Patrician III: Rise of the Hanse Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Summary: The best selling olde-worlde real-time city-building simulation is back! Build cities, manage economies and battle pirates in the only game of its kind based in the Middle Ages. Grow your small towne into a major trading center wielding tremendous economic power. [Encore Software]
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  • Developer: Ascaron Entertainment GmbH, Ascaron Entertainment
  • Genre(s): Strategy, Real-Time, Historic, General, Historic
  • # of players: 1-8
  • Cheats: On GameFAQs
  • Rating: E
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. 91
    It's one of the few games where I've never felt my options were artificially limited by the developer within the environment, though obviously that's the case; and where every actions I took had a host of logical secondary choices attached to it. If you're into strategic trading simulations, it truly doesn't get any better than this.
  2. You will find yourself wanting to come back and try different tactics for your rise to fame. There is also enough to learn that you will have an almost constant discovery of new ways to make it to the top. I should mention here that the average gamer will find this game somewhat overwhelming.
  3. For those who are already fans of the series, you’ll find more of the same thing that you loved in Patrician II; the biggest addition probably being the online multiplayer component, but Patrician III is structured in such a way that it is very accessible to newcomers as well, so come one, come all.
  4. Although the game is so fundamentally similar to "Patrician II" that those who own the previous game have little reason to pick it up at full-price, the feature additions refine the open-ended gameplay by removing some of the micromanagement and by providing more significant milestones to achieve later in the game.
  5. If market trends and supply/demand curves don't set your blood aflame, Patrician III will have you napping in no time. [Jan 2004, p.157]
  6. PC Gamer
    Veterans of previous Patrician games will no doubt feel at home, but new players may be scratching their heads at the vague objectives. [Jan 2004, p.88]
  7. Computer Gaming World
    If you've recently discovered a fetish for selling barrels of picked herring, there is no game better than Patrician III. [Feb 2004, p.89]

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jul 6, 2011
    Even nearly 8 years after it's debut it still stands up as one of the most addictive and elaborate economic trading sims ever made. TheEven nearly 8 years after it's debut it still stands up as one of the most addictive and elaborate economic trading sims ever made. The economy is dialed in and the trading aspect is complex enough to keep you on your toes. The graphics have aged the sea battles are beyond lame and yet it beats out modern games in this genres by miles. Expand
  2. WilliamH.
    Dec 1, 2006
    The best busines game in the world.
  3. KristianM.
    Oct 25, 2003
    It goes all over my expectations, trading simulation at high quality, and the medival world is fantastic.
  4. Aug 13, 2011
    If you're into micromanaging and slow-paced strategy gaming, Patrician 3 is my personal #1. Why? Because it is so incredibly addictive due toIf you're into micromanaging and slow-paced strategy gaming, Patrician 3 is my personal #1. Why? Because it is so incredibly addictive due to its depth, long-term goals, and complexity that create an incredible feeling of accomplishment if you decide to stick with it. First off, there are different scenarios you can choose from , though I always immediately went for the infinite play. You can adjust several game settings before you start to make your rise to wealth and power slower or faster. But the fun really starts after that. Starting with limited resources (money & ships) you are eased into the gameplay by starting out with a buying and selling goods; incredibly handy is the option to assign a key to switch between time settings; that way you can greatly cut down on idle time in the beginning of the game (later you'll likely be way too busy to use anything but the slowest speed);
    but the real excitement is all the other stuff you can do: build more and better ships; construct buildings to collect rent, or to produce or process raw materials that can be sold to the people in different cities as finished products; all of this serves to not only increase your wealth but to also gain the favor of the citizens in order to achieve your ultimate goal: to become elderman of the Hanse; not to mention that on your path to this goal you can become mayor of a city and take on all kinds of responsibilities that come with this, such as fighting off invaders and expanding the city;
    and did I mention you can also explore the far reaches of the seas, i.e. discover ports all over the owrld and bring back rare goods? or that you can decide to engage in some less legal profiteering such as sending out your ships on pirate raids?

    A word of caution though (perhaps really 2 points of caution):
    1) if you get into this game and like it, prepare to spend countless hours doing so (for why, see below); perhaps the only other games I have ever spend more time on are Morrowind and GTR2; the first because the world it offers for explorations is just insanely huge; and the latter because it really is open-ended by design
    2) the game is SLOW; especially later in the game when you will be manage a huge network of trade and supply routes to keep your production going and the people in different cities happy, you will likely play at the slowest speed settings at which a single day takes around 15 minutes (if my memory serves me well); now, even constructing a simple apartment complex or basic manufacturing buildings take a month or more to finish; not to mention that should you want to claim the mayor's seat in a city of your choosing, it will take a full year for new elections to commence
  5. DevinP.
    Jan 3, 2004
    Patrician III is highly detailed, and those of you who prefer games to have great depth will enjoy what this simulation has to offer. Patrician III is highly detailed, and those of you who prefer games to have great depth will enjoy what this simulation has to offer. Similarly, those of you who set aside realism for increased action and speed of play may find this game slow or frustrating. I feel that given a chance, this game is worthwhile to anyone willing to explore outside the usual areas of profitable game development. The place where Patrician III departs from other games is the setting. Many who consider themselves historically knowledgeable may find the Hanseatic League something they just don?t know much about. Simply put, this is a period of time where privately run businesses formed alliances for the greater interest of everyone. At first play seems like it doesn?t matter when this game takes place. If the designers set this fifty thousand years into the future, replaced the map of the Baltic with a star-field, and put a Star Wars label on it, it would sell like crazy. But that is not the point; the point is that this is a historical simulation, where obstacles of this period determine player concerns. One feature of life in this period is that there isn?t a lot of technology to rely on. Your mission is to make your mark on a world that is rapidly changing. Lords and Ladies are being replaced by Merchants and Councils. Access to boats is what determines if a place is deemed habitable. These are the workhorses of a map covered by water. But although boats and transporting goods is the key to the game, Sea Dogs and Homeworld fans will be disappointed to find out that there are only four types. These types are also only open to a few modifications. However, with these few options, the game presents an unexpected element of sail combat. Your captain, your crew, your weapons and your seamanship will all affect the outcome of battle. While small, these flares-at-sea are reminiscent of the madly fun battles in the old game Pirates!, by Microprose. They make every voyage a risk, without detracting from the real focus. But the game is mainly concerned with finely controlled economics. Population, local manufacturing preferences, the sentiment of the populace, as well as good old supply and demand wreak havoc on prices. It is dizzying to watch, as prices will change before your eyes and with each barrel of beer or spices you buy or sell. It is a necessary evil. Since money and fame are the name of the game, much of gameplay depends on how the player copes with change: Bring goods to one of 24 towns to earn money and make people happy; Use your money to build businesses, rental houses, and public facilities in order to make yourself popular; Gain status and station with your popularity and gain control over the town and more. Meanwhile, expect a number of competent competitors to be doing the same in their own hometowns. Alternately, the game includes the option to play up to 7 other human opponents over the internet. This option may give this game the stamina it needs. The previous two iterations were well received in the European market and now enjoy a small but dedicated following. What is pleasing is that there is enough going on to begin with. Even the novice levels feels like there is too much going on at first. You want to revisit the gentle waters of the tutorials rather than the frozen north seas in winter. The immersion is another unmarketed but exclusive aspect Patrician III . A game like Half-Life makes you feel like you are actually in Freeman?s suit. However, Patrician III?s weakest aspect is probably creating a game world that seems real. In fact, at times it looks like a simply drawn façade for the impressive mechanicals behind the curtain. Where this game captures you is inside your head, not on the screen. You will soon be calculating your moves like Kasparov, planning the loads you must take, deducting taxes, and operating expenses and making sure you still have enough for the church extension you promised to your fellow citizens. It is maddening to see how few gold coins a week can bring in. At the same time, there is so much to do: purchase more cutlasses, build middle class houses, recalculate your minimum pickup cost on three different goods since your blasted competitor built that cattle farm. Although these opportunities for excitement are worthwhile, it is important to remember that in Patrician III business is the heart of everything you do and money is the blood that pumps through it. As a guideline, if it is not profitable, don?t do it. While the many illegal activities have consequences, the benefits are well balanced. The game even tracks your reputation with the seedier element of this society. If your are careless you will suffer punishment that hurts your wallet and your reputation. This game should not be recommended to everyone. You need patience. Even though it is in real-time, you need to enjoy building something slowly. You also need an ability to enjoy while learning since the learning curve in this game can be devious. Anyone who will give this game a long look, will be rewarded. You may even see done here that nameless missing thing in so many other games collecting dust. Expand
  6. CiceroC.
    Nov 9, 2006
    The game is fantastic! You can change your goals while playing it. You start just willing to make money through trade, but when the game The game is fantastic! You can change your goals while playing it. You start just willing to make money through trade, but when the game advances, you want more power, be mayor, be alderman. Dozens of hours of fun, in every game you play. Expand
  7. Sep 4, 2011
    This is a good game. Apparently, I just don't have what it takes to be good at it and advance to make it enjoyable past the point I haveThis is a good game. Apparently, I just don't have what it takes to be good at it and advance to make it enjoyable past the point I have reached. I became frustrated after 26 hours of trying and gave up for now. I only plan attempting it again when I am bored, between other games, or when the longing for it surfaces again. It is not a matter of a negatively constructed learning curve. In fact, learning how to play is not an issue at all. There are five tutorials, and they do an okay job at introducing the player to the game. The first campaign focusing on player advancement also instructs and gives hints appropriately, even though not with very much detail as to how to accomplish certain more convoluted aspects of the game. Even after consulting one extensive Wiki and three FAQ pages online, the game is still too difficult for me to succeed in. I've tried, once again, for 26 hours, every strategy and approach known to the experts, and I still would not succeed. The other AI controlled merchants in the game were light years ahead of me. All of the more in-depth reviews seen here are true and accurate. I just simply became frustrated at being mediocre or worse in the game, after 26 hours of trying. The game is difficult to be successful in. It's as simple as that. Perhaps this is a game that requires much more patience, and many more hours to be fully enjoyable. That is the sole reason why I will keep this installed and go back to it sometime in the future. If my experience changes, I will surely come back here and update this review. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews