The official title of this game is “Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim.”
But it is categorized under the RTS genre.
Then which one is it, you ask?
It’s actually little bit of both.
The player gets to run a fantasy kingdom called Ardania using some RTS fundamentals. However, the player does not have control over each unit that has been created. Sounds interesting enough?
If you love the fantasy kingdom themed games, you’re probably interested already. But for Sim and/or RTS fans, we can’t say for sure that you’ll like the game, because it diverges a bit from the traditional RTS or Sim genre. Let us explain.
The goal in this game is to run a successful kingdom; slaying demons while running a successful economy. And like many RTS games, it’ll let the player build and upgrade the buildings necessary to protect the land or enrich the economy. But as we told you before, that’s going to be as far as your control extends; trained units from the buildings you’ve built have their own free will. You can’t make them go here or there. So how do you control them? You give them a “quest” to lure them to do what you want.
Let’s look at an RPG or MMORPG as an example. The objectives and stories are usually progressed through chains of quests, and when the player finishes a quest, he or she is rewarded. Majesty 2 uses this concept, but this time, you’ll be the one giving people the quest, and designating the reward in gold. For instance, if you see a bear running around killing peasants, how do you get rid of them? You flag the bear with a “attack and kill” quest, then set the price of the reward. If you set the reward too low, no one might take on the quest to kill the bear. But if you set the right amount of gold as the reward, perhaps a few warriors and rangers might be interested. The decision of which units participate in the quests are for the AI to decide.
Thankfully, the AI is pretty smart in this game. Of course, the AI can’t read your mind all the time, but this is where the “sim” kicks in. If you were able to control each unit, then it’ll just be another RTS. But getting involved indirectly makes you feel like you’re managing a kingdom as a whole, not just the military.
To make it all happen under your control, you need gold, lots of gold. And this is where the economy system kicks in. How do you make money? You collect taxes from the marketplace, inn, blacksmith and from everyone that lives on your land. You indirectly sell items by making a marketplace, and let them do research of necessary items such as potions or magical accessories that can boost your hero’s abilities. And when you build guilds such as a Warriors Guild or a Rangers Guild, the trained heroes will voluntarily buy the potions from the marketplace as they prepare for upcoming battles. Brilliant!
It may sound like the player isn’t involved too much in the game, but the game proves otherwise. Because the player isn’t in direct control, there may be more micromanagement that needs to be done. Not that it’s going to drive you nuts, but with no direct interaction between the player and the units, players are forced to do extra stuff (like flagging the quests) to keep it busy. Unless you hate this kind of micromanagement, the experience is more pleasant than expected. We really felt like a king running a kingdom, instead of a military commander giving orders to everyone. As far as getting the feel for the controls, the learning curve isn’t too steep at all; if the you invest a good 30 minutes into the tutorial, you won’t have much problem later in the game.
The storyline is very well written. You’ll never get bored thanks to the clever lines from your Royal Adviser, explaining to you why the dragon was named a certain way; “The dragon with blue and gold wings-you know, the one that ate Ted.” And the voice acting is on par with the script. The music is nothing less than a fit, though you’re not gonna be hearing a diverse set of tracks after hours of gameplay. But nonetheless, overall audio quality is great.
The graphics and design is also nothing to complain about. It doesn’t have the latest ‘zOMG SO SHINY WITH AWESOME PHYSICS ENGINE’ graphics, but it runs very smoothly on mid-level PCs, which means that you don’t have to empty your pockets out for video cards to enjoy this game. And yes, there’s also multiplayer modes where you can compete online with people on the internet, or you can choose LAN if you want to play this at a LAN party or with your family members and friends at the same house.
This game is definitely fun, but we don’t know if this is for everyone. Even though I enjoyed it so much, later on you feel like it’s a bit repetitive; doing similar mission objectives, just with different names. And I’m not sure if I’m a good RTS gamer or not, but it feels like the game gets pretty hard later. The game will hook you up with a very forgiving difficulty at first, but it’s probably gonna take you just a little bit more than a few days to see the ending to this one.
But these complaints are only my personal wish to want more out of this awesome game. And even if you slightly enjoy this type of game, I’m sure you’ll be satisfied and have a great time with this game. With a good storyline, witty presentation, visual details and audio that successfully creates a middle age fantasy world atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed by Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom.
Our Score: 8.5 /10
RTS, Sim, they’re all good. At least with Majesty 2.