The Middle Ages - The Real Experience
The PC game "Europa 1400 - The Guild" takes players into the fascinating world of the Middle Ages after 1400: A world full of luxury and wealth conspiracy and intrigue. In one of five european cities up to 500 virtual inhabitants pursue their daily business- trading and competing for titles and offices each of which bestows reputation and influence. All this is presented in a wealth of detail.
From the 3D view of the whole town players can zoom to a selected building enter that building and interact with ist contents and inhabitants. For example entering a herb shop allows the player to examine the sales room and the lab where they can even see the distilling flask! There are also over 200 building extensions each of which serves ist own unique purpose.
At the start of the game players can generate their own characters. They can even select their parents from a number of workmen merchants poets or even thieves. Every player can therefore inherit helpful talents on the path to glory and wealth. Then players can select professions and set the points for their further career. Eight different groups of professions are available at the beginning of the game which include such varied roles as blacksmith tincture mixer landlord preacher or even thief.
Depending on the chosen path players may find themselves at the searing heat of the forge behind the counter of a herb shop or waiting in the forest for the cover of night. The objective of the game depends on the different game modes: from the focused play of the mission mode to the infinite possibilities of the endless game where players build a family dynasty.
The missions include several different objectives such as "Become mayor" "Obtain a monopoly over the surrounding quarries" or "Raise 15 000 ducats through raids" A multiplayer mode for up to 8 players is included as well. To ease casual gamers into the medieval world of "The Guild - Europa 1400" the gameplay and navigation have been designed to be as easy as possible.
The different difficulty levels will make expert building and strategy game players addicted to "Europa 1400 - The Guild" as well. Orientation within the colourfully realised towns is pleasingly easy: By clicking an area on screen over the town the camera will softly pan in that direction.
A mouse click on any building moves the camera directly to the desired destination. Another mouse click enters the building. Each building contains a different situation: The tavern for instance is populated by different shady characters. As well as offering gambling and mead the tavern also lets you obtain useful information on opponents and competitors. But take care: If you are caught committing a crime you may expect to be taken to the town prison the pillory or be tortured. If you want to avoid such unpleasant surprises keep your proceedings legal as you maintain and expand your empire.
You can also visit one of the local churches; these visits will often end with your purse being lighter and the priest smiling happily as he hands you a letter of indulgence. Glancing into the law books at the town council's office could also help inspire one to stay within the law… most of the time.
Numerous positions are just waiting to be filled. Guilds churches and councils tempt players with the influence they offer. Changing alliances offering privileges or the well-considered employment of underhand measures can lead you to the heights of your career - or if carelessly used to rot in a dungeon. If all else fails there is still the option of a duel at dawn.
Source: The Game Website (now defunct)