Friday, September 18, 2009

Anno 1404

Anno 1404 DVD CoverIt is finally ready to set sail to the shops Anno 1404, known abroad as Dawn of Discovery, a new member of the saga strategy developed by Blue Byte Software. Focuses primarily on commerce and the city bulding, the title does not look for historical accuracy, but the player with a passion instead complex dynamics, yet simple to learn, and charms with an installation technician at the highest level.

Serving the Emperor
For those not familiar with the series, actually less successful than sacred monsters like Age of Empires or evidence of Impression Games, it puts players in command of a European colony in the beginning of its economic development, and requires you to make it flourish. Dynamic Sim City-style blend with phases where focus their attentions to building profitable and stable commercial maritime routes, as well as diplomatic bargain with other virtual players on the map. Anno 1404 will offer the same element, enriched by a large amount of tasks and resources to manage. Another important detail, the game only points to some stereotypes of the early '400, but without any pretense of historical accuracy or geographical. Once started, a beautiful introduction will take you to the main menu, where you can choose whether to start the main campaign, facing a game without any limit or playing some pre-set scenarios. Far from being superfluous additions, these two modes provide an additional approach to the game different and equally enjoyable. It is advisable to start with the campaign, and through the first few missions, manages to teach the player how to tame the interface of the game as well as the large amount of options present. Also, thanks to a storyline that follows the sequence of missions and various chapters, is able to ensure a high degree of empathy and concern. At first you will be one of the many servants of the Emperor, guided by the wise counsels of Lord Richard Northburgh, must succeed in the arduous task of bringing his haggard communities on the route of economic stability. Soon there will also be presented with a ship, which is essential in order to address the many exploratory missions and to conclude trade deals with other major islands, otherwise inaccessible.

Mouths to feed
The initial missions you will be engaged to increase the number of inhabitants of your little colony, which will initially only peasants and only then moves up in class and ultimately become citizens patricians. The phases of construction and evolution of the city will require a good organization of the buildings, whose construction depends on some simple rules: First, you need a warehouse on the beach where piling resources and where to start all exchanges with other communities. Secondly, the market, without which no resident will move in your possessions, along with the building of the small market it is also the only way they could expand the area of influence and then building. Once positioned also the first wooden houses and streets, initially only with mud, the small village will begin to see the first timid peasants populate the streets. Parallel to the management of its settlement, will be to research, development and management of resources. These range from basic wood and stone coal, precious stones of various kinds, through various types of foods such as fish, fowl, grain and so on. These can then be elaborated through several steps to create new and useful items such as clothes or tools from work. We found, in more advanced stages, to set up real development chain such as to create working tools, valuable and profitable resource. Starting from the mine to collect the iron from the mountains, you go through a building would contribute to its preparation. But this will require coal to keep their forges, so you must also provide the building dell'apposito building. Finally, in order to get to the finished product, you must prepare the final workshop, using all the elements that will give you the filling period of your store. Another important detail in the proper management of precious resources will monitor the consumption of them. On the one hand, it can be exploited in various production chains, on the other side might be helpful for marketing purposes. For example, you'll have to stop the production of clothing in order to accumulate enough hemp to be exchanged with Al Zahir, a merchant of the sultan, in order to complete a mission or increase its diplomatic level. These facts are just a few general examples, useful to get an idea of the large amount of different aspects of gameplay, as well as the great freedom that keeps playing, you will be left.

Diplomacy is an art
The component war was only hinted at, but still leaving the player the ability to disrupt diplomatic relations until reaching the clash, but no particular policy option, while the exploratory and diplomatic were much deeper. Just come into possession of your first ship, will be revealed soon be sailing the seas in search of other islands, on which you may find other colonies or valuable resources to exploit. Will come into play so soon diplomacy, tied hand in glove with the trade. If you are skilled enough in embracing valuable agreement, you will benefit from the exchange of goods, establishing even the trade routes to be assigned to your ships. This valuable tool will prove useful as well find your community divided on several islands, characterized perhaps by different resources, from land to land exchange which will be the key to access the highest steps of social and economic life. To ensure a good variety of play will think many other variables, such as the ability to learn the arts oriental architecture, useful to colonize the islands further south, or even some small tasks that you assign tasks as varied as perfect for distracted for a while 'stage management. If all this were not enough to convince themselves of the longevity of this title, you mentioned the presence of two other game modes. This scenario presents several missions to complete, while the open mode is perhaps the most interesting, where you can test the various skills learned during the campaign, without any limitation whatsoever. Of note is the ability to customize to the smallest detail the rules of the game, which will go directly influences the level of challenge of each component of gameplay.

Who said that the Middle Ages is the darkest time of humanity?
The solid and fun gameplay set up by the developers is fortunately supported by a graphical and technical sector at the highest level. Also in this aspect, the realistic element has been neglected in favor of a general design colorful, almost cartoonish. The various architectural elements present in the screen have a really high detail, even closer to the zoom, and the feeling of being in front of the city actually live is very strong due to the large amount of moving parts. You'll see people walking the streets, carrying materials, dragging carts, promote their goods to market and so on. There is plenty of variety of animals and lush vegetation, varied and incredibly well animated. A praise for the realization of the different territories, all divided into small islands, except of course in campaign mode, generated randomly. True jewel of the production is, however, the sea, achieved nothing short of exceptional. Also excellent music and sound effects, perfect for involving the player permanently in the gaming world. Readers worried that too much beauty can tire your machine, high scalability of the Details should guarantee the possibility of having fun with Anno 1404 even without a computer generation.

Anno 1404 is an excellent way in every aspect: the gameplay is solid, deep and varied enough to never get bored. The campaign mode, thanks to the first tutorial missions and an interesting storyline, it allows the average user of fans to a particular genre such as management, while the other two are the perfect complement to an experience that will not disappoint even the experts of this kind games. In support of such grace, the title also provides technical impact of all respect, and a graphic style very engaging. Ultimately, we recommend buying the game at Ubisoft sure all the fans, for everyone else, we believe that a try would be a must, perhaps they can discover a kind unjustly overlooked by the masses.
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