I had the opportunity to head out to San Francisco, California last week to check out two upcoming titles from the good people over at Kalypso Media
. While the Tropico
games are the bread and butter that Kalypso
has become synonymous with, the team over at Kalypso
have teamed up with developer Gaming Minds
for the upcoming title Rise of Venice
, a trade simulation game that has its roots stemming from Port Royale 3
Rise of Venice
takes the player back into the height of the renaissance era as the city of Venice, Italy, became the center of trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea. The game itself focuses heavily on the economic and political aspects that surrounded the region as the player takes control of an up and coming family of traders, attempting to build reputation and, ultimately, become the dominant family in the area.
The game, itself, in its current form (the game is currently in closed beta) looks great on a PC. Slick interfaces are easily accessible and make for an easy transition into the title for novice gamers. There will be some tutorials, but those who are familiar with the past titles that Rise of Venice
stem from will generally not need it. What core gamers wanted with this new title was more customization and the ability to create their own difficulty and situations to increase playability. These gamers will get exactly what they want, as while most of the skills included in the game can be simple and fixed, almost every option has a "manual" or "custom" option that will allow the player to decide very specifically how to handle trading and convoys.
Without getting too deep into the game and keeping this spoiler-free, I can tell you that the ultimate goal of the game is to become the most reputable family out there. The beauty of the game is that almost every single action that is taken by the player will affect reputation and stance in one way or another. Building up a fortune while keeping in the good graces of other families becomes the biggest challenge in the game, but if money becomes plentiful while reputations do not, it's nothing that a good bribe can't fix! How a player progresses through the game and builds up the reputation necessary is entirely up to the player, and that is the level of customization that is needed to make an average game good, and a good game great.
A wonderful addition to this title includes the ability to have sea battles with rival convoys, whether they be from another family or just pirates looking to steal cargo from your convoys stocks. Sea battles can be done automatically or by manual control. Players in the beta have been enjoying the challenge of having smaller ships and trying to take down larger ones and vice versa, but most battles are going to involve cargo ships vs cargo ships. Stats are determined by hull integrity, number of sailors, weaponry, etc. The battles themselves are very in depth and can be a bit gruesome. Case in point, when a ship is attacked, sailors can be knocked overboard and will flail in the water hoping for rescue. Eventually, sharks start to appear and, if these sailors are not rescued, the sailors become fish food for the sharks, and done rather graphically as the sharks jump out of the water and basically leave a red blotch in its wake. The manual battles, altogether, look very fun and add a great element to the trade simulation that any player can truly enjoy.
The beta is ongoing as of press time and will continue to head towards the end of September release date. The game is expected to be available via digital download on Steam
and will include trading cards and achievements. We hope to provide you with more information on the game as it becomes available throughout the beta process, but Rise of Venice
is looking to be a very slick and clean looking strategy game that will cater to all levels of experienced gamers.