PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

Majesty 2: Kingmaker
Developed By: Cyberlore Studios
Published By: Paradox Interactive
ESRB Rating: Teen for blood and alcohol references
Multiplayer Support: 4 players using GameSpy
Retail Price: $14.95

System requirements
• Majesty 2
• Windows 2000/XP/Vista
• 2GHz dual core processor
• 1 GB RAM
• Videocard: 512 MB with PS 2.0, better than GeForce 6800 GTX
• 4 GB free hard disc space

Thank you Gamers Gate for giving us this game to review!

Up until now, things have been going smoothly since you\'ve been ruling over the kingdom of Ardania. Recently there have been reports of glowing eyes and jack-o-lanterns scaring away your loyal subjects. The goblins are taking over and you have to fight to re-claim your lands. There are many goblin villages that need to be destroyed along with their powerful mage. The Kingmaker expansion adds a map editor and eight new campaign missions, which are geared towards experienced players offering only advanced and expert difficulty levels. There is an option to randomize the enemy spawn points but the waves of enemies are bloody hard regardless of where they come from.

Just like Majesty 2, you do not have absolute control over your units; they have a mind of their own. Some units prefer to fight and others prefer to explore or protect things. To get things done you can put flags to explore, attack, defend, or avoid danger. Sometimes a unit will do things without you paying; however, most of the time you have to add a monetary incentive with your flag.

Highlights:

Strengths: Fun & unique game play, good graphics
Weaknesses: Extremely hard game play, no active servers to join
Moral Warnings: Violence, multiple deities, magic use

When you start a mission you have some money, your castle, a guard, a tax collector, and some peasants. The peasants will pay taxes and build the buildings for you. You can build guard towers that will come with a guard to help defend against nearby monsters, skeletons, and big sewer rats.

To earn income you can get a kickback on constructing a market, blacksmith, an inn, or a magic emporium. Before the blacksmith or market can sell anything, you have to research the items first. The Inns allow your heroes to rest and you can form battle parties there. The guilds pay taxes too and they each house three heroes. You can build more guilds, but each successive building will cost more money and each building has a separate research tree.

The guilds include rogues, rangers, warriors, clerics, mages, dwarves, and elves. Each guild has to be upgraded a couple of times to offer better attacks and spells. With every new guild you can research a power to aide your heroes. The mages guild offers a couple of spells that you can use to zap single or multiple enemies (for a price of course!). I especially liked the dwarven ability to reinforce structures to speed up the building or repairing process.
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score: 82%
Game Play: 16/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8:10
Interface: 4/5
Stability: 5/5

Appropriateness score: 83%
-3 for violence
-3 for occult references
-2.5 for racism

After your castle has been upgraded a couple of times you can construct various temples in designated areas (Holy ground). The temples provide a couple of priests/priestesses and a powerful ability such as resurrection or being able to send a plague. If you don\'t have the ability to resurrect, the first time a hero dies, a cemetery will be constructed and you can resurrect them for a fee that increases with every level.

Most of the missions have optional quests that can be completed and they usually reward you with extra gold. With all the bribing, gold is what\'s needed the most to succeed. The multiplayer interface is powered by GameSpy. You can have up to four players or two teams in a battle for domination. Unfortunately I did not see any servers to join.

There is a built in store interface where you can download for free or purchase new missions, spells and abilities for your units. If you like modding, there\'s a map editor that\'s bundled with the expansion. The single player missions are all the same and mostly consist of defending the castle for a given amount of time. There\'s a challenging mission that pokes fun at Robin Hood.
Graphically this game is very appealing. The maps are very detailed and the 3D characters and buildings look great. The spells look pretty neat and the physics are spot on. The monsters look pretty scary and their animations are fitting.

I was very impressed with the background music in this game; it\'s very pretty and reminded me of Lord Of The Rings. The voice acting is pretty good; the adviser sounds like Sean Connery. The campaign missions were nicely narrated but the single player intros are text only; I\'m not sure why they didn\'t narrate those too. Another nitpick is that the elf voice is a little odd - it sounds like a child.

From an appropriateness standpoint there is fantasy violence but it\'s not really bloody or gory. You will be battling with demons and will be eliminating portals to hell so there are some occult themes. I was glad to see no real occult symbols used. Magic is used and cannot be avoided. There is mention of alcohol and some pub buildings. Lastly, elves and dwarves don\'t like each other so there\'s fantasy racism.

Overall, Majesty 2 Kingmaker is a nice expansion for only $15. I only recommend getting it if you like a challenge. With Majesty 2 I was able to edit my save files to give myself some more gold. I was shocked to see that the save files are now encrypted. I wound up using Cheat Engine to modify the memory addresses containing my amounts of gold. There is a trainer available for $30 that can do it for you. I only cheated in single player; I would not dare to do such a thing in a multiplayer game. Not that it matters since there is no one online to play against.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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