Medieval Dynasty is a new medieval survival and simulation game by Render Cube, released as their second game after Monster League. Set up as a pseudo Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon, you take on the role of a 18-year old man in olden times who has escaped an attack on his old home to a new land with lush forests and fields. With land left to you, due to your fathers past good deeds, you now have the aim of building up your own little village with farms and production buildings. With so many games to compare it to, does Medieval Dynasty set itself apart?
The game starts off with a brief backstory and introduction to our character, a blank slate for us to meld into what we wish. Your hometown was attacked and ransacked, similar to the introduction of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, but without any real input from the character. Following the words of your father you find a somewhat hidden valley with small villages, talking to the “lord” or what would count as one of the land, who gives you as much of the land to use as you see fit, as long as you can pay the taxes.
Now, with our Stardew Valley introduction out of the way, we can start building our own house, hoeing some land to grow crops and finally build up our dynasty points. Completing nearby quests unlocks the ability to have more buildings and recruit more villagers to our own town, to be put to work in the fields or the multitude of construction or gathering buildings.
With such a short introduction, we are given a few tasks, see the local villages, help with some wolf issues and build up our reputation. You can get the main story done in a few hours with what is currently on offer before it becomes repeated tasks. The beginning parts are more set up as a tutorial than anything else, with such an early part of the early access being focused on gameplay rather than a story.
As you play through the game, building up your town, crafting, or even hunting animals, your skills will slowly start to develop. Working on a similar premise to The Elder Scrolls, you improve a skill when you use the skill, so hunting and skinning animals aids the hunting tree. When you gain enough exp in a skill you gain a perk point to spend on a trait from a skill tree, unlocking the next tier of skills for the next level. Plenty of the traits are small increases, like 5-10% faster actions, more durability, or even items gained. The better traits are those that allow you to place down more traps or unlock higher carry capacity.
To grow your own village you will need Dynasty points, as well as unlocks from the leader of the first town to allow for more buildings. Higher Dynasty points allow for more people to join your village, though with the updates over my time playing these were hard to gain at the start but much easier to the end. I started off getting a measly 2 DP from a quest, this has shot up to 10DP at times with new updates, and the story quests have seen a similarly large, welcome, increase.
Quests are gained when talking to villagers in the very spread apart villages. There are randomly generated one’s per season like getting sticks, leather or fur, or particular crafting/bought items. Story quests are longer, chains of quests that last an entire year. Completing quests gives you some resources, money, and finally dynasty points. Due to the distance between villages, quests can be quite an annoyance to both pick up as well as hand in.
Medieval Dynasty feels like a strange combination of Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Life is Feudal: Your Own. From both the gameplay and the mechanics behind said gameplay, it is a slow-going adventure game with a slight emphasis on physics and realistic gameplay. This brings over the enjoyment of those games but also the annoyances, like a limited inventory and slow-building. To build a house you’re going to need to cut down a good 10 or more trees, moving to and from the house after every 2 or 3 trees. If you’re expecting a flourishing town in a few hours, then you may be better off with another game.
In such an early state, Medieval Dynasty isn’t too difficult. You can keep quite a few healing herbs in your inventory to just pause and tear through them in combat. Both hunger and thirst meters are also easy to satiate, with no added bonus for different meals or more exquisite ingredients. Hunger is also over-exaggerated, having to eat 3 entire deer or 2 boars of meat for 1 day of work. The timescale is also hastened to include the ageing mechanics, with 3 days per season, 12 days for the year.
Sadly the game is plagued with bugs, some that can break the flow of the game. From villagers whose fondness doesn’t increase via dialogue, workers standing around and not doing their jobs, geometry or objects disappearing and animals spawning right next to you. Aside from the bugs, a lot of the game is not explained well enough via tutorials, from getting the tutorial on how to keep villagers in your town activating only after gaining the villagers so they leave in a few hours, or not explaining how the intricacies of the villager work.
Overall, Medieval Dynasty seems very promising though with so many “Dynasty” games published by Toplitz Productions getting dropped after release leads one to have low hopes about a promising lifespan of MD. If Render Cube can keep up the good work, and constant updates, MD will definitely be one to sink in many hours.
Medieval Dynasty is in early access on PC for £22.99 and can be purchased here.
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