So,You want to run your own fantasy kingdom? There will be peasants to kick around, taxes to collect and heroes to pamper. And don’t even get me started on the hordes of undead, rats, minotaurs and evil sorcerers! Still, if that’s what you want to do, maybe this is the game for you.
Paradox Interactive have released Majesty 2, sequel to the acclaimed Majesty fantasy kingdom simulator, on PC.
Majesty 2 allows the player to take on the role of King of their very own fantasy kingdom. As King, the player must protect the borders of his kingdom, and lead it into prosperity.
The player starts with just a castle and a few peasants. The peasants are not controllable and will wander around until there is something else to do. The only resource in the game is gold, which is collected by your tax collectors from the peasants and anyone else living in your kingdom. By selecting the castle, the player can open the construction menu, allowing various buildings to be placed and then built by your peasants. The structures all fulfill a different purpose. There are guard towers that provide security to your kingdom, the market place that will provide more gold by selling goods to your citizens, or a massive statue of your kingly self, designed to inspire the population to greatness. However, perhaps the most important buildings in the game, are the guilds.
Unlike most games of this type, Majesty 2 does not allow the player to create massive armies with which to defend the borders and plunder the neighbours. Instead, the player has to rely on the skills of heroes. These guys are hired from the various guilds and then have to be tempted, usually with gold, to actually act out your wishes. The player must place a flag on the map to represent a task. For example, if a giant rat is attacking your peasants hovels, right click the rat and this will place an attack flag. Then choose a bounty to pay on completion of this task. The higher the bounty, the more heroes will be interested. Different types of heroes may be more interested in certain flags, and thus will complete the task for less bounty. Also the further away from your main settlement the flag is, the more it will cost to get the heroes attention.
The different types of guild the player has access to at the beginning of the game are warrior, rogue, ranger and cleric. Also available will be the hall of lords. At the end of each mission in the campaign, the player will have the chance to promote one hero to the status of lord. Once the hall of lords is built, these previous heroes can be brought back into the kings service, for a price. Later in the game the player will also have access to wizards, elves and dwarves.
There are many ways to improve your heroes. They all start at level 1 and gain experience from fighting, thus allowing them to level up and become more powerful. Strewn across the map there are many treasure chests. Although the player cannot pick these chests up themselves, the heroes are quite happy to top up there own purses. This gold, combined with the bounties, will just remain under the heroes mattresses, unless you give them a reason to spend it. Research potions and magic amulets at the market place, or better weapons and armour at the blacksmiths. Then sell these items to your heroes. The player will then receive more taxes, and the heroes will get more powerful. Everyone’s a winner.
Majesty 2 offers a campaign mode, some single missions and Lan, or online, multiplayer. The campaign offers a great story and varied missions to work through. With the exception of one particular mission, the game is difficult without being frustrating. The mission in question is unbelievably hard, and seems out of place. This may be something that Paradox fix with a patch later. The single missions are just that, individual missions without the need for a story. The online multiplayer is powered by Gamespy. The player will need to sign up to their service in order to find an online game.
The game is basically a remake of the original, with improved graphics and sound. The graphics look pretty, though perhaps not groundbreaking, they fit with the style of game. Sometimes it is nice just to watch your little peasants going about their business. Gameplay stays more or less the same, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Majesty 2 seems to bring about the same compulsions as the first. The missions can be quite lengthy, but that does not mean you will be a ble to leave before the end. “Just let me finish this mission” will be a phrase that your loved ones/ bosses will come to hear a lot in the coming weeks.The gameÂ is also quite funny, which is unusual for this genre. From the opening sequence to the way the heroes retreat, there are little comic touches that will put a smile on your face.
There is not really much to complain about here. Three small things maybe. Firstly, I found that the game ran my graphics card very hard. This surprised me, as the game does not look all that complicated graphically. My review machine is a bit dated, I guess, but this is the first game that has caused my PC to shut down through the overheating graphics. Easily solved by turning up the fan speed. However, to give a comparison, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood ran flawlessly. Probably just me.
Secondly, I found that trying to get the attention of the heroes was a bit hit and miss. I had to set huge bounties to get the heroes to pay interest, and even then not all would. Mind you, heroes can be a bit self important. Maybe they just fancied a break.
Thirdly, where is the sandbox mode? I want to create my own kingdom, without the game ending once I complete the objectives. I love my peasants.
This is a great game, that should be played by anyone who likes this genre. Without the faults listed above, this would be a perfect game.
This game was provided for review by Gamersgate