Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Review: Majesty 2 - Battles of Ardania

"Quick your Highness! It is time to battle once again!" My internal dialogue automatically emulating the voice actor from the Majesty 2 series who sounds uncannily like Sean Connery.

Yes Paradox Interactive have supplied us with yet more of this non-RTS but-RTS gameplay which separates it from the great cloud of other RTS games out there.

Both Majesty 2 and it's first add-on were on sale last weekend, so it's likely that you may have already played the first 2 installments and are wondering if this latest bolt-on is worth the investment?

One reason not to get this (nothing like getting the negative out in the open eh?) Is some of the most awful voice acting ever is heard in the very first mission. The chap who plays a ranger either has no idea what he's saying or is so nervous that he can't read the full stops in the dialogue. I could do a better job of voice acting (and people pay me to stop singing) than this guy.

Luckily the Kings' advisor is back and is as great as always, it's a shame it's such a mixed bag of voice talent though.

Gameplay hasn't changed that much featuring the same build up processes as before. Generally you start with a market, then a warrior or rangers guild, then a clerics guild, etc... In these more difficult levels however getting Lords out there is a must, they're just super-tough and overall you do feel a bit more pushed than in the original game. Obviously a good thing if you're looking for more of a challenge!

Story-wise, well as usual there's an absence of any long running central characters. Due in part to the hero structure of Majesty 2 the main heroes of the game are created by you in guilds and promoted to Lords at the end of a battle. The only memorable names are the bad guys standing in your way, so if you're after a strong plot this will likely disappoint.

I did enjoy the gameplay again though, you don't get any other alternative hands-off strategy games like this elsewhere. There's a great satisfaction watching your heroes march across the land and being so tough that just one can take out entire swarms of goblins. Maybe with a little help from yourself and a healing spell

To summarise then, Battles of Ardania adds 8 new missions, new weapons for your characters and some new bad guys for you to fight. I've managed to make it through 3 of these missions myself, not being entirely adept at this, but it's certainly just as much fun as I remember Majesty 2 being.

Basically if you're a fan of the main game and are after more of the same then this, sir, is for you.

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