Modern urban planning may well often follow very boring grid-like designs, with static boxes designating areas for various industries to occupy, but in the old days it wasn't so geometric. They never even had toothpaste, let alone rulers, which meant that cities had a more sprawling, organic feel to them, and everyone's mouth looked less than desirable. Monte Cristo has decided to take its cue for Medieval Lords' design from one of these "facts", and it's not the bad teeth.
With the first ever fully functional, dynamic 3D map showing the city that players are building, the sense of immersion is higher than ever in this vibrant new city management game. Zooming in and wandering through town in first person is made a more complete experience by the local sound atmosphere technology, which ensures that the nearby flock of gulls in the fishing grounds will squawk through speakers whilst the music shifts accordingly with on screen action.
Buildings instantly display any changes to their status, and water flows in correct correlation with the environmental characteristics, all in realtime. Players can also create buildings of varying sizes, and allocate any shape and size to their fields, customizing according to the lay of the land. New and different terrain can be won by conquering neighbouring settlements.
The stakes of managing a medieval city are high: it's not about losing elections, but about losing the whole city!
"Many of today's sims have a very simple, and often lacklustre approach to the geographical details of the world in which their city resides," says Terry Malham, director, Digital Jesters. "We have something a little different, and we know that players will appreciate the fresh approach to a type of game that has seen little in the way of innovation in recent years."
Digital Jesters will release Medieval Lords: Kingdom Under Siege in October 2004, at the generous price of £29.99.