Top Critic Average
The bright side is, the strategy layer of Sheltered 2 is better than ever. If this kind of game is your jam and the original flew under your radar, it’s worth checking out. And if you played the original to death (as I did) and you’re looking for a reason to fall back into it, think of this as a sort of pricey update. If that doesn’t repel you, Sheltered 2 is just fine. Or maybe that sounds really appealing to you. Despite some of the underwhelming changes, I anticipate putting a lot more time into Sheltered 2. The core gameplay is just that appealing. That makes Sheltered 2 a game where the core mechanic is strong, but none of the set dressing is all that exciting.
Sheltered 2 follows the dynamics of video games on the managerial survival genre, improving on its predessor but still not being without flaws. The new look is maybe a little rough, but not without its charms.
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On the surface, Sheltered 2 looks great. The formula: take the original title and add factions. Easy, right? It seems easy enough until the pages and pages of information pop-ups appear, expecting players to remember everything immediately or else get stuck. I'd describe it as a cognitive nightmare. Back at the beginning of this review, I wondered if adding factions is enough to change the middle reviews that Sheltered received. In my case, it does not. It's fun enough in a sim/management way, but the post-apocalyptic thing has been repeated what feels like infinitely and lacks originality, and factions just complicate the game to the point there's no more room in my brain for information to remain there. There is very little to become emotionally attached to. The result? A middling review.
Sheltered 2 is easily one of the most complicated games I’ve ever played. It’s fun if you liked the original Sheltered, or Fallout Shelter, and in many ways, it’s an upgrade of those apocalypse bunker sims. The issue, however, is that despite all of the game’s improvements and complexities, its overambition is also its biggest downfall. The core mechanics of its basic survival necessities of maintaining food and water are at the moment glitched, and any progress is meaningless because it will inevitably lead to a time-wasted end where resources inevitably run out two weeks in. As of right now, there are no ways of replenishing water save for bartering (if you’re lucky enough to find a faction with spare water), and so because of this, I can’t give this broken game a good review. With some updates to fix the bugs and polish off the post-apocalyptic dirt from this potential jewel, Sheltered 2 might be able to fulfil its lofty ambitions.
Sheltered 2 is a fantastic survival management game with good crafting and resource expeditions. Combat was of lesser quality but still interesting enough, though it wasn’t my focus if I could avoid it.
Sheltered 2 offers players an interesting mix of resourcing, crafting, and combat mechanics. With plenty of stats to keep an eye on throughout a playthrough, you’ll find yourself making complex decisions to keep your faction alive. Through the added feature of expedition parties and combat, Sheltered 2’s gameplay feels varied and engaging overall. While its user interface can be complex and overwhelming at times and its aspects of micromanagement might not be for everyone, if you’re a strategy aficionado who’s not deterred by numbers, there’s plenty to love in Sheltered 2.
Sheltered 2 is a great pick for fans of hardcore survival simulation games, or those who enjoy post-apocalyptic survival titles with emotional weight. The complex combination of social elements and individual character needs, mixed with the survival genre mechanics of exploration, crafting, and base-building, create a brutal survival setting. However, due to the number of elements players will be juggling, those who prefer single-character survival titles may find Sheltered 2's gameplay to be overwhelming. Despite this, Sheltered 2 offers a rewarding challenge for fans of apocalyptic survival games and is a nice change from survival titles focused on combat and base looting.
Sheltered 2 offers an apocalyptic survival experience that will put your planning and management skills to the test alongside nifty turn-based combat. Yet, the tedium of such excessive micromanagement might have you wishing for the world to end again.