A simulator with a love affair for role-playing would be an accurate conclusion of The Guild 2's gameplay
From a single commoner create a Dynasty that holds sway over the lands economy, political offices and more importantly your competitors.
Will thou be’eth me wetch?
A simulator with a love affair for role-playing would be an accurate conclusion of The Guild 2’s gameplay. At its core you invest in business and hope to turn a profit while dealing with the fluctuating market. In order to get there your party will need to do some learnin’.
There is a surprising amount of beauty to the game which I certainly didn’t expect to see from a simulator. There is an array of graphics options that can help out slow machines and for those with a decent PC build will be able to crank it up. The issue here is that the population does increase, it’s not a static figure and so more and more calculations are needed for AI tasks. You could find yourself lowering settings during a game that’s been running for some time.
So a simulator with RPG elements set in medieval times, it’s not your average premise. You start out by creating your commoner, the origin of your dynasty, and after you’ve selected their appearance and one of four classes you’re off. The four classes effect what line of work you will be able to participate in.
If you choose a Rogue then you’ll only be able to profit from crime related ‘businesses’. A Scholar is considered well educated and so can preach to the faithful or practice forbidden darker magic enterprises. Patrons tend to the fields and other general food produce as well as provide ample hospitality for lonely nights. Craftsman fuel the everyday industry of the town from simple tools and weapons, to cheap cloth and fine clothes.
Making your choice at the beginning doesn’t lock you into that career path forever though; you can court and marry another who could be of a different path. That would then let you get your fingertips into more business, which will hopefully help more gold flood your coffers.
You can have a maximum of three characters in your party, which means only three members of your Dynasty who you can actively upgrade as you wish and use to your advantage. The rest will be living their lives; this is where the simulation comes into play more than role-playing. You choose who you want in your active party, from then on you can benefit from their strengths to aid your businesses or political ambitions.
Experience is earned through actions in the game world through something as simple as training inside your home or completing tasks by interacting with others. As you improve stats for your characters they will eventually level up in their profession class, this lets you have access to better buildings.
Expanding your assets, buildings I mean
Common as muck
It’s not just a question of experience though; gold plays an important role as it buys you titles. Ascending from Commoner to Citizen lets you own an extra building to operate as well as apply for a low level public office. To occupy an elected position affords you privileges such as immunity or, in higher positions, to manipulate the town guards. Getting elected is not as easy, it could require you to earn favour with a superior figure so a competitor doesn’t take your rightful seat.
The businesses themselves can take some getting used to if you want to manually operate each of them. When your financial empire begins to blossom though it may be wise to let the AI conduct some of your assets or you’ll be drowning in tasks. Sadly the AI isn’t too smart so you won’t be seeing any profit maximisation; a human touch can swiftly defeat the AI’s business logic.
The main problem area comes down to the transport system, the cart. While it’s a vital tool for realism in the game and opens up entire strategies, for those who like to leave the AI manage things it presents a nightmare. Bandits can easily raid your shipped goods with the guards never straying too far from the shelter of town. Policing in general is too weak; rogues can have a very easy time profiteering from your trade routes.
You can build, buy and upgrade property so there’s usually something you could spend your gold on. If you can’t fit a building in somewhere you really like then perhaps buying some property and knocking it down would be a good idea. Upgrades can range from burglar and fire protection, to increasing efficiency of your employees.
Your home is also upgradeable in the same way, where as businesses are dependent on your parties’ profession levels your home is related to your titles. The higher your social status the bigger your home sweet home can grow.
I mentioned earlier you can court and marry a fine wench or a bloke if you’re already the wench, but this isn’t some quick “oh I choose her/him” affair because the courting process could last a while and you have to keep at it. If you’re doing the right things then you’ll eventually get to propose marriage, and then start to shore up the numbers if you catch my drift. After all if your dynasty is to last the test of time, especially in medieval times then you’ll need as many little sprouts as you can get.
The order of law is one to be feared, well usually anyway, The Guild 2 seems to be rather liberal. Of course this could be attributed to the intricate and rather corrupt elected officials, all doing their deals with each other and earning or burning favour. Many a Council meeting is dominated by one dynasty official attempting to depose another on the grounds that, well, they just don’t like them.
Should a character actually be convicted, they could be executed in public. These trials can be affected by evidence, naturally the more evidence available the better/ more horrible the sentence. You can use evidence as a tool of blackmail, if you’ve got dirt on some other family then you could threaten them to back down and “play nice” or you’ll squeal.
Multiplayer is an option so you can square of against other online Dynasties, up to 8 players over the Internet or LAN. One thing I highly suggest is to get latest patch available, a whole host of issues small and huge have been addressed. A significant number of them are to do with multiplayer synch problems and helping to keep the game actually playable.
Medieval winter wonderland
Loyal Serfs toiling
The Guild 2 is an enjoyable game if you can get your head around what it offers, and fire up the latest patch. Sadly the AI almost cripples the game and leaves questionable balances between class professions. Still it’s got that desire to conquer in its heart and that will probably be enough for most who pick it up.
Top Game Moment:
TOP GAME MOMENT
Watching a band of thugs get theirs as the Town guards thrust em’ the sharp end of the law. Well they shouldn’t have “found” my lost tailored goods should they!?