Rise of Venice is the latest trading simulator by developer Kalypso. Its gameplay is based on the same concept as Port Royal and Patrician, which are two popular series from the genre. The only difference between Rise of Venice and the other games mentioned is where the game takes place. Instead of occurring on the Caribbean coast, you are located on the European coastline of Venice. Just about everything you have come to love from Kalypso releases is present in Rise of Venice. Since the game is based in Venice, you cannot explore beyond the borders of the European coast. But there is no need to fret — the environment is big enough for the player to explore.
Even though the gameplay is based on merchant trading and the transportation of wares from one section of the European coast to the other, combat is another element you must worry about. Pirates can attack your convoys at anytime. However, you can also choose to be a pirate as well. Raiding other convoys can be a lucrative business, but it can also cause you problems with other factions. You are accountable for your actions, so spilling too much blood and stealing from other convoys can get you into some real trouble.
In the beginning, Rise of Venice can seem rather overwhelming. However, there is a lengthy tutorial that will walk you through the money management process and how to transport wares from one town to another. Learning which materials are more valuable comes with experience, though. Since you will encounter cities that will not buy the same material, it’s important (and even profitable) to find cities that will. Cities that have an overabundance of material will sell it to you at a reduced rate, allowing you to gain a healthy profit by selling to a city that’s in desperate need of it.
But there is more to the gameplay than just trading material and transporting goods. You can also build and/or purchase buildings for production. This allows you to start your own businesses that can manufacture products such as olive oil, salt and other useful items like pottery. This helps you to undercut cities selling their own goods. Plus, there is a profit bonus for making your own products.
One feature that really stands out is the ability to create your own trade routes. What this feature does is allow the player to send any of their convoys on a set path for buying, selling and moving wares from one city to the next. Everything is done automatically; this allows you to attend to more pressing matters. Even though half the fun is having control over your convoys, things can get real hectic when you’re controlling more than four ships at once. This feature allows your convoys to purchase items that are cheap and then resell them for a profit. This comes in handy during later stages of the game.
Rise of Venice gives the player enough flexibility to build their own ships. You can purchase the materials needed and then build your ships at a cheaper cost than just purchasing the ship from the harbor master.
The single-player campaign is not only lengthy, but a lot of fun; it’s also a must for novices of the series. After you have figured out the basics and understand the game mechanics, there is an addictive Free Play mode that’s an open sandbox. It allows the player to enjoy the game anyway they like. There are no restrictions, and the game is always different each time you start a new session. To sum it up in a nutshell – it’s nonlinear and absolutely extraordinary.
Combat is action packed for this style of game. The combat system is simple, too – you must give orders to every ship from your convey. While your ships begin combat with a specific set of orders, you can intervene at anytime and control each vessel. You can even give your ships orders to sail in different directions, allowing your convoys to flank or even overrun your enemies during an encounter. One feature that really stands out – and one I enjoyed personally - is the ability to board your opponent’s vessel(s).
The environments in Rise of Venice are breathtaking with sparkling blue oceans and realistic-looking cities and villages. Unlike previous releases of Port Royal, there is no segregation between viewing a town and city. Everything is done in real-time on the world map. If you want to view a city, it is as simple as using the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in on the location. There’s no downtime between looking at a village/city and the action that is occurring.
Rise of Venice gives you the best of both Port Royal and Patrician while improving on some key features. Gamers who are familiar with any of the trading simulations by Kalypso Media will enjoy Rise of Venice. It’s the perfect trading simulation for any gamer who wants to experience the genre.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: PC (Available on Steam)
OS: Windows Vista/7/8
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo-Prozessor or similar
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 10 compatible, 512MB
DirectX: Version 10
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible
Developer: Kaylpso Media
Publisher: Kaylpso Media
|The ships look authentic and the environments are breathtaking.|
|Fantastic sound effects complimented by a memorable soundtrack.|
|A brilliant simulation with intense sea battles.|
|A gorgeous simulator that will keep you busy for countless hours.|