Business management games have been around a while. Over the last two decades we’ve seen the golden age of business management titles with greats such as: Sim City, Theme Park, Theme Hospital and best of all The RollerCoaster Tycoon series.
As the years have ticked past, so too have titles’ ability to function correctly on modern day computers. With Windows 10 comes a whole set of DRM issues, and for many, the easiest solution is a patched re-release to cater for modern gamers, still wishing to revisit yesteryear for some top quality business management.
Industry Giant came about in 1998, but sadly was pretty lacklustre and didn’t do too well both in the stores and in the eyes of the critics. However 2002’s release of Industry Giant 2 was a completely different story which got somewhat buried in the age of some of the greatest management games of all time. On PC the genre lives on with titles like Planet Coaster, but on next-generation systems there’s only a handful of decent titles that could be classed as management games. This leaves the likes of Prison Architect and Kerbal Space Program to fill the void, with a much more modern interactive twist on management.
So is there space for a 15 year old port of Industry Giant 2? Well it wasn’t bad, but it wouldn’t list in my own top 10 sim/tycoon games…
To start off with you begin by creating source material, by logging wood or mining stone and then building sufficient establishments to turn the materials into goods you can sell. Selling these goods starts your industry and raises the money and resources to expand the products you produce into future decades for more modern productions.
The actual game isn’t a bad idea, and worked pretty well, however on Xbox One it’s difficult to maintain such positive approach. Firstly, this isn’t a next-gen remaster; it’s not even received a gloss of paint, leaving the tatty 15 year old decor on full show. The ‘made for PC’ system doesn’t display too well on your standard living room television, and even playing upscaled to 4K via the Xbox One S, it was a poor graphical performance and a complete shock that there hasn’t been considerable work to make allowances for the display. Another area that’s received very little work are the controls, the right analogue stick controls the camera, with the left stick controlling the cursor and then the triggers, shoulders and bumpers combine for selection and menus making this a tough control scheme to get to grips with, even after a few hours there’s no mental imprint and it feels every bit as awkward as when you’re first told to combine presses between the right bumper and the D-pad for a simple menu selection.
This makes navigating the game a chore, and tough to recommend. There’s enough depth in the tutorials if you have the patience to work your way through them, and while everything about the game is 15 years old there’s some classic gameplay to enjoy.
Sadly though with graphics (and sound) are well past their best-before dates, and a control scheme has to be one of the worst I’ve experienced on the Xbox One. It would take a fantastic package to make this worth while, unfortunately that’s not the case here, there’s no additional content, nothing extra, and not a single thing beyond the core 15 year old game which you can currently buy for £3.49 on Steam for the PC.
However on Xbox One, the price is £31.99, Yes, over 900% the price of a Steam Purchase, where it’s graphically easier to endure and far better to control with a mouse or trackpad.
Don’t get me wrong, Industry Giant 2 isn’t a terrible game, but it just doesn’t work well on home console, a problem many similar titles have struggled with in recent years, let alone 15 years ago. When (at the time of writing) Tropico 5 is available for £20 for Xbox Live Gold members, and less than £28 on Amazon there’s no way I can recommend anyone pay more for an inferior game, when you could purchase Tropico 5 on Xbox and Industry Giant 2 on PC cheaper than you can get Industry Giant on Xbox One.