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PC Reviews: Patrician III: Rise of Hanse


Patrician III Screenshots


The Final Say!


Patrician III - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: November 2003
Review Score: 9.0/10
Distributed by Red Ant 

"There are two paths in life... one of white and one of black but both lead to your destiny!"

The Patrician III is the latest game in the series from German developer Ascaron that once again puts gamers in the role of Patrician during the late medieval European empire. The Patrician is based in the Hanseatic league of yesteryear and is set around the 14th Century where gamers have the option of starting in one of twelve coastal towns of this era.

The Patrician is basically a "sea sim" where gamers must buy and sell merchandise in order to maximise their profits. Each town has various buildings that dissect the economy of the town. Unlike other "pirate" games on the market at the moment, the Patrician is basically a real-time city building simulation where you must work your way up from a lowly shopkeeper to the noble status of Patrician and beyond.

Fortunately your goal of achieving Patricianhood is never easy and this can be accomplished by either noble or dastardly deeds. Therefore gamers can either use the current laws to their advantage by increasing trade routes for towns to increase prosperity and well-being or they can resort to piracy and bribes to ensure that they are a candidate for governor. This is probably the most in-depth trade game on the gaming market and players must engage in lucrative trade deals and of course deadly sea battles that help their further their cause.

The various buildings in the game allow you to keep track of your missions, goals and current objectives. For instance, the market hall allows players to monitor the supplies of the city such as consumption levels and population sizes. Whereas the shipyards lets players upgrade, repair and even name their sea vessels. The market square is basically the soul of the town and you can organise a variety of events for the citizens to help increase overall morale depending on what kind of trader and ruler you are. The bathhouse is filled with diplomacy and intrigue that allows you to rub shoulders with city officials so you can bribe these men for support or help with acquittals for the crimes that you have committed. As with all good games of this genre, there is also the local tavern that allows you discover new crew members, captains and of course get the gossip from a local level.

The campaign mode of the Patrician III allows gamers to embark on a variety of missions such as establishing trade routes, assisting towns from the dreaded black plague or increasing your personal prosperity.

However, your main objective in the game is to either become a Lord Major or Alderman but this can only be achieved by ensuring that your town becomes wealthy which in turn brings profits to you. There are also various challenges that you must confront during the high seas such as vicious pirate attacks and of course mother nature herself that really helps spice things up in this title.

The Patrician III uses a 2D graphics engine with an isometric view that is filled with detail and extremely sharp colours. There are also a variety of special effects in the game such as the rolling seas or the way the waves break on the coast. The game makes use of some great lighting and colouring effects to help portray real world weather conditions such as storms, snow and even sunny summer days. The cities themselves are probably the most detailed areas of the game that contain a variety of realistic buildings and of course the citizens themselves. Everything from the way animals roam the countryside or how the bushes bloom in spring has been perfectly implemented into this title.

The musical score of Patrician sounds like a computer generated philharmonic orchestra that feels like it was taken from a time of yesteryear that really helps with the atmosphere of the game. There are also a variety of in-game sound effects such as the noises of waves breaking on the shores or the sounds of the cities themselves. Unfortunately like the previous game in the series, the Patrician III suffers from a lack of voice acting that would of helped spice up this title even more.

The Patrician III is set in a world of old that contains powerful economic trade routes that is mixed with diplomacy & intrigue and is probably the most in-depth strategy game of the genre at the moment. Although the game itself is addictive, it unfortunately fails to deliver a true "pirates" experience but I'm sure gamers who love city building games will enjoy this title immensely. If you are looking for action that you should really look elsewhere because this game is as true as a simulation can get with an engaging storyline, some beautiful graphics and addictive gameplay that is the perfect game to keep all gamers enthralled for hours. The Patrician III also supports a multiplayer option that can only be played over the LAN for those gamers that wish to challenge their friends. Check it out!

- Andrew B

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