Manor Lords is a village/city builder by Slavic Magic, and going by the demo it is showing great promise. It’s basically Kingdom Come: Deliverance but as a builder. The theme, setting, and even graphics are very similar. Now, the demo is pretty darn buggy, since it’s pre-EA, pre-alpha even (I hope). That is expected, though, so it’s not something I hold against the game in its current state. However, stuff that works, feels and looks good. It got the classic builder stuff that we all are used to now, but its focus on authenticity, and the realistic “slowness” of things make the title interesting to me. The focus on simulation over raw gameplay is what stands out. Which also has the effect of slowing down the game, making it a more relaxing experience, especially in combination with the fabulous music.
Yet, who knows how that will remain because the game promises warfare on top of the city building. Looking at the screenshots, it seems the Total War series was a clear inspiration. Checking the map in-game, you can see that it’s separated into sections, all with different ownership. I assume these areas will be ripe for taking in the full game, which adds a bit of 4X to the mix as well. It should be mentioned that this aspect of the game is not available in the demo.
One cool thing I like about Manor Lords, besides the building features is that your “avatar” exists in the world. He won’t be walking around by himself (at least not in the demo), but you can spawn him in as a third-person controllable character. And taking a stroll through your little hamlet, seeing everything from ground level is a pleasant and fun addition.
I did notice one thing, though, however, it doesn’t have to mean much this early. But surviving, making and finding food, and harvesting firewood for the winter was very easy. I didn’t have to worry at all. I can see this being much harder when warfare is introduced. Who knows what horrors that will create?
Sadly, the release is not set for a full release. It will be Early Access, which will put me off the game for a long time I’m suspecting. But, what I saw and tested in the demo has me excited for the future when it comes to Manor Lords!
Thanks for reading.