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.
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.
To my mind, this game is one of the most attractive economy games of "German school". Since my childhood I return once & once again to play it. This game includes very nice graphic models. Yes they are simple, but together with elaborate interface It`s very simple to control & spot the difference. You will find enormous variability of gameplay. Each time you play you may find you best way to get control on the Hanse. Fight with pirates, stole their ships, ravage your rivals, trade, produce and increase a population you are free to do whatever you like.
Patrician III Is in my humble opinion, the very best trading game ever concived. It's easy to get into hard to master. It scratch my itch for trade. No game has yet hit those with me this game has. The trade games scene is beyond uncatered to for years. And it needs to be fed. Greatest marriage of RTS business simulation game.
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.
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.
I really love this game for its complexity, addictiveness and freedom it gives to the player. Even though its social part is very little (i like how it's made in Guild 2) it's still one of the best game of its genre!
If 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
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 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.
SummaryThe 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]