Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom PC
Published by Paradox Interactive
Developed by 1C:Ino-Co
Hot on the heels of our belated Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania review, is our review of the third expansion for Majesty 2, Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom. In truth I was disappointed with Battles of Ardania. The trial and error nature of the campaign missions was something I didn't appreciate and I felt that the expansion did nothing to improve or liven up the Majesty 2 experience. Monster Kingdom on the other hand is a much more satisfactory expansion.
Monster Kingdom serves up a ten-mission campaign, called Exiles of Fate, which offers a real twist. As King of Ardania you've been betrayed by the High Priests who have stolen the Crown of Ardania, summoned the Spirit of the Kings and proclaimed it the righteous ruler of Ardania. Desperate times call for desperate measure and you find yourself having to recruit an army made up of assorted monsters such as goblins, liches, vampires and rat men. This makes for a refreshing campaign as you get to have a complete set of new buildings, heroes and citizens to rule. To add extra spice to the expansion there's also a new monster race to play as in the multiplayer game.
The campaign offers five missions at the Advanced difficulty level and five at Expert. I should point out however that the general difficulty levels of the missions are much better in Monster Kingdom and as a result this is easily the most enjoyable and least frustrating Majesty 2 expansion to date. The general gameplay doesn't differ that much from the original game but your monster forces seem more responsive than the human ones and dispatch your enemies much more efficiently. Even when a mission was challenging I didn't feel as though the AI was somehow cheating me or throwing enemies at me at a rate that was virtually impossible to cope with. In Monster Kingdom the single-player game feels much fairer and if I had to purchase only one of the expansions for Majesty 2 it would definitely be this one.
The presentation of the game is largely the same as before with the exception of the new buildings and units you'll get to control. The graphical quality of the game remains unchanged. Once again the opening movie to the campaign is not subtitled. Mission briefings and objectives are shown in text (which differs only slightly from the speech). All important speech is subtitled but comments from your units aren't. On the whole it's a fairly accessible game for deaf gamers.
The Kingmaker and Battles of Ardania expansions left me feeling kind of frustrated with Majesty 2 and to be completely honest I wouldn't have been upset had there been no more expansions. Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom is much more enjoyable however and has revitalised my interest in Majesty 2. Controlling the monster forces is definitely more enjoyable than I thought it would be and it's great to have a completely different set of units and buildings to use. The biggest improvement is that the developers have kicked out the frustrating trial and error element that has crept in over the last two expansions and as a result it's a much more enjoyable expansion that's well worth a purchase for those who appreciated what the original game had to offer.