Survival games have come a long way since their beginning. Often heralded as some of the most (in)famous in the gaming industry for their record of delivering complete games on time (thanks Early Access), the genre has been the hot topic of debate for many years since its inception. But what happens when you add milestones and story-based mechanics to the genre? That’s exactly what Medieval Dynasty hopes to achieve.
Medieval Dynasty was released on 23rd September 2021 on PC. The game was developed by Render Cube and published by Toplitz Productions. While there have been several changes in the game since its launch, we have reviewed the game in its current state (the updates have changed some of its mechanics). This code was received from Toplitz Productions, the publisher of the game.
The game starts with the main character leaving his village and the comfort of his family’s lands because of war. The war brought hard times for the family, forcing their eldest son to flee up north unaffected by war. The PC’s uncle had made a modest fortune up north from working in the villages there, prompting other travelers to also try out their luck there. The main story of the game follows the protagonist’s adventures as he tries his own luck in the valley – discovering more about his uncle and his relations with the other folk living in the valley.
If you play the game and find the story to be a bunch of random fetch quests, you wouldn’t be the only one to have felt that. The story feels of little significance in the grand scheme of things. In fact, the story merely seems like an introduction to the mechanics. A majority of the things that will be asked of you can be done within your settlement only (once you get to build it) – or can be purchased from the various traders in the world for coin. Some of the quests help improve your reputation as the leader of your settlement, while others increase the number of buildings you can construct – further pointing towards the fact that the quests were intended only to serve as a guide for players starting out in the game.
Some of the dialogues during interactions also feels weird and out of place, even though they were intended to be witty and humorous. Most of the humor in the dialogue in the game is forced on you. Initially, you are going to let out a smile and go “Bruh!”, but hearing the repetitive jokes is going to make you take the hard decision of plunging your knife deep within some of the weirdest NPCs in the world (and keep it there till they stop breathing).
Medieval Dynasty does portray some of the hardships you face when you are starting to build a settlement on your own. You start when you are very low on resources and have to start gathering some of them. For constructing houses, mostly wood, sticks, and stone are required – which are very common in the world. The journey starts with a stone ax, and then moves on to more advanced concepts like farming, animal husbandry and so much more! The game feels like a fully-decked city (or rather, village) building simulator where you get to be a part of the settlement and get a first-hand experience of the rustic life yourself. Seeing your villagers move about their lives while you interact with them is one of the best advantages that the game has over other simulation games.
The game follows a traditional technology-based system where progression is recorded for every action the user performs in the world. Buildings and craftables are unlocked based on your actions. For example, hunting games in the wild and laying traps boost your hunting skill – unlocking items like the Hunter’s Hut (one of the first buildings to supply food in the game). Earlier on, your production economy will be primarily be based on gathering resources from your surrounding. Later on, you will move on to more advanced stuff like farming (which takes an entire season’s worth of effort to pull off successfully) and mining. In time, your production lines also become more upgraded, allowing you to move from producing buckets and skins for bags to complex potions and contraptions. Progression is also kind of slow – requiring you to keep at the grind till something is unlocked.
In the beginning, the building limit is pretty small at the beginning and certain things are not explained to you – things that you need to know to make progress. The building limit is pretty restrictive in the beginning and needs the completion of certain main story quests to be increased. While this does help ensure that players learn about some of the game’s mechanics before they are introduced to something new, it does increase the grind required artificially and puts boundaries on the possibilities. Another thing that any player would dislike is the fact that the buildings do not start producing once you assign villagers to them. Then you get to know that you need to supply them with the right tools for the job to make them work (the correct tool is written outside the building on an interactive plaque). But the buildings still don’t produce, forcing you to look through page after page in the in-game dictionary to find out what went wrong. Ultimately, you find out that you have to manually assign the production from the Management screen – which is a bit frustrating. The building should start producing the basic resource it can produce by default, instead of depending on the player for input. Moreover, you need to detect production chains on your own by reading item descriptions – there is no visual cue to help you. Diagrams instead of a wall of text would indeed have been more intuitive to explain the flow of resources required to produce something. Moreover, your villagers only interact with the workstations at their buildings and produce the materials that they need to do.
Medieval Dynasty might have added a lot of mechanics to stand out, but it sadly does not do much when it comes to innovating in terms of graphics. The game looks like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim at best, and Skyrim is not really the most recent game to be setting a benchmark for comparison. If you’re a sucker for good visuals and decent simulation games – you might need to tone down your expectations a lot.
The game’s music is clearly superior when compared to its graphics. The music, though feeling a little generic, does reflect the rustic nature of life in the villages. The change of tone when a danger like wolves, wild boar, or bandits strike at you sets the tense atmosphere that is needed during such a time.
The game was played on the following specifications :-
CPU : AMD Ryzen 5 2600
GPU : GTX 1080
RAM : 16GB DDR4
The game runs almost flawlessly in the forests and the other biomes in the open world, but the framerate tanks a bit in the villages.
Surviving the Zombie Rush
Medieval Dynasty tries really hard to become the simulation cum survival RPG that people want it to be – and despite a few flaws here and there, does manage it quite well (if you manage to forget the RPG aspect of it). If you want to flex your creative mind organizing a living, functioning village from scratch – this game should certainly be up your alley. But if you want a pure RPG that wants to stand apart from the masses with some different mechanics – be sure to look elsewhere.