is likely due to the amount of stuff on screen as there aren’t any PS4 Pro features built into it as far as I know. I imagine these performance issues will get sorted out in the future, but I figured they were worth mentioning nonetheless.
Overall, Beholder 2 is a humongous improvement over the first game but I will admit that this game requires one heck of a time investment to get anywhere. The game has 37 floors to get promoted through and you spend your first 15-20 hours on the first floor. Getting to the top will take an immensely long time. Even with the immense time sink, the game is a lot of fun and the story is excellent. I also loved the different storylines that you could take part in and it was pretty satisfying watching the corrupt boss gets arrested for the first time. In the end, I think I’m going to SAVE on this one, I enjoyed it quite a bit and if you have the time and are looking for something unique and interesting to play then Beholder 2 is a good option.