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Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim

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Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim is a real-time strategy game developed by 1C:Ino-Co and published by Paradox Interactive[1]. The game was announced on April 18, 2008 and was released on September 18, 2009[2]. It is a sequel to Cyberlore's Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. Paradox announced that they will be updating and reinventing aspects of the game, but the humour and charm of the original Majesty will remain. There is a possibility that a Linux port might be made, as the porters of the original Majesty Linux Game Publishing are currently in the processes of porting other Paradox titles using the Europa Universalis Engine. [3]

A Mac OS X version of Majesty 2 was announced by Virtual Programming on August 13, 2010.[4] A release date was not established at the time.

Gameplay

Majesty 2 is a real-time strategy game set in a high fantasy world with a medieval feel. Majesty 2 makes several changes to both the typical fantastic setting and the RTS formula, as did its predecessor, Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim.

Control scheme

The player, styled as "the sovereign", serves the traditional role of directing the affairs of his own empire. However, the individual units are semi-autonomous. Each is an individual with his or her own statistics and inventory, crossing over into the role-playing genre. The sovereign can entice these units with several types of "flags", indirectly controlling their general movements.

The sovereign serves a more direct role in the establishment of buildings and the recruitment of heroes. He also collects gold, which funds these improvements. [5][6]

Heroes

The heroes of Ardania are the real focus of the game. They drive the economy and fight enemies. Heroes can be recruited at their own guilds. There are many classes and abilities, ranging from the arcane Mage to the armored Paladin. Heroes can be formed into groups where they are more cooperative with each other, with skills varying depending on the composition of heroes. At the end of each mission, your favorite hero can be promoted to a "Lord", which allows them to be summoned in later quests assuming you build a hall of lords. Low-tier heroes can be "promoted" into higher, specialized heroes, which opens up new possibilities in development. [5][6]

Plot

Setting

Ardania is a magical fantasy realm populated by humans, elves, gnomes, and dwarves, among other less desirable monsters.

Story

500 years have passed since the unification of the realm of Ardania. During this time, many celebrated kings ruled, and foes of old were vanquished. Into this world was born King Leonard, who became worried over his place in history, as there were no great enemies left to conquer. The weight of his royal ancestry led him to summon a most powerful demon in an attempt to banish it. His attempt to garner a name for himself failed when the demon killed the king and usurped his throne.

In the days of the demon's rule, Ardania crumbled and fell back to its chaotic past. Many had vied for the throne, but it appeared the true heir to Ardania had finally been found.[7]

Differences from Majesty

Majesty 2 shares several features and hallmarks of Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. Still, there are changes that have been made to both gameplay and story.

Several gameplay features remain unchanged, such as the player holding power over buildings, rewards, and magic. One significant visible change known is the shift from a 2D to a 3D environment. This allows the camera to orbit smoothly, unlike the first game which was locked in orientation. According to the publisher and developer, the shift to a 3D engine is also why the game does not provide any sort of random map generator.

Some buildings, such as the trade post and temples, have a maximum number cap and can only be built on pre-designated locations.[5]

Another announced change is to the class system. Though class diversity has been reduced, class 'upgrades' are now possible. One of the new base classes, the Cleric, will serve as a healer and an offensive magic user, she can be upgraded to a Light Priestess of Agrela or a Dark Priestess of Krypta as long as the accompanying temple is already built.[5] The heroes' armor will change based on level, enchantments, and what they wear.

Among the changes between the Majesty 2 and its predecessor is the existence of a unifying storyline, which will take place in a world 500 years after the events of the original Majesty. This contrasts the scattered mission-by-mission campaign mode of Majesty. Several monster races, and even some gods, have disappeared in the gap, and new enemies have appeared.[5]

Additional changes include lack of cooperative play, no sandbox or freeplay modes.

Game editor

Unlike the original, Majesty 2 does not feature freestyle play nor co-operative multi-player as part of its release offering. Because the new engine does not provide the technical capability to randomly generate maps it is unlikely that a freestyle game mode, of the sort found in the original game, will be provided. However, patch 1.3 introduced randomized non-quest monster dens, and places for construction of temples and trading posts.

Also a Map-Editor has been provided in patch 1.3.

Expansion

An expansion pack named Majesty 2: Kingmaker was released on March 26, 2010. The story revolved around his majesty battling the evil Grum-Gog, lord of pestilence, and God of Goblins. This expansion is supposedly one installment out of several more expansions to come.

The Majesty 2 Kingmaker expansion offers a randomized map feature that will move the enemy den and trading posts to different locations. It also has a map generator for creating your own scenarios.

Reception

Majesty 2 received mixed reviews, with a Metacritic average of 72%, and scores ranging from 50% to 88%.

IncGamers enjoyed the game, saying it was "lots of fun, remains true to the original and has some great new features." They only bemoaned the "lack of [a] freestyle mode."[8]

IT Reviews said that "there's some initial enjoyment to be garnered here, [but] developing your heroes and coaxing them around soon starts to feel like a chore. The missions become repetitive, despite the constant drip-feed of new buildings and heroes, and we found the whole experience less than Majestic in the end."[9]

PC Gamer magazine in the UK agreed, stating that Majesty 2 is "an intriguing spanner in the strategy game works, but one that causes too many malfunctions to justify its existence."

References

  1. Press Release (2008-04-18). Majesty 2 – The Fantasy Kingdom Sim Announced. Paradox Interactive. Retrieved on 2008-04-19.
  2. Susana Meza (2009-08-27). Majesty 2 Release Date. Paradox. Retrieved on 2009-08-27.
  3. Phoronix Thread Leads To New Linux Game Ports at Phoronix
  4. Virtual Programming Bringing Majesty 2 to the Mac. MacGamer (August 13, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Interview (2009-03-10). Majesty 2 Interview. HeavenGames. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Interview (2008-06-20). Majesty 2 - The Fantasy Kingdom Sim Updated Q&A. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  7. Paradox Interactive (2009-03-03). Majesty 2 Official Movie 1. Paradox Interactive. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  8. http://www.incgamers.com/Reviews/950/Majesty-2-Review-PC IncGamers
  9. http://www.itreviews.co.uk/games/g626.htm IT Reviews

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