With Going Medieval, another indie game joins the ranks of the 3D construction simulations. But what makes the game from the Serbian developer Foxy Voxel so special? Quite simple: In this simulation we are in an alternative Middle Ages. In reality, the plague cost 25 million lives. But what if the plague almost meant the end of all humanity? In the fictional historiography of Going Medieval, a full 95 percent of humanity died of the plague.
The survivors must be mentioned so that death does not overtake them after all through starvation, freezing or fatal confrontations with animals or other people. We should in the finished game and in the closed betathat we could try.
The first steps towards survival are creative and human in nature
Source: PC Games
First you can choose a name for your settlement and design the coat of arms. There are enough options for the latter. Cat, dog, sun, cross … there is something for every taste. The map type and the map size can be changed here, but in the beta version only the valley can be selected in a given size. Regarding the game modes, you can choose between standard and builder mode, with no differences in content so far. If you don't want to spend too much time with the naming and the design of the coat of arms, the game also gives you the option of coats of arms and names. After the preparatory work is done, the residents are introduced. There will be three to start with, but the number will increase as the game progresses.
People differ in terms of age, weight, height, history (don't expect too much) and the level of religiousness and social behavior. Our plague survivors also have various skills. From handling animals to tailoring, there is everything a simulation heart desires here. However, the possibilities to change the skills of the individual residents are very limited. However, if you are dissatisfied, you can replace the resident with another randomly generated person during the selection phase. If you want to get the previous resident back, you're out of luck. As soon as the happy residents have been chosen, you can start right away.
Work, my subjects!
Source: PC Games
In the middle of the pampas you are dropped off with the infantry and a limited number of resources. The tutorial leads you through the most important points that are necessary to build a hut for the helpless protégés. First of all, it makes sense to mark out a storage area where resources can be stored. It also makes sense to designate a garbage dump so that unusable items do not take up space in the warehouse. To build your first hut, you need wood. For that some trees have to believe in it. In the lower right corner there are several buttons with commands, including cutting down trees. After making the right selection, you simply drag the mouse over the selected forest. With this drawing technique, many things can be done in Going Medieval. Unfortunately, the function does not work every now and then, hopefully this will not be the case in the finished game.
The residents usually start cutting down straight away, as they currently have little to do. But that changes quickly. If you put the first walls of the huts, the survivors start the construction. This also happens relatively quickly. The roof placement is annoying because parts of the roof are simply not built on a regular basis. This is probably a bug and is quite annoying. In spring and summer it is less dramatic when the residents fall asleep under the starry sky, but in autumn and winter this can lead to death by cold. Dismantling walls, floors, roofs and furniture is a bit of a hassle, as these cannot simply be torn down or moved. A relocation function would have been easier for the furniture in particular. Instead of simply being able to move a small stool, for example, we actually have to dismantle it into its individual parts and cobble together again in another place. Efficiency was obviously not the case in the Middle Ages.
and what are we doing now?
Growing vegetables and wheat is important so that the population of the still small village has something to eat. After all, hungry residents are unhappy residents who, in the worst case, will die of agonizing starvation or run away. The latter did not occur when we played, but that means that they regularly starved to death.
Once the settlement has been set up, the settlers get bored. Who wants to have a day off every year! Therefore, halfway meaningful tasks have to be found. Digging out a cellar is also a valuable job creation measure. Only one should be careful that the diggers do not cut themselves off from civilization. The area around them is quickly shoveled free and then they are pretty lost. Escape is not possible without outside help. So props with a floor covering are placed on top, otherwise the person will die.
What does the The Walking Dead series (and probably every other survival series) taught? Right, nothing works without community. Although Going Medieval is about the remainder of the world's population and actually everyone should pull together, the word community is unfortunately rather out of place. The residents are relative loners, which is also noticeable when eating. Each resident does his own thing and the residents hardly ever dine together. We get a sense of community when constructing and defending the facility.
Source: PC Games
There is not too much to manage. However, if a task is too long in coming or certain things are to be done by selected residents, the "Jobs" tab is just the thing. Because here one assigns the right tasks to the residents (although it takes a bit of getting used to) by assigning them a value. You can choose between "no priority" up to "extreme priority". As a result, the settlers tend to do certain tasks. Unfortunately, this is not yet a guarantee of completion. So it often happened when we were playing that the residents were bored even though there was still something to do.
Nothing beats a fight
The residents should be armed, and those who are good at hunting are given a bow or a crossbow at best. Because Bambi and Klopfer are difficult to hunt with a sword. The meat is needed for eating, the leather is used to make clothing and armor.
Source: PC Games
The armament is not just about hunting animals. Random events are triggered every three to four days. In the beta, these have so far been limited to the fact that a possible new roommate appears or a fight is threatened. The battles usually come about because of people who are relatively new to your camp. The new roommate is usually on the run from evil cannibals or the like. And of course they don't want to go without their food. The combat system still feels a little rudimentary. The residents must be called to fight. The villagers who are now ready to fight can be sent to a specific location with the right mouse button. With the attack order they only attack one person, after knockdown they usually choose another opponent. If one of the residents or attackers has suffered too much damage, the person concerned first becomes unconscious. After a certain period of time, however, the residents get up again or are shoved to bed by their roommates. It looks different with the belligerent attackers. If they are defeated on the ground, they cannot be accepted into the camp, instead they simply lie around for many virtual hours before they eventually give up the spoon. Alternatively, ending the suffering of the attacker is quite cumbersome, because you have to execute every single blow with the attack order. But you are rewarded for this with the armor and armament of the enemy.
Source: PC Games
Not only in real life do we slowly but surely notice the change of season. This also applies to the little village in Going Medieval. If you have hardly any difficulties in coping with the dangers that the game throws in your way in the warm season of the year, this changes by the onset of winter at the latest. The population complains that it is too cold even though they are wearing the winter clothes. Food rations are running out, so it is advisable to set up a warehouse in good time to prepare food for the winter. In one of our rounds of the game, the problem arose that even hunting could no longer produce any food supplies. As a result, the entire population died and we were alone and without further tasks on the map. That was also a bug, of course, but one that really drained the motivation to continue playing. It remains to be hoped that all flaws will have been fixed by a possible early access or even the release of the game.
Does this thing even have a story?
Although Going Medieval has an exciting premise, the game hardly uses the interesting idea narrative afterwards. Only the initial loading screen indicates the alternative story setting, after which it is no longer discussed. Looters and cannibals are not enough to create a feeling of dystopia. The developers should add a little more to the story and bring it into the gameplay in a more focused manner. This could happen, for example, through outbreaks of the plague that are brought in by new residents.
According to the developers, Going Medieval should be significantly more complex than it is in the beta. Further content is being planned, including more complex faction, trade and relationship systems. So it will be exciting to see whether the title will end up with Rimworld can keep up with which it is often compared. When Going Medieval will appear in full and whether it will be openly available and playable for everyone in Early Access is not yet known.
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