The Guild 2 is bloody great. And ok, I might think that because I played it when I was younger, and nostalgia can dramatically shape our opinions…But I promise it has both complexity and charm.
So, what is The Guild 2?
Usually if I told you the genre of a game, you’d have an idea of what I’m talking about. Like if I told you that Battlefield 4 is a first person modern military shooter, you’d know roughly what to expect. But if I tried to tell you about a medieval simulation/strategy trading dynasty based RPG game I’d been playing, you’d look at me funny. So let me try and explain how the game works, starting at the beginning…
Firstly, you’ll chose a starting town and create your character. The game takes place during the 1400s in northern Europe (namely the cities of the Hanseatic League of traders, if you’re a bit of a history buff). You’ll chose a starting area and city; for example, you could start your life in Hannover in the Duchy of Caleburg. Then you’ll create your character; customising things like gender, name, clothes, beards (gotta get yourself a rocking beard) but most importantly, you’ll chose a profession.
You can chose one of four professions…
The Patron specialises in the production of food, drink and entertainment.
Scholars are experts in herbalism, offering healing services and tonics.
The Craftsman, well, crafts stuff. Like hammers and swords.
And the Rogue profession; where you make money by stealing and extorting it from other businesses and families.
Because of the profession system, each class has a distinct way of surviving and thriving in the world of Guild 2 using the two main mechanic systems:
The economic and trading systems and the dynasty and political system.
The economic and trading systems
These are based on producing materials, offering services, buying and selling goods and purchasing and upgrading property. So if you’ve chosen to become a patron, your pub will be heavily reliant on the production of wheat for beer and citizens having enough spare gold at the end of the day to drink away their sorrows. Whereas, for the craftsman, a good war is the best time to make money, selling swords and leather to the local government.
As well as worrying about money, trade and your business’ next big move, you’ll also have to consider conserving your dynasty and gaining political power. You do this by building a home, finding a wife, or husband, settling down and having a kid or two to continue the family name. Your family members will grow, learn professions and open businesses of their own. They’ll become an integral part of both your dynasty, and your business, not just a gimmick.
Together you’ll gain power and influence across the lands for yourself and the family name. You could establish a dynasty that would last a thousand years, or it could collapse into nothing.
It’s these systems that make The Guild 2 a pleasure to play. That time you flooded the local market with hammers, or insulted that gentleman in the local tavern will have strange, and possibly completely random consequences 12 years down the line… Will your family rise to become one of the wealthiest trading families in the Hansa? Or perhaps one of the most feared crime syndicates on the streets of Edinburgh?