Review: Majesty Gold HD

Store page / Steam review unavailable

When you complete a quest in an RPG, where does the money come from? Who is bankrolling these expeditions into dungeons and ruins to slay terrible, hidden beasts? Majesty answers that question directly: It’s you, the sovereign of the land, because you are sick of these things screwing with your domain. If you’ve ever wanted to be the power behind the heroes, this is the title for you, despite being a little rough around the edges.

Majesty skews closest to a real-time strategy game where you’re mostly hands-off on your units. As the rightful ruler of the kingdom, you order your peasants forth from the castle to construct markets, blacksmiths, inns, guilds, and temples. Your purpose in doing this is to attract heroes to join your guilds and quest for you, making use of your shops to heal and improve themselves between outings. It’s like building the city from an RPG and watching the heroes go about their business, slaying monsters and saving the world, all from the comfort of your throne room.

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There’s one resource in the game and it’s gold, which is mainly earned indirectly from your heroes. They loot gold from monsters and dungeons and then turn around and spend it in your town on aids like new weapons and healing potions. You also get a regular income from your tax collectors that’s proportional to the size of your settlement, and from trading posts. All of this requires you to keep your buildings secure, of course, because the monsters roaming the land aren’t going to let you go about your genocide idly.

You only have two ways to influence your heroes, and they’re both by placing bounties. Placing attack bounties on monsters or dungeons offers a tempting reward to the heroes that contribute to their destruction, and exploration bounties draw your subjects out to unexplored parts of the map. The higher the bounty, the more attention your people will pay to them. Strategic use of bounties is a must as you advance, because marking the wrong dungeon can distract from more threatening targets, and monsters love to sneak into town to raid your marketplaces.

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There’s a lot of chaos to keep up with in each of the game’s many scenarios, and you’ll need to find your footing fast to conquer the more difficult ones. Monsters can be very aggressive and only certain classes may be effective against them. You also need to keep up the pressure to adventure because otherwise you’ll fall behind on income and experienced heroes. Knowing what to spend your gold on when will also come into play more as you attempt more advanced scenarios and your building options expand.

The easy missions are a lot of fun to just build and recruit willy-nilly and watch your little champions do their thing. The difficulty curve ratchets up fast, though, so if you want to hang with Majesty you’ll need to be paying a lot of attention. That’s about my only complaint with it, really. The 2D graphics are clear and bold and hold up well in HD, and the sounds is crisp and immersive, though a bit thin on effects. It’s a little more managing chaos than a proper kingdom, but I can’t deny the fun in watching it all unfold.

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