by Marjolein Verheij
reviewed on PC
At first glance, Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim might look like any other fantasy strategy title. It offers a warm, colorful and almost glowing world that is filled with monsters that need a bit of help to… go over to the other side. But, as they say, looks can be deceiving. You see, in most games, heroes are rather selfless and will fight and die for the cause at your whim. Majesty does away with that sort of ideological nonsense from the moment you enter the game. Here, heroes value their lives and will only throw caution to the wind for a proper reward. Intrigued at their greed? You should be. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. First a bit of history.
Many years have passed since the original Majesty, both in the game and in real life (the original was released in 2000). In the mean time, Kings have ruled, fought foes and died glorious deaths defending the kingdom from one invasion after another until there was no one left to fight and their subjects could live in peace. The most recent of kings, King Leonard, was a bit worried about his place in history. With all enemies gone, what glory was left to bring home? In a mad attempt to get his name in the history books he forced his mages to summon a powerful demon so he could banish it. Well… that was the plan at least. The mighty beast thwarted the King's plans by killing him and taking the throne for himself, bringing misery to the kingdom.
This is where Majesty 2 starts. You, a descendent of the throne, are called to step up and defend what is left of your kingdom and take back the throne.
The game can be played in single and multiplayer mode. The single player campaign consists of four chapters, each containing a number of missions. After all missions within a chapter are completed, you have to face a monster boss that you will need to defeat before being able to start with the next chapter. There are sixteen missions altogether in the campaign mode. In addition there are some missions you can play separately, as well as several multiplayer maps.
Missions are shown on an overall map of Ardania. Hovering over them reveals some information about them, like the difficulty rating and the missions that need to be completed before you can embark on that particular one. The first few are really just introduction, teaching you how to rule and build your kingdom and how to deal with your free-willed heroes.
Flagging the heroes
To complete the mission, you need the help of your heroes. You are stuck in your palace doing paperwork while they get to have all the fun. And you have to pay them too! The heroes of Ardania can only be motivated to help you by paying large sums of money and you do this by offering rewards for completing certain objectives. The rewards come in three different types; defense, attack and explore. Setting a reward is easy: simply right-click on for instance a monster lair and an attack flag will appear. Now you can raise the reward until you think enough of your heroes have taken up the challenge. You can also set a 'fear' flag that tells your heroes not to enter a certain region. This is handy for keeping them alive when a particular area is too dangerous for them. Once a flag is set you can either go back about your business or watch your heroes do the dirty work.
It is entirely up to you which types of heroes you want to see running around in your kingdom. You make your choice by building different kinds of guilds, each of which can contain 3 heroes. There are guilds for Warriors, Rogues, Rangers, Clerics, Mages, Elves and Dwarfs. Later on in the game, you can build temples that unlock additional hero types such as Priestesses and Paladins. Each of these classes reacts to the flags you set differently. Warriors are eager to defend and attack and Rangers want to explore. Rogues just want the money, but they are the first to flee when the enemy seems a little too strong to their liking.
A lovingly crafted magical world with unique strategic gameplay.
Missions will start feeling repetative after a while.