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August 15, 2012

Patrician 4 Guest Review



EDITOR'S NOTE: Before this review starts off, I would like you to know that this is not a review by me. This is a review by a friend of mine, Henry Combrinck. I would like to thank him for helping out on the blog. Thank you!

Hawke: You already did thank him-

Kyle: Shut up!

If you want to say something about this review, leave it in the comments, or email him at: henry.combrinck@gmail.com

So with that said, here's the review. Enjoy reading!---Kyle van Rensburg

***

Patrician IV: Conquest by Trade is a video game released in 2010 for the PC by Kalypso Media. It is a real-time trade and production simulation. The name says it all: CONQUEST BY TRADE.

Areas of Concern:

Violence:

The violence in this game is pretty insignificant:

When a naval battle commences, the ships attack each other with their cannons. Explosions can be seen as they hit each other along with the sound of wood breaking and splattering. Naval battles can be avoided, but are required for self-defence. That is about it...

Naval warships in action.

Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Wine and beer can be traded as commodities. Mead, which is made from honey, can also be traded. These are merely alcohol references.

Hemp can be traded, but its icon is depicted by a leaf that looks like Weed. This icon is depicted correctly, but the image can create an impression of the drug known as Weed.

Spiritual Content:

When you start a new campaign game and you have to select a coat of arms, there is an icon with a 5-pointed star along with a goat head on top. This resembles Baphomet. However unnecessary, it can be avoided. 

Another coat of arms is a coin with an image of Jesus Christ, where Jesus is depicted with long hair.

In the game, the cross is seen on top of the church buildings. A sound is heard when praying at the church, which is typical of Roman Catholic churches. 

A small image of Maria with crucified Jesus can be seen on the side of the church building in the city of Lubeck. This image is similar to the sculpture created by Michelangelo.

The health indicator shown in the convoy’s status bar is depicted by a heart shaped symbol. If you know your research, the heart symbol is very sexual in nature.

An icon with a skull and two bones is seen under the captain’s information screen. It is an option to change a convoy into a pirate ship. This image is also shown in a small video when pirates are discovered or when they become stronger.

Review of Game:

General gameplay.

Gameplay:

The gameplay is based on the notion of supply and demand. The higher the demand of a certain resource in a city, the higher its price will be. The opposite is also true. 

Starting as a merchant with a single ship in your chosen European coastal city, your goal is to sail around the northern Atlantic, buying low and selling high. Later on you can produce your own goods, while dodging pirates and dealing with rival traders. 

The game can be intriguing and challenging at times and can be very dull and time consuming otherwise... Luckily, there is a spacebar-speed-up-time option... phew!

Building up your empire can become very interesting and it is fun to see the gold coming in.

Story:

Patrician IV puts you in the role of a member of the Hanseatic League, a powerful group of merchants operating around the coast of northern Europe in the late Middle Ages. 

There is a lot of historical detail in the story and if you are interested in this, it can be relatively enjoyable. If you are only into action and adrenaline then this game will bore you out of your skull... XD

The overall story of Max Stromberg in the campaign and his rise to success is not bad at all but can is reasonably forgettable.

Audio-visual:

Your uncle/advisor during the campaign game helps you during the game and gives you quests in a small video box at the top left corner of the screen. His speech and mouth movement does not match. This was intended, but he seems to be blabber a bunch of psychobabble in the video whilst the speech/sound continues normally.

The tutorial during the campaign is given through cinematic videos. These videos can be viewed at any time and only show the basics of the game. However, the audio instructions and the visual instructions do not correlate. 

The audio progresses slower than the video that creates a lot of confusion, as visual instructions are given way before the audio is even heard.

The in-game graphics are quite okay and can be altered in many ways to accommodate lower-end PC’s. The world-view visual effects are mediocre, but show the necessary components in order to manage your convoys and resources. The overall impression of the game is insignificant with regard to visual effects.

Verdict: AVERAGE

Quality: Okay

  • Good Gameplay: If you are into strategy games as I am, then this can be entertaining. It is quite linear, however, and when you have you the basics in order then it can become relatively dull and easy. I have not played it online, so maybe there is another challenge to look at. For strategy game fans only.

  • Okay Storyline: The historical setting, with the different cities and their differing resources can be interesting, but the story progresses very slowly throughout the game.

  • Fair Audiovisual: The graphics provide fair enough detail to play and enjoy the game, but it is not impressive on any occasion. If you have a lower end PC however, you can play it with ease and likely not mind.

  • Good Music: The music used in the game provides a tranquil atmosphere to play in. I left the music on in the background whilst writing the review and it was quite relaxing.

  • Little to no Violence: The only noticeable violence during the game is during the naval combat sequences, and this in itself is small in terms of violence. 

  • Minor Alcohol References: The alcohol reference is not portrayed as good or bad, and is therefore tolerable.

  • Average spiritual content: The spiritual content in the game is not easily identifiable and is unnecessary. However, it is tolerable.

  • The game has a rating of 13 years and older, so that is probably the appropriate age.


This concludes my review of Patrician IV. If you enjoy a peaceful strategy game and have the patience to see your empire growing, then this game can provide some entertainment. It can also be quite long, as your empire becomes endless..........................

Oh and if you are as good as I am then you will be able to set up your trade routes and production buildings in such a way that they make money by themselves... he he! That’s why I say I enjoy work: I enjoy seeing other people doing it.... XD

---End of review.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Okay! So that concludes his review. Leave a comment, email him, all that good stuff.

Thanks for the review Henry!

As for me, I will see you next week, with a new review!

Goodbye for now! :P

Kyle.

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