keeps up the solid gameplay of the original release of Zeus
as well. Having played both the Diablo II
and the Baldur's Gate II
expansion packs recently, Poseidon
seems a little shallower--there are no sweeping changes in the game--but in the end Poseidon
delivers precisely what it set out to deliver: a few little tweaks to the gameplay and many, many more hours of campaigning.
We've covered the core concepts of Impressions' line of city-building games before, and Poseidon is simply a refinement of the game mechanics you saw in Zeus, so everything I said in that review applies here. There are some changes in the game, though, which I'll touch on here.
First of all, there are a few new resources. You can now mine orichalc, which is used for some of the new structures. The same goes for black marble, which requires its own quarry. That seemed a little odd to me, but eh. Along with that, the various recreational methods that were used in Zeus have been replaced basically wholesale with scientific pursuits. They work identically, however, so they may as well be 'skins' for the game instead of any real gameplay change.
There are a number of other additions. You can now grow oranges and sell those or trade them to people, and you can build a Hippodrome and let people bet on the races there. There are a couple of new heroes--Bellepheron and Atalanta--and a couple of new gods and monsters to go along with them all. I'm glad that Hera's finally able to show Her face in the game; she's also the only deity able to stop Zeus from rampaging through your cities, as is appropriate. Some of the extant heroes have changed their tune slightly; Hercules now wants to be educated instead of entertained. And so on. You may also now build pyramids, which greatly increase the aesthetics of a place along with other undoubted advantages. New structures often require orichalc and black marble, making use of the new resources available.
Despite all of these changes, the core gameplay is the same. Poseidon comes with a number of new campaigns out of the box, ranging from easy to hard, and it comes with a level editor as well so you can make your own adventures. And that's the real draw of the expansion pack: many more hours spent clicking away at your cities. Fortunately, battles have been almost completely eliminated; since combat is unequivocally the weakest part of the original game, the de-emphasis in Poseidon is appreciated.