Reviews

Developed By: Cyberlore Studios
Published By: Paradox Interactive
ESRB Rating: Teen for blood and alcohol references
Multiplayer Support: 4 players using GameSpy
Pros: Unique RTS game style
Cons: No level editor, can\'t adjust difficulty level
System requirements
• Windows 2000/XP/Vista
• 2GHz dual core processor
• 1 GB RAM
• Videocard: 512 MB with PS 2.0, better than GeForce 6800 GTX
• 4 GB free hard disc space

The kingdom of Ardania has been ruled by your family for generations and they are remembered by their portraits hanging in the hall of the lords. The kingdom is in turmoil and is being controlled by a powerful demon. You\'re the last heir to the throne and it\'s rightfully yours if you can reclaim it. In order to defeat the demon, you have to locate four lost artifacts that are enchanted with powers to give you a fighting chance. Can you defeat the demon, take the throne and honor your ancestors? Will your portrait be hung in the hall of the great kings?

Majesty 2 is a unique strategy game where you do not absolutely control your units; they have a mind of their own. Some units prefer to fight and others prefer to explore or protect things. To get things done you can put flags to explore, attack, defend, or avoid danger. Sometimes a unit will do things without you paying; however, most of the time you have to add a monetary incentive with your flag.

When you launch the game, you can either play one of the six single player missions, the campaign, or a multiplayer game. I would highly recommend starting off with the campaign. It has sixteen missions that get gradually harder (to darn near impossible). The first mission is great for newcomers and walks you through using the interface. The campaign is open ended at first but later on you have to do the missions in the designated order. The single player missions mostly consist of defending the castle for a given amount of time. There\'s a challenging mission that pokes fun at Robin Hood.
When you start a mission you have some money, your castle, a guard, a tax collector, and some peasants. The peasants will pay taxes and build the buildings for you. You can build guard towers that will come with a guard to help defend against nearby monsters, skeletons, and big sewer rats.

To earn income you can get a kickback on constructing a market, blacksmith, an inn, or a magic emporium. Before the blacksmith or market can sell anything, you have to research the items first. The Inns allow your heroes to rest and you can form battle parties there. The guilds pay taxes too and they each house three heroes. You can build more guilds, but each successive building will cost more money and each building has a separate research tree.

The guilds include rogues, rangers, warriors, clerics, mages, dwarves, and elves. Each guild has to be upgraded a couple of times to offer better attacks and spells. With every new guild you can research a power to aide your heroes. The mages guild offers a couple of spells that you can use to zap single or multiple enemies (for a price of course!). I especially liked the dwarven ability to reinforce the building to speed up the building or repairing process.

After your castle has been upgraded a couple of times you can construct various temples in designated areas (Holy ground). The temples provide a couple of priests/priestesses and a powerful ability such as resurrection or being able to send a plague. If you don\'t have the ability to resurrect, the first time a hero dies, a cemetery will be constructed and you can resurrect them for a fee that increases with every level.

Most of the missions have optional quests that can be completed and they usually reward you with extra gold. When the main objective has been completed, you cannot continue playing. I wish there was a level editor that could extend the single player experience. The multiplayer interface is powered by GameSpy. You can have up to four players or two teams in a battle for domination. There are plenty of servers to join and when I created a server it was only a matter of minutes before someone joined me.

Graphically this game is very appealing. The maps are very detailed and the 3D characters and buildings look great. The spells look pretty neat and the physics are spot on. The monsters look pretty scary and their animations are fitting.

I was very impressed with the background music in this game; it\'s very pretty and reminded me of Lord Of The Rings. The voice acting is pretty good; the advisor sounds like Sean Connery. The campaign missions were nicely narrated but the single player intros are text only. I\'m not sure why they didn\'t narrate those too. Another nitpick is that the elf voice is a little odd - it sounds like a child.

From an appropriateness standpoint there is fantasy violence but it\'s not really bloody or gory. You will be battling with demons and will be eliminating portals to hell so there are some occult themes. I was glad to see no real occult symbols used. Magic is used and cannot be avoided. There is mention of alcohol and some pub buildings. Lastly, elves and dwarves don\'t like each other so there\'s fantasy racism.

Overall, Majesty 2 is a refreshing and unique strategy game. I enjoyed it and was challenged by the expert level missions. Beginners may not like the learning curve and I must confess that I edited a few of my save files to add more gold. With multiplayer there\'s a lot of re-playability, but I still wish there was a map editor. There\'s a demo available and the game is available on GamersGate.com for $40.

Game Play: 16/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8:10
Interface: 4/5
Stability: 5/5
Game Score: 41/50
Appropriateness score: 41.5/50

-3 for violence
-3 for occult references
-2.5 for racism
 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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