Best viewed in 1280x1024
The Daily Raider is brought to you by the Project for an Unamerican Century and the Ronnie Gardocki Beard Preservation Society. The Daily Raider accepts donations, but we will only use them for liquor, cocaine and South American prostitutes.
Big Oil: The Game Review
I had a joke here somewhere.
The original box showed the oil creating the foundation for a military cemetary.
Yes. Let me repeat the game I'm presently reviewing: Big
Oil: The Game. Big Oil...The Game. Big Oil: The Game.
Big....Oil...The....Game. I couldn't make this up even if I tried. Never
before have I considered the possibility of a video game development house
thinking, "Hey, you know what the world of gaming needs, a simulator
depress people about the reality of the world." Big Oil: The Game George
W. Bush Played Before Daddy Won Him The Presidency! Big Oil: Learn how to
hate humanity! Big Oil: Putting the fun back in slowly destroying the
rest of the world through exploitation! Big Oil: Play as Evil! Okay,
no more subtitles for Big Oil, because I have enough to last about 20
pages. Big Oil, like the real big oil, is bloated, irritable, stupid,
annoying and after dealing with it for about an hour you'll wish you were dead
instead of living in Afghanistan while the United States tears up your country
in order to build a pipeline, all while the Taliban slowly regains control of
your country. But everyone driving SUVs, you'll love it. Tri Synergy presents the strategy simulation game Big Oil:
The exact same introduction given when Georgie founded Arbusto Energy.
In the game, you 'run' an oil company. I put run in quotation marks because there's not much running of the oil company involved as your advisor does the majority of the work for you, at least as far as the easy mode is concerned. I sense a George W. Bush joke coming on...oh yes, remember when Bush had everyone doing his work for him when he 'ran' Harken Energy? I do! The tasks Big Oil saddles you with include getting drilling rights, hiring workers for little to no pay, creating pipelines, putting down laborers striking or desiring more than 'no pay', and everything else on a typical oilman's list of day-to-day operations. The easy mode is so easy, if the player simply waits out the competing company A.I., the A.I. eventually stops functioning and you win by default!
As for the more advanced mode, the idiocy of the game begins to gum up any attempts to win or play the game effectively or at all. Micromanagement expands to a hilariously useless extent, insofar as most of the micromanagement options do nothing. The tech tree reminds me of the escalator that goes nowhere, because it either creates things impossible or creates things ill-advised and pointless. Maybe this mode intends to show the unwashed masses how hard it is to run an oil company and therefore we should shut the fuck up and let the oil men poison the skies in their own way instead of expecting something of them. I know! Propaganda by the filth men! Oh, wait, they could easily afford better propaganda than this, so it's probably a bad cash-in on Iraq, which in and of itself is a better cash-in [especially for Halliburton] than Big Oil.
How the oil industry sees the world - a bunch of places with oil...and Australia.
An interesting element of Big Oil is the number of real world scenarios included in it. Every possible cock-up or oil baron interference, from world war to natural disasters to labor riots, is included. It's actually quite realistic, because the only time you need to do something is when one of these horrible events influence your company's profits, and by influence I mean influence them downwards. Just like how oil companies only develop a set of ethics when it negatively influences their profits, or lose their hazy code of ethics in case of laborers striking and demanding a 'reasonable paycheck'. The ungrateful fucking bastards! In terms of correctly displaying the complete lack of scruples for oil companies, Tri Synergy did SOMETHING right with Big Oil. But it's more because of the reprehensible actions of fat guys in expensive cars than any willing purposeful examination of anything from the game.
Obviously to rapidly fill the large oil-company-simulation-aficionados niche, Tri Synergy rushed Big Oil without taking a very good look at the product before rushing to the printers. Thus, a lot of bugs and broken things which make the already stupid game all the harder to play/suffer through. For instance, the menus, I needed to research Egyptian hieroglyphics to even begin to crack the code of the incoherency found in the menus. The game routinely forgets to tell you things, things that end up costing you dearly. Oh yes, game, completely misunderstand my shipping plans and forget to tell me you don't understand the highly advanced concept of a map! Remember warning pop ups? If you turn them off in annoyance, you never get them back no matter what. So...an option between obtrusive pop ups and NOT BEING TOLD OF IMPORTANT EVENTS HAPPENING. Other glitches, including but not limited to tankers forgetting instructions and pipelines not working, complicate the process of toughing it through this game even further, though by then I really didn't care and wanted to kill myself for even installing the fucking game. At least the graphics are goo-OHWAIT. I love the irony of a budget title [for those who don't know, budget titles are actually video games where there's no money allocated to it at all, hence the shitty, shitty results] produced about the richest industry around other than producing 9/11 commemorative coins.
A perfect structure to bury the bodies in!
Big Oil boasts other features, like multiplayer [what pair of friends deepen their friendship through fucking playing Big Oil?!?!] and "extra class graphics", but all of it pales in comparison to the level of fun, or lack thereof, in the game. Frankly, it's as fun as reading through a series of spreadsheets with maybe a PowerPoint presentation to excite the crowd. If you really hate someone and want to show just how much you despise the existence of another human being, Big Oil is the perfect gift. Bad graphics, boring gameplay, glitches up the wazoo - a perfect example of pure, blind hatred against Americans, consumers, humanity. I myself plan on buying up a couple of copies for some of my enemies' birthdays. Revenge may be a dish best served gold, but it's an even better dish if it's served with a side of Big Oil: The Game.
I wonder what's next for the 'tycoon' genre since even the evil professions have been used, like dictator and oil man. I suspect in the near future some audacious little developing house will release a piece of software entitled "Simolocaust", where as appointed replacement to a sickly Adolf Hitler, you must manage all the major concentration camps, ensure sufficient production of soldiers and weaponry, plan out detailed strategies on how to defeat the Russians, the British and even the pesky Americans, and still find time to catch some new Jews. It can even incorporate real-life scenarios, from Stalingrad to Dresden! I see it now...Simolocaust, with a little blurb on the box saying "Jews - Gotta Catch 'Em All!". Or, even better, SimFEMA, where the player watches cities get destroyed while not doing anything! Sure, the President eventually uses you as the fall guy, but it'd be a fun couple of weeks. Ooh, best one yet, one which needs no further description other than the name: SimRosewood.
Take one good last look at those trees!
I recommend this piece of shit to no one who enjoys playing games, but I do recommend it as a great learning tool for rich-as-fuck Republicans, especially ones who someday might want to run for the Presidency or the puppetmaster behind a President position. Big Oil teaches many important lessons in that regard. Such as learning to quit the game before your oil company goes bankrupt, aka sell your stock in order to reap profit from failure! Or learn to see the entire world through the prism of who has oil and who doesn't, and modify your potential foreign policy thusly, to pay great attention to oil countries and ignore the ones not made of black gold. And last but not least, learn to grow your contempt for the working man and anyone else who doesn't sign their checks with the literal blood of infant Arabs. Bush might want to take another gander at this title because he clearly needs to bone up on his evil lessons before he can truly be effective as a warmongering, oil-drunk megalomapresident. I bet he's the guy who played the entire thing on easy mode.
How many needles of black tar heroin to make this game good?: the number of deaths in the Iraq War