Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania

Review

posted 12/2/2010 by Tom Bitterman
other articles by Tom Bitterman
One Page Platforms: PC
Nobody cares what happens after the Big Bad is defeated.  Generally there is a party, and any romantic pairings hook up, and everybody heads back to the Shire or something.  That much, at least, usually makes it into the last few chapters.

But what then?  How does our hero deal with the mind-numbing drudgery of turnip-herding?  What about the plucky comic relief now that everybody is tired of their lame jokes?  Even the fairy princess has put on a few pounds and has a nasty cough.  What then?

Finally!  There is a game that answers this burning question.  “Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania” is an expansion pack set after the events of “Majesty 2”.  One might have thought a big-name title would have tackled the burning question of “What now?”.  Nope.  It took a light-hearted RTS from 1C Company and Paradox to bring this gnosis to the gaming public.


In any case, the answer is simple: do it all over again.  Turns out there is always a new Bad Guy looking to take over the world.  Your subjects are more than happy to let you risk your neck to defeat him.

And that's the setup behind the Ardania expansion pack.  The kingdom has been at peace for a while after your victory in the original game.  There is peace and prosperity throughout the land.  It's a lot like Mayberry R.F.D., if maybe a bit more snide.  Even your overly-broadly-Scottish-accented advisor is getting a bit bored.  Luckily a new threat emerges.  A mage has been bitten by a werewolf (some suspect it was not an accident) and he has donned a top hat and decided to go rampaging around.


Gameplay is unchanged since the original.  You are still the king and each subject still does their own thing.  The most important measure of your kingdom's viability is your treasury.  Given enough money one can build the buildings, recruit the heroes and plant the flags required to beat back the ravening hoards.  Run out of money, though, and everything falls apart.

See, this is no top-down command economy.  Your heroes are fleshed-out, well-animated, little people with their own bank balances and names and inventories and levels and classes (fighters, archers, clerics, magic-users, etc.).  They wander around your kingdom looking for fame and fortune, or maybe just a little action.  As the king you have to harness these mighty engines of destruction to do useful things by providing them with the necessary incentives.  That is, attach a flag to something, attach a monetary reward to that flag, and let the heroes decide whether they'll take the job.
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