Majesty 2: Kingmaker PC
Published by: Paradox Interactive
Developed by: 1C:Ino-Co
I quite enjoyed Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim despite its tendency to be a rather repetitive game forcing you to build up your settlement from scratch for each of the game’s missions. Needless to say then that I was pleased to learn that an expansion was on the way to see what the developers would do to provide an overall better experience. In short however, this hasn’t really happened. It’s an expansion that’s squarely aimed at those who simply want more of what Majesty 2 offered with a ramp up in difficulty to boot.
Majesty 2: Kingmaker offers a brand new campaign, comprised of eight missions, in addition to a collection of single missions and a map editor. The campaign is called the Return of Grum-Gog and is essentially concerned with the Kingdom of Ardania coming under attack from more powerful enemies. The game begins with a visit to the castle of Lord Blackviper. On arriving you find that the Lord has left you a message simply saying “They have returned … thousands of eyes burning in the night.” Before you know it, the enemies he was referring to are making their way to your position.
The campaign missions, which still require you to build up a settlement from a base level on every occasion and consist of largely the same type of objectives, are either set at Advanced or Expert difficulty levels and it soon becomes obvious that the difficulty level has been pitched higher than anything you’ll find in Majesty 2. In fact the difficulty level is such that there is hardly any room for error and as a result the campaign is only for those who have mastered Majesty 2. I would argue however that there should have been an option to make the missions slightly easier for those who don’t want the frustration.
The map editor is certainly a welcome addition and has the potential to ensure that there is a good supply of great user-generated maps. In turn this should help to prolong the appeal of the game for its enthusiasts. The editor is a powerful tool and you’ll need to read the guide to fully understand how to make the most of it. However, it’s far from being the most complicated map editor I’ve used and most should have a firm grasp on how everything works after spending only a few hours or so with it. It could be argued in fact that the editor is the most promising addition in the Kingmaker expansion.
With this being an expansion, it should come as no surprise that the presentation of the game hasn’t changed from that in Majesty 2. Aside from the additional enemies and units at your disposal, there are no differences in the graphical quality of the game. There are also no differences in the game’s suitability for deaf gamers. The campaign’s opening movie is once again not subtitled. Mission briefings are shown in text. Objectives are shown in text too and can be recalled. Comments made by your heroes and civilians aren't subtitled. A variety of icons will show you their general mood however. There are quite a lot of icons that are shown above the heads of your heroes that will let you know what action they intend to carry out.
Majesty 2: Kingmaker is rather disappointing because it doesn’t do much at all to enhance Majesty 2. Those who are looking for a great challenge however, will definitely find it here because of the sharp increase in the new campaign’s difficulty level. The map editor is probably the expansion’s most welcome feature with the promise of enjoyable user-generated maps to be available for everyone. If you were expecting Kingmaker to add significant changes and cut out some of the repetitive nature of Majesty 2 however, you are going to be disappointed because it’s largely more of the same.