Going Medieval is an immersive city-builder with a ton of customization and complexity.
It’s not easy being king. It’s even harder when you start with nothing but a stack of supplies and a few subjects of your own. In Going Medieval, you must rebuild your kingdom of the Dark Ages after in a world reclaimed by nature. In this city-building sim you’ll need to build your keep, keep your subjects happy, research new technologies, and watch the story of your new kingdom unfold.
Going Medieval is all about how you want to do things. The block-made world has a subtle charm that leaks into its faceless inhabitants, whose personalities each give them a unique character. With a robust amount of starting options, including the ability to customize the world before jumping in, you’ll be eager to explore the world and personalities of your subjects. Loading into your first game can be both exciting and daunting, though. As you begin to explore the UI, nearly every element will force a pop-up tutorial on the first run-through. While each of these tutorials is well-written and explains the functions you will use well, it can lead to an abrasive first impression that can be overwhelming when you try to take it all in at once.
The game hits you with a ton of mechanics from the get-go, as nearly every base mechanic has a ton of nuance within it. Your subjects are all their own unique characters, each with specific stats and traits akin to characters in the Crusader Kings franchise. They have personalities and traits that directly affect gameplay, such as being surly and hard to get along with or having an industrious nature. These can directly affect other core stats, such as marksmanship or speechcraft, that could make certain characters more adept at certain jobs. This makes recruiting new settlers and keeping them alive important. It also adds to the immersion of the experience, as most recruits will come from interactive events. You’ll want to keep tabs on the entire spread of stats to make sure your villagers are working at optimum efficiency, since constructing buildings is an in-depth and involved process.
While gathering, hunting and even combat are streamlined using point-and-click controls; construction is the heart of the Going Medieval experience. Your buildings can be multiple stories and designed in any way you’d like. You could build a village or a single, massive keep for your settlers to live in and even incorporate it into the terrain itself. Flooring can be laid anywhere and a roof can always be used to link two walls together. This all makes building your city or keep a very fun and in-depth process that you’ll be happy you can pause time to do. Building everything to perfection, however, takes a bit of digging into the vast tech tree of the game.
Going Medieval isn’t a game you’ll want to play at the bottom of the tech tree. The amount of research is vast and dictates the trajectory of your empire, with only the most basic of needs given to you at the beginning. You’ll need to research agriculture, architecture, ironworking and a whole lot more to get the most out of your workers to build your ultimate empire. It can be a daunting task, as the web goes deep and can get rather complex rather quickly. It pays off to do your homework here, as you’ll want to have a plan before leaping into it all. While you may not achieve your ideal dwellings on your first go, those who stick it out to learn the systems of the game will be rewarded with a kingdom all their own.
Going Medieval, in spite of its name, is an incredibly sophisticated game. Each of your subjects feels unique and allows you to easily pick the best candidate for each job. The nuance of the systems works well with its point-and-click mechanics to create a smooth-flowing and satisfying experience. Learning how to piece it all up to get there, however, can definitely be a daunting task in spite of great tooltips and a solid tutorial. The menus will assault you on your first run-through, which is still full of beginner traps such as not understanding proper construction practices or hunting mechanics, which leads to a surprising learning curve in spite of all the guidance given. With the game releasing into Early Access, however, these complaints could be seen as nitpicks when compared to the amount of customization and immersion that is offered to the player willing to stick it out and learn it all. From the looks of the future roadmap, it’s only going to get better.