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Review: The Political Machine 2008 - PC - 7.9

21 sierpnia, 2008

The Political Machine 2008 isn\'t the most radical revolution of gameplay, but it remains fun and accessible to play.

Political Machine is one of the few franchises that is based on the United States presidential elections. With minor enhancements, it feels like a retread of the original game. However, its a fun thing to play with the backdrop of the 2008 elections.

The core game mechanics haven\'t changed that much. You take the role of a U.S. presidential candidate nearly a year before election day. The game plays out on a map of the USA, where you build campaign headquarters, raise money, and approve ad campaigns until you run out of stamina points or cash.

The one huge addition is PR clout, controlled by the building Outreach Centers. This replaces political capital as the currency used to purchase endorsements from lobby groups. Instead of a single stream of resources used to buy endorsements and operatives, you now have to deal with two. If you played the original game, you\'ll be able to sit down here and start blazing a trail to the White House without even a glance at the tutorials.

There are some interface and visual improvements: the 2D map has been replaced with a 3D one, and the candidates are now funny bobblehead parodies of their real selfs. The game has been updated to feature modern issues, including climate change, high gas prices, Iraq withdrawl, etc. The candidates have similarly been updated, with Obama, Clinton, McCain, Richardson, etc, all available to play with. There\'s a nice bonus in the form of Lord Kona, a mean alien from Galactic Civilizations. You can also create your own candidate with a powerful editor. Also, there\'s four new scenaros that allow you to play solo or online. The gameplay mechanics remain the same, but they offer some nice new issues tailored to their territory and society.

Unfortunately, the game remains kind of shallow and formulaic to a fault. You should always start off by laying down campaign headquarters and then hitting winnable states with ads and speeches. The thing is that its a $20 game, and its hard to fault it for such issues when you get such a fun game for such a low price. The game is still appealing and the game has a fast pace that makes it hard to get bored with. The endgame often gets very tense, as you fight for those last few percentage points in swing states.

PM 2008 is mostly a retread of the original, but the updates and additions make it worth its budget price.

Gameplay: 8 - Some worthwhile additions, but the majority of the gameplay formula remains identical to the original game
Presentation: 8 - An easy-to-use interface, the style of the game is easy on the eyes
Graphics: 7.5 - Really simplistic. Gets the job done.
Sound: 7.5 - Nothing special to note.
Value: 8.5 - For its budget price, PM 2008 is a worthy game to play once in a while.

Final Score: 7.9 - The Political Machine 2008 isn\'t the most radical revolution of gameplay, but it remains fun and accessible to play.

Marcin Skok
Editor-in-Chief
"The Gaming Corner"