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Medieval Engineers

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By NAG3LT12-08-2015
Medieval Engineers

The Defence

Developer:
Keen Software House
Publisher:
Keen Software House
Genre:
Indie, Simulator
Release Date:
TBA

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Core i5 3.6 GHz
AMD Phenom II X4 2.6 GHz
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 660
AMD Radeon HD 7870
RAM:
8 GB
HDD:
5 GB
DirectX:
11

Many people have built some very impressive castles in Minecraft. Not all of them are realistic, as they can be top-heavy or even float above the ground. It’s just cool to ignore Newtonian physics sometimes. However, if you desire to see how gravity crushes fantasy, Medieval Engineers is here to serve.

Medieval Engineers is a voxel based game which allows player to modify its world during gameplay. In the creative mode, you can freely use all the powerful tools the game offers. The voxel brushes are used to modify terrain, creating mountains and caverns. The variety of building blocks are useful for building wooden houses and stone castles. There are also different beams, drums and ropes for constructing both simple and sophisticated mechanisms. Castle construction can be a hard labour, so some powerful tools are there to help. There is a flight toggle for easier construction of tall walls. The long rows and planes of identical blocks are constructed by holding Ctrl and Ctrl+Shift respectively. Finally, there is a simple copy and paste of whole structures using the familiar Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. While building some unique design will still take lots of time, some simpler massive castles can be built surprisingly quickly.

A nice castle you’ve got there...

A nice castle you’ve got there...

When you’ve mastered the basics of building there are multiple things you can do. There is a Structural Integrity switch in world options. Keep it turned off and build fantasy castle you dream of. Turn the Structural Integrity on and you will quickly learn why nobody build skyscrapers from stone alone. With the weight of structures taken into account, game calculates how much stress each block experiences from other blocks around it. If the stress is too high for a block, the block with shatter into pieces, which often leads to a chain reaction bringing a whole structure down. This additional constraint literally keeps buildings down-to-earth.

When you finally have a building that can withstand the gravity on its own, you can always help it fall. Heavy cannonballs can be used to damage the walls if they have enough speed. While there are no gunpowder and cannons in Medieval Engineers, you can construct catapults and trebuchets to do the job. Chip enough support away using your siege engines and the gravity will do the rest.

When you want some hard challenge, there is a survival mode. No more flying, unlimited construction and hyperspace inventory. You have to get timber by cutting down trees, stone is chipped away by pickaxe and you have to build some carts to carry all that around.

There are several multiplayer modes at the moment. In cooperative mode, human players defend their castle against AI barbarians. In castle siege mode, one team has to defend the castle against another team. In both MP modes, there are some weapons that can be used against human enemies, like sword and crossbow. However, the siege engines are the most important for both attackers and defenders. Destroying enemy siege engines or walls at a distance can and in most cases will decide the outcome.

...would be a shame if something happened to it.

...would be a shame if something happened to it.

On a technical level, Medieval Engineers is a very ambitious game. The ability to freely build and damage buildings while taking gravity and stress into account is a very performance-demanding task. This game will use all CPU power and RAM you throw at it. The small buildings run fine, but when a large construction starts collapsing under its own weight from damage to its supports, single-digit framerates can be expected.

Another frustrating part of the game is player character’s clumsiness. The motion on uneven terrain and in tight spaces can be very problematic. The interactivity with the world is somewhat limited. You can pick and carefully move some small objects, but the larger ones can only be pushed by running into them. As a result, setting up anything mobile will result in failure most of the time.

Overall, Medieval Engineers is a very interesting game, offering a unique experience in terms of building and destruction. There is a lot of potential in it, but it still has a way to go.

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Posts: 3290

I just wish there was a way to dig down, so I could have a dungeon