Game Name: Anno 1404
Official Website: http://anno.uk.ubi.com/pc/
Developer(s): Related Designs
Release Date: Unknown
Anno 1404 (Dawn of discovery) 7/10 – Good
Lose yourself in this intrepid adventure to build and conquer your empire that is always at continuous growth and expenditure.
Anno 1404 Aka Dawn of Discovery
The game is about discovery, with a long campaign and a continuous mode that literally has a life-time guarantee of game play, which puts you into a random world, where you must expand your empire as much as possible, it’s a long and complex road for you whilst you do all this discovering.
The game greets you with a menu that’s filled with different modes, the campaign is quite lengthy, but I believe the best mode to be continuous, this puts you into a land full of islands and you start with a set amount of money, and varied difficulty, though ‘easy’ is hard enough, you must build your settlement on the one island, then expand to further regions, as each island is fertile for a certain item, and eventually when you evolve your race, they want more desirable things, spice from the southern regions or wheat from western lands, keeping the rich satisfied whilst making money, is a very hard challenge indeed, as you only get so much tax income from each household, how satisfied they are is equal to how much income you get off them, to meet these satisfactions you must build more plantations and mills, which all come with a maintenance fee, the true way of making money is with trading.
The strategy is to grow something on your island, then sell it to distant lands and orients that cannot grow that particular thing themselves, but making enough to satisfy the people and to make money, its not long before a rebellion is likely to break out, which can be a major nuisance, and on top of this there is (in harder modes) the chance your settlement may get hit by the plague, or another natural disaster.
This is potentially the offspring between civilisation and Sim city, and it’s a real gem of a game, watching your settlement grow into a city, it soon becomes alive, and you can sit back and watch the tiny people get on with there everyday lives, and from time to time you get a quest, which could be to find a missing person within the village, a kind of ‘3D where’s Wally?’ or escorting cargo etc. Within the land lies different computer AI, which consist of at least one pirate town, and this game isn’t just about building, and trading, but you can make it as violent as you want, by building a massive fleet of ships, and slowly conquer the lands and reign supreme, or negotiate, and very slowly reign as everyone else’s bitch.
One extremely major let down of this game, is the fact there is no multi-player, some may be sickened at this, but I think if you were to take this game online, the players playing could literally spend days at a time, until one passed out from exhaustion and the other player is deemed winner by default, though they could have made an effort to modify an online version of the game, that wasn’t such a lengthy progress, whatever the developers were doing, they seem to want to work alone, and for much of the population of multi-player fans, they will choose to look elsewhere for there RTS thrills. Though I think the lack of multi-player shouldn’t obscure anyone’s idea of a good RTS, this game does well to have so much going on and keep such good frame rates and graphics.
Build your empire big and strong
This game is quite complex, in terms of balancing your money income, your spending amount, dealing with enemy fleets, keeping an allied treaty stable, establishing trade routes, upgrading your settlement and satisfying the needs of the inhabitants, let just one thing get on top of you and you go down hill fast, there’s always one part of your settlement that is need of something else, and to get more income, you must build more houses for the tax income to increase, but then this eats away at the storage of items, meaning you have to upgrade the storage, which increases maintenance costs, then importing goods from foreign lands, which you can either buy, or expand your empire to southern regions and cultivate your own land for the luxury items that you need for your people, basically, the game does get pretty hectic, trying to juggle all this, and the game does compensate for this, by making things simpler, you can set up your own automatic trade routes for ships to go to harbours and pick up and sell items, although you must maintain your stock of items, to be able to sell them and keep some for building materials, or they may be under threat from pirate attacks, if it all gets too much you can always call an ally for aid, with only a percentage chance of working depending on how many favours you keep asking for.
Vibrant and beautiful landscapes
The campaign itself its very lengthy, and is a typical RTS style campaign, building up things and completing objectives, and scenarios, where your town is on fire, or the plague has struck and its your job to deal with it, along your journey you unlock achievements and they reward you with gems, that you can spend on extra items that you can use or build, which is very fulfilling!
Such beautiful landscapes and various lands that you can conquer the entire land, as each land provides different luxuries
Some may find it quite challenging that like to put determination and commitment into a game, to unlock the hundreds of achievements
Very lengthy and continuous mode allow you to play this game for years
Very steep learning curve, might be too challenging for younger gamers
If you can’t advance it becomes repetitive and boring
The tutorials could be a little bit more helpful, with a very small manual that comes with it
Few minor bugs in the campaign
Eventually create your own 15th century metropolis
This game isn’t for the hardcore conquering, smashing and taking RTS fans, this is a game for strategists that like to build up empires and simulate 15th century life, those that are up for a challenge will enjoy this game, or for those looking for something different, it’s a game packed with hundreds of hours of entertainment, though this is overshadowed by the very hard way that allows you to progress through the ranks of civilisation with very little help of how things work, fans of the series may welcome this with open arms, newcomers, be very wary of buying this game, it may result in a rather large headache.
Whats your opinion?? Anno 1404 Forum Discussion Thread