Good game overall, but very rough around the edges...
Many new aspects incorporated into the game... the problem being that some of them glitches. Take for example the crime system, the guards tend to not catch the criminals even when they are right in front of them.
The estate system is a welcoming feature, no longer can AIs build their stuff next to your turf, and no longer can a player simply wall off all his major assets.
Lack of AIs in multiplayer is the biggest issue though...
A solid game overall once you get past the problems and bad points...
Most of the complexities of Stronghold 2 was deleted, while the game is easier some of the appeal of running a manor was lost.
Multiplayer games are limited to 4 players, which limits the size & scale of the games.
The autosell/autobuy ability is pretty neat...
To sum up my experience with this game in one word would be, confusion. I made a couple good/decent games - according to reviews in-game - and then felt confused by every subsequent game after those initial two. I tried and tried again, but no amount of research, or reviews gave me any clues as how to go about improving the games I put out. I never even left the garage I was so confused. This sucks for the review, since I haven't 'completed' the game yet. I have been unable to due to a lack of information.
I can give my honest, and complete opinion about the UI, though. I don't really like it. To me, it feels too simple having to access it by clicking anywhere on the screen. I don't really like the sliders either - that are used to determine how much work goes into making a game, and where it is best utilized. Or, perhaps I dislike the way the sliders are presented, and the lack of percentages representing the exact amount of work I want to put into something. The lack of number representation is usually why I dislike sliders. Every other aspect of navigating the menu feels just fine to me, though.
Perhaps it is my lack of experience with the game, but I don't feel as if I am running a company, or even trying to start one. With the experience I do have I feel as if I won't be managing anything other than the work put into each game. I believe my focus is entirely spent on 'the game' and I don't like that.
Despite these dislikes I have with the game, I still believe it's good. One just needs to get past these things, especially the confusion to really enjoy it. But I think that might be difficult for some people. I've given up on the game, but not entirely because of the confusion. I still feel like I won't be running a company, I just get this vibe I won't be doing anything other than making games - and that bores me. It's also occurred to me there may or may not be an "end game." I sincerely hope there isn't one, beyond simply running a, successful, company.
The game has a very nice atmosphere, scarys and random noises. Everytime the voice said to look behind me, I expected something to be there. I really liked the scarys that would cross in front of my view, and I love the fact that there is no flashlight in the beginning. It makes the game a little harder and more dependent on your vision. I enjoyed playing and I encourage you do too!
First of all, I liked the story, and the ending twist was well done, it was really mind-blowing. The problem is that it was too short in my opinion, you could have made something huge out of this "Cycle" thing, and we just get to see a small event. So, still a great story, good job with that !
Then there's the gameplay, which was i'd say too easy. Not a single puzzle, I really felt like you didn't know what to do to fill the minutes between the intro and the ending. The guard sequence was interesting, though I didn't appreciate the fact that we didn't get to see more from this new enemy.
About level design and detailing, I'm kinda sad considering that you made an awesome map after the portal : that sort of sanctuary was truly amazing. And then you got the real life levels, empty, no detailing, it really felt very awkward. So I give it 7 out of 10 : great ideas, some nice gaming moments, but it just feels like it was released before you could lead your ideas to the amazing results I hoped. I did not enjoy playing it, except for the ending and the "through the portal" map.
I applaud to you sir for putting all this together! If I'm correct, there are some elements from Amnesia 1 & 2 and Penumbra. This IS what I've been waiting for since MFP came out! And you did a really good job making the environment!
But... Even though you got a great story and voice acting going on, it is still a really really short game.
I hope you make more CSs !!