Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim is the sequel to a rare gem of a game. The first Majesty really tried something new with the RTS genre and made it so the player cannot directly control units. This adds a whole new layer to the challenge of RTS games as now the player has to indirectly persuade units to attack targets. What better way to do this then by paying them?
I am personally surprised other companies have not come up with a game that plays similar to the original Majesty. The concept may seem kind of annoying at first as your heroes run around the map doing whatever they please. Yet, if you continue playing you realize that Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim has a living breathing economy that you build. You, as king, will put bounties on creatures and enemy dwellings and when the task is complete that hero that finished the task will receive that bounty. The hero with the bounty of gold will then go to the tavern for a pint or he could go to the shop and buy some new armor or weapons or maybe even some helpful potions. The money you gave him gets returned to you via spending and the hero gets better equipment in return. Heroes will also find treasure while exploring and they will loot any enemies they kill adding to the money flowing in the economy. One of the coolest aspects of this is that you buy upgrades to shops that you build. These upgrades work as new items that you get in stock which your heroes will want and this may even push them to perform more bounties.
Fans of the original game will immediately discover some differences from the first iteration of this title. The most notable change has been that there are no longer incompatibilities of religions or racesin Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. Instead certain races and religions despise each other and this can make things more difficult but it is no longer restricted.
Another change is the addition of two new flags. The first flag is the fear flag; this is extremely helpful as the flag will tell your heroes to stay away from a location on the map so they do not get killed by whatever evil may be waiting for them. Luckily I found little need for this as the AI seems to be fairly intelligent even without this flag. Second, is the protection flag; this flag allows you to mark a building or unit with a bounty and the goal of your heroes is to protect the target from hostile targets for a period of time.
The campaign map in Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim is absolutely beautiful, there are clouds moving over the map creating real time shadows over pieces of land. The spell effects and graphic textures are sharp and beautiful. The music is set in a fantasy style that works perfectly with this title, and the sounds in the game are top notch. One of my favorite features of the campaign is the ability to make any one hero from a previous mission into a lord. This lord can then be summoned in future missions and will level up through every campaign mission.
As usual I try to be as critical as possible about titles, but honestly, I could find little to no negative things to say about Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. Majesty 2 is shaping up to be a worthy update to the original. The only thing I can really be critical about is that this title has a large learning curve.
You may find yourself being fairly frustrated at first and being defeated by the computer AI while your heroes wander around doing their own thing (they could have been playing Tiddly Winks for all I know). The first couple times I played this happened to me mostly because I did not build any shops to allow my heroes to return gold to my coffers. This caused me to run out of money for bounties and because of this I could not tell them that the city they live in was being destroyed by an army around them while they went to the tavern for a pint. I wished or hoped for a button that would ring a town bell and make all your heroes come running to save your town. I mean, come on, do we really have to put a bounty on your own house just so you defend it?
Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim is really shaping up to be a gem. If you enjoy RTS games and also enjoy RPG elements being mixed in you will most likely love this title. If you are a fan of the first there is no doubt in my mind you will adore the second.
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