Patrician IV is the latest sequel in the top-selling historical trading simulation and strategy series. In the game, you are a merchant in northern Europe during the late Middle Ages, a time when the Hanseatic League, a powerful economic and political alliance, was flourishing. Your goal is to rise to become the most successful and influential member of the League, ultimately being elected Elderman, or leader, of the trading alliance. Begin by bargaining with common goods, then build up your own production and establish a merchant fleet. Later on, you will gain more and more political influence and even establish new towns.
However, a Hanse merchant's life can also have its dark side. On your way to power you have to hold your ground against fierce rivals, whom you have to battle via economic competition, price wars or even direct sabotage. Will you even engage in piracy?
An extensive commerce system that recreates the economy of the era
Historically accurate trade routes between 32 towns
All towns are displayed in impressive and detailed 3D graphics
Intelligent rivals challenge the player's economic, diplomatic and military skills
Dynamic weather and seasons influence gameplay
Become a town's mayor and control massive construction projects
Compose your own merchant fleet from historical ship models and research new types
Protect your fleet with armed convoy ships and take part in impressive naval battles against pirates and rivals
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Well, the title pretty much wraps up this short review of sort. But to get in depth. You are put in a roll as a trader in a middle ages area and you must start from scratch, expand, gain influence and beat the competition of other traders that are pretty much doing the same. Its strong point is the gameplay mechanics. You trade by ships but also gain influence in the towns that you trade in, with missions, trading resources that are needed or even helping the town grow by building housing for the people or other beneficial buildings. The graphics and sound assets are not that special but really, if you play these kinds of games the micro management and the mechanics are all that you need.
Patrician IV is a lot of fun. While it is probably targeted at a smaller audience than some blockbuster video games, people who like this sort of game will probably love Patrician IV. Its economic algorithms realistically simulate the effects of supply and demand and reward you for shrewd planning and opportunistic business decisions. Although the visuals are not the sort of thing that would likely end up on the cover of a gaming magazine, they are warm, satisfying, and very pleasant to look at. They also render very well on all sorts of hardware. Where Patrician IV suffers most is its niche appeal; it is harder to market a game like this than a first-person shooter. Even so, Patrician IV has a lot going for it, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
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