What annoys me the
most about Hotel Giant 2 isn't its over-fiddly
micro-management, or the reams of enormously demanding
guests. It's not even the achingly slow pacing or
the inadequacy of its tutorial campaign. No, the
worst thing, the most crushing and horribly frustrating
thing about Hotel Giant 2, is that it doesn't
even seem to try.
It's management by numbers, the most uninspiring and
hackneyed numbers in the book. Everything here has
been done before, and better. The required
attention to the individual people on your
premises? Thanks, The Sims. Building
and customising attractions and locations? That'll
be from RollerCoaster Tycoon, then. The
list goes on and on. It's as if the developers
have decided to recycle elements of a truckload of
comparable games, without coming up with any
ideas of their own.
That's all well and good, sometimes. There are
games that don't attempt to push any boundaries or
reinvent any genre features that still manage to
captivate, enthrall and addict. Hotel Giant 2
can easily eat away hours and even days of your time,
but that's a result of the genre's nature, rather than
any particular quality of this release.
concept isn't enough to ride on..."
Improvements over the
original can be summarised in three words: new graphics engine. Nearly seven years later, that's
not enough. Even the user interface is literally
identical to that of the previous iteration, and if
there are any new options to speak of, they're so
insignificant that I didn't notice them. When Hotel
Giant was received to such mediocrity, it makes
little sense that there seem to have been no real
aspirations in the creation of this sequel. Maybe
the sales were simply adequate. That's a sorry
state of affairs.
There's just nothing that breathes any life into Hotel
Giant 2. The concept of developing and
maintaining a hotel chain isn't that inherently exciting
in the way that, say, building a theme park is.
But then, watching some people sit around in a house
isn't either, but The Sims does alright out of it
with its playful nuances. This is bland.
Not that it does anything particularly wrong.
The flaws mentioned in the opening paragraph are all
there really is to complain about, in terms of the
actual workings of the game. It runs smoothly,
there's an abundance of features to tweak and play
around with, the amount of locations and hotel types is
pleasantly surprising, and there's an undeniable
mainstream gloss to the presentation.
But beneath all that, you're left with a rather
unintuitive game about managing a hotel. With so
many competitors injecting a spark of excitement into
their similar releases, that basic concept isn't nearly
enough to ride on.