When you’re first dropped into the world of Medieval Dynasty, it comes across as any other survival sandbox game out there – think Rust, Ark: Survival Evolved, DayZ, or the more recent Valhiem. At this point, you’re thinking either “Sweet! I know exactly what I need to do”, or “FFS! I already know exactly what I need to do”. In either case, your reaction is understandable. However, there’s more to Medieval Dynasty than meets the eye, and we’re going to explore everything the game has to offer in this here review. Let’s crack on!
Medieval Dynasty Story
Whaattt? There’s a story??! Yes and no. There’s an underlying story yes, and your progress is tied to this story. Essentially, you need to do the story in order to unlock and gain access to stuff. However, we’d recommend you do the story anyway, because it also serves as a tutorial of sorts to help players get accustomed to new gameplay systems and mechanics.
The story itself is pretty bare bones and functions as an origin story of sorts for your character, Racimir. Our main character has escaped his village which was attacked (by bandits I think?) and his parents were killed. He’s come to visit his uncle who supposedly owned a village, looking for a place to stay and start over. Turns out, his Uncle is dead too, but the new guy in charge basically tells Racimir to pick a spot and set up shop, i.e., build his own village (with blackjack and hoo- *ahem*). And so your Medieval Dynasty begins.
Medieval Dynasty Gameplay
Medieval Dynasty is a mishmash of many gameplay elements and genres. Most of which work together fairly well. Let’s start with the obvious, the Survival Sandbox elements. There’s a reason the game initially feels like all those games we mentioned in the intro. It’s pretty much the same, pick up stones and sticks, craft an axe, chop trees, get logs, get access to more tools, gather better materials, and so on. You will use said materials to build your village as well, starting with your very first house. However, you will eventually hit a wall. Remember how we told you progression is tied to the story? Yeah. So you’ll need to do some running around and be an errand boy for a bit. You get a lot of freebies from exploring around the world though, so ultimately it might be worth it to do some running around.
Medieval Dynasty Skills
Other than the story, there are other factors which limit your access to more advanced buildings and tools. These are your skill levels. There are a total of six skills in the game, including Extraction, Hunting, Farming, Diplomacy, Survival, and Production. Each of these skills have their own skill tree, with abilities to help you benefit more from said skills and utilise them more efficiently. In order to actually level these skills up, all you need to do is actually use them. Yep, just like in The Elder Scrolls games, you wanna get good at hunting? Go hunt. Resource gathering? Better get to it. Sure it’s grindy – all such games are – but the introduction of levels and skill trees adds a sense of progression and achievement; something to work towards, which is nice. I should also point out that a lot of the stuff you can craft is locked behind schematics, which you need to buy with in-game money. You’ll need to go out and trade with vendors in order to make money. Again, in typical RPG fashion, you could probably just sell the excess stuff you craft to level up a skill in order to make money.
The addition of quests, a skill tree, and how doing things improves your skills gives the game a very RPG feel, something that is unique to Medieval Dynasty. At least as far as I know, when sandbox survival games are concerned.
Medieval Dynasty Building and management
Building and village management is the meat of Medieval Dynasty’s gameplay once you’re done grinding your skills up and gathering up all your required resources. While you start off with just a single house, eventually you’re going to end up building a full-fledged village. There is however, a limit on the number of buildings you can have in your village, which is again, tied to the main story quest.
Once you’re done constructing a building, the management part of the gameplay steps in. Depending on the building you’ve constructed, you can assign villagers to work there. Of course, you’ll need to entice people to come live in your village first. Once that’s done, you need to make sure they’re happy, or they’ll leave. In order to do this, you need to make sure that they’re well fed, have drinking water, firewood, and a roof over their heads. So there’s some work that needs to be done before you can actually start getting people settled in your village. However, once you’ve set up the basics and got a few villagers working for you, they will be able to supply themselves while also leaving some surplus behind for you to do what you please with. What I mean is, you can get them to start drawing water from a well, and go hunting, and work at woodcutting stations in order to supply your village with the stuff you’ll need to keep them happy.
All of this can get pretty confusing however, as the management UI takes some getting used to before you can properly navigate and figure out what does what. The game in general isn’t very good with teaching you the ropes so to speak, so you’ll need to spend some time reading up about the game, either from the in-game “Knowledge” tab, or by watching some YouTube videos.
There’s also Dynasty Reputation. Once you’ve established your village, this metric determines how popular your village is in the area. This affects the people you can entice into coming to your village. Higher reputation will allow you to recruit better villagers. It also affects the number of buildings you can have in your village.
Medieval Dynasty Combat
Survival sandbox games see their fair share of combat, this is the case with Medieval Dynasty as well, but it certainly isn’t the primary focus of the game. Combat isn’t flashy or polished, it’s just kinda there. The few instances where you’ll need to utilise melee combat is while hunting, at least until you get to better hunting weapons, and to defend against the few bandit attacks that might happen.
Medieval Dynasty Settings
Finally, we come to the game’s settings. Medieval Dynasty has a lot of gameplay settings that you can tweak, to make your life much much easier, or intentionally challenging. Options like being able to completely turn off stamina drain and carry capacity can greatly affect your experience in the game. For some it’s a blessing, allowing them to enjoy the game unhampered, for others it might be immersion breaking. Either way, it’s nice that we have the option. There are many such settings, including settings that affect experience gain, bandit attacks, length of seasons, and much more. We’re all for being able to finetune your Medieval Dynasty experience.
Medieval Dynasty Verdict
Medieval Dynasty is a survival sandbox city (village) management simulator with RPG elements. Wow, that’s a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it? The goal, as the name suggests, is to create your own Medieval Dynasty. Grind for resources, build your own village, manage your people, maybe find love? Have children, live your medieval life to the fullest. Everything said and done, it’s the mishmash of elements that’s unique in Medieval Dynasty, there’s nothing new or outstanding in terms of the experience or gameplay. What you do have is a chill – or grindy, depending on how you tweak your settings – sandbox experience where you can lose yourself for a bit.
SCORE! – 7/10
Developer: Render Cube
Publisher: Toplitz Productions
Platform: Microsoft Windows
Price: INR 1,490