Going Medieval Review (Early Access)

If you’ve logged thousands of hours into RimWorld and Banished, Going Medieval is the perfect new game for you to try. It is an extremely promising new colony sim that just entered into Early Access – boasting a list of features reminiscent of RimWorld when it first came out. Yes, it is still very new and barebones, but the framework has the potential to become another behemoth in this genre.

This review will go over what the game does well and which areas it needs to improve prior to release. Overall, it is still a strong recommend if you enjoyed other colony sims.

Going Medieval is on sale for 25% off full price at Green Man Gaming until June 11th! If you are interested in starting the game, check out our Going Medieval Essential Tips!

Pro: 3D Building is Amazing

Having played other colony sims, the ability to create buildings in 3D is a great change in pace. There are a few kinks to be worked out, but the overall feeling even in Early Access is still fantastic.

Going Medieval is the game to play if you ever wanted to design your own functional village, build a castle from the ground up, and throw up walls/traps to protect your people. It even gives you the option to build a basement or underground rooms if you so wish – some players have actually opted to building their entire base underground!

As the game becomes more developed and more items/buildings are added, your customization will definitely improve. The devs will also hopefully add modding support at some point in game development and that will open the game up similar to how RimWorld has tons of new content in the workshop.

Con: Building System is Hard for Beginners

The system can be a little confusing when you first start out. The tutorial tips give you a brief overview of how to build and orientate yourself to the different levels, but actually constructing a building you the way you want will take time.

One aspect I struggled with in particular was accidentally placing walls/items on the wrong floor and accidentally cancelling/deleting the wrong part of the building when I was trying to fix the mistake. This alongside a slightly unclear camera POV makes the early building process lackluster. Once you get more practice, you should have no problems designing structures to your content – but occasionally something will screw up and leave you feeling dissatisfied.

Pro: Easy to Understand Research System

Very straightforward system of creating different types of books as currency and spending it on your research of choice. Although some people might not like this linear progression system, it makes sense to me from a freedom standpoint. Unlike other games where you are locked into a specific research topic, the system in Going Medieval will allow you to choose what you want to research as long as you have the books for it. This gives you more flexibility to build up resources and spend it once you identify what you need next.

It is also cool to see that even though you “spend” your books, they still exist as physical items that you have to store. It gets annoying though once you progress through the game and end up with stacks and stacks of books with no ability to store them on bookshelves.

Con: Poor Work Prioritization AI

The work prioritization system in Going Medieval is virtually an exact copy of games like RimWorld and Amazing Cultivation Simulator. Unfortunately, it does not quite work as well as you may think. For example, even if you prioritize your “doctor” to healing, your other villagers might still die from their wounds since they were not tended. Likewise, prioritizing cooking does not seem to really prioritize them to cooking. There were multiple instances where the cook would start chopping trees even though the cooking task was not finished and there were more than enough raw supplies available.

Forcing prioritization of tasks is also very micromanagement intensive. You have to select a villager and right click to manually force them to do a task. Having a more robust AI system and an easier method of forcing tasks will be crucial to providing players with a smooth gaming experience.

Pro: Excellent Raid Concept

I’ve encountered three types of raids so far: random raids, raids after you accept a new member, and attacks from wolves. The simple backstory behind why a raid occurs is an excellent system for storytelling purposes and I am excited to see what new scenarios will come in the future.

On the roadmap they describe diplomacy and a vassal system with other villages in the region. Raids backed by these systems will really improve that sense of immersion where you can roleplay as a medieval Lord fighting for land and glory.

Amazing Cultivation Simulator also has a similar faction and raid system where enemy factions will periodically send their disciples to invade your home. You can engage in some basic diplomacy, but most players just choose to fight the battles since it is a fun way to play the game.

Con: Cannot Move Furniture

Really big pet peeve of mine is not being able to adjust furniture in rooms. I like to design a very basic structure when starting the game, but moving everything around once I have a more permanent structure built. Going Medieval does NOT have any way to move furniture, meaning you either have to design your buildings very well right away, or you have to deconstruct and rebuild items where you want them.

Keep in mind that each time you deconstruct furniture you also lose part of the materials. For wood furniture it is no big deal, but rebuilding a kitchen early on can be problematic since iron ingots may be hard to come by.

Pro: Great Colony Sim for Beginners

Although building may be difficult for absolute beginners, overall the game is extremely forgiving. It is actually fairly difficult for your village to get wiped out – food is relatively easy to come by as long as you researched preserved food, and raids are low risk as long as you have 1 archer.

Many of the game concepts are also easy to get the hang of within an hour of starting such as planting crops, building roofing, setting storage areas, and setting up breweries/smokehouses.

Con/Neutral: Limited Combat

Lots of opportunities for the devs to expand on combat in the future, but at the moment it boils down to putting archers on roofs/hills and sending melee fighters to guard the stairs leading to the archers. Once archers start firing, you just have to manually select targets for your melee fighters to ensure that no one reaches your ranged troops.

Unfortunately, there is no “hold ground” command and you end up with a zerg rush towards the enemy the moment they are in range. I usually end up with injuries on the archers due to this whenever I get lazy and don’t manually set targets.

There is a lot of promise, however, since the siege concept shown in trailers could open up so many opportunities for squad-based combat. I have this down as a con currently but will realistically be a pro in the future after some development.

Neutral: Lack of End Game Content

As a brand new Early Access game I have little expectation for having a fully fleshed endgame. However, before buying you should be aware that the vast majority of intended features are not yet implemented. Take a look at the roadmap and see if you like what you see.

I personally already really enjoy this game, and the roadmap is extremely promising to me. It is not a guaranteed hit, and people should be careful for sure, but I am willing to take the risk based on what I can see so far.

Final Thoughts

Overall verdict for Going Medieval is a buy even in its Early Access form as long as you can overlook some of the bad quality of life aspects. It is definitely an enjoyable game despite not having all of its features quite fleshed out yet. Many of the planned future developments are also exciting to see since it seems to take a different direction than other colony sims.

Going Medieval is on sale for 25% off full price at Green Man Gaming until June 11th! If you are interested in starting the game, check out our Going Medieval Essential Tips!

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