Medieval Dynasty review: More of a life simulator than an adventure

Medieval DynastyRender Cube

We spent some time surviving in the world of Medieval Dynasty on console, but should you do the same? Check out our review.

Medieval Dynasty originally came out on PC in 2020 and has now landed on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. The game is a survival simulator where you take on the role of a soldier returning from war only to discover that your family has died and you’ll now need to make a new life for yourself by building a settlement, raising a family, and eventually starting your own Medieval Dynasty.

The gameplay reminded us a lot of Skyrim’s Hearthfire DLC as most of the game is focused on creating, building, and surviving rather than combat, although there is combat in the game. The whole experience will be a Medieval paradise for some gamers, but a monotonous series of chores for others. It all depends on what you enjoy.

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Medieval Dynasty key details

  • Price: £26.95/$29.99
  • Developer: Render Cube
  • Release Date (Console version): October 6, 2022
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PC
Medieval Dynasty settlementsRender Cube
Settlements in Medieval Dynasty start small but can grow quite vast.

A quiet life in the valley

Medieval Dynasty is a slow-paced game in which you walk around chatting to NPCs, hunt for food, and gather resources for your settlement. Every now and then, some bandits will invade your village meaning you’ll need to fight them off, but this is about as far as the combat goes in the game. Most of the time is spent building, exploring, and managing your NPC workers to create and refine the perfect medieval workforce.

Those who enjoy games like Minecraft and The Forest will find a lot to like, and Medieval Dynasty can be a very relaxing experience as gameplay is incredibly deep and detailed. It’s not so much a game as a historic life simulation; there are no epic quests to slay dragons or overthrow tyrannical monarchs here. The goal is to stay warm and fed, and gradually build up your reputation to become a prosperous and benevolent landowner.

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In time, you’ll see your settlement transformed from a few rickety cabins to a sprawling trading post that attracts NPCs from all over the region. Once you reach this point, you’ll feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment. Your priorities will change too — where you started the game by fishing, endlessly chopping down trees, and gathering stones, you’ll now be more concerned with keeping your people happy and safe from the elements.

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You’ll start by tending farms yourself, but in time you’ll have NPCs to do this for you,

A song of ice and hunger

Famine and an icy winter can ruin your progress, killing your population or causing them to abandon you in droves. Fortunately, the game features some comprehensive difficulty options, allowing you to adjust most of the mechanics to suit your style.

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Don’t want to pay taxes (or less)? No problem. Want to make yourself invincible? Go for it. Want to turn off the hunger and cold to just focus on building without any issues? You can do that too. You can even turn off the bandit raids, but we found those fun as they spiced up the gameplay and added some adventure.

These settings are a great way to turn the game into what you want it to be. However, without the challenges posed by taxes, the cold, and the hunger to keep you on your toes, things can soon get monotonous. Once you’ve got your settlement up and running, it then just becomes a matter of maintenance. This is still fun, but the true beauty was in the creation, not the sitting back and admiring.

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Medieval Dynasty banditsRender Cube
Bandits are not a massive threat and dealing with them is fun.

The daily grind

Those who enjoy survival games and take pleasure in the gathering of crafting materials and seeing something grow will get a lot out of Medieval Dynasty, but it’s honestly not for everyone. Developer, Render Cube, has delivered a masterclass on how the Unreal engine can be used to near-perfectly simulate a medieval settlement in Europe, but some gamers will find the title boring after a while.

There is a main quest/story to be completed, but most of it simply serves as a backdrop to teach you about the game’s various mechanics. NPCs look great, but within an hour or so you’ll find yourself skipping their dialogue and simply viewing them as scenery or helpful drones who exist to be your compliant little medieval worker bees.

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Verdict 7.5

Medieval Dynasty has transitioned well to consoles after being a PC only release for some time. It’s nice to know that a larger audience can experience what it offers, even if that audience is niche. We played the game on Xbox Series S and were impressed by the performance and visuals. The game was always pretty, but it looked extra pretty on a 55 inch TV screen. It’s not going to match most triple-A titles, but what it does, it does well.

It’s hard to recommend Medieval Dynasty to everyone as this is a title that’s been designed with a certain type of gamer in mind. If you’re the sort of player who spends more time building settlements in Fallout than you do shooting raiders, or someone who spent hours building and furnishing the perfect lodge in Skyrim, then you’ll love Medieval Dynasty. Just don’t expect hours and hours of excitement.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S

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