GMX Media, perhaps best known for its strategy games, is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most prolific games publishers, bringing us obscure titles such as Cycling Manager 3 and Moon Tycoon. That trend is set to continue with the release of Northland, exclusively for PC.
The title Northland gives between little and nothing away regarding what the game is about, so here’s what you can expect. In what may come as a surprise to most, Northland is in fact a direct sequel to the well-known RTS series Cultures. The game begins where Cultures 2 ended, in a world where evil is defeated and late night parties are a regular occurrence. But as it turns out, the celebrations were premature, as myriad serpent creatures began spreading across the once peaceful country, leaving nothing but chaos and destruction in their wake. It’s time for you to put your RTS hat on one last time…
A stand-alone game, Northland is a comprehensive strategy game, consisting of eight large single-player missions and three difficulty settings. Each of the missions is time-consuming and extensive, but also compelling and by no means tedious. Gameplay remains similar to others in the genre whereby players must command a group of allies and pit them against the enemy in the hope of victory.
The Northland game world, based on the Cultures II engine and AI, looks lovely. Backgrounds are beautifully detailed and varied, and the character movement and other on-screen action is respectable. There are also some stunning weather and fog effects that enhance the game world no end.
The game’s six multi-player missions and map-editor are perhaps the most useful areas of the game though, giving Northland incredible longevity and keeping gameplay fresh and exciting. There’s even an Internet lobby where the Northland community can discuss in-game strategies and the likes.
Northland is a great strategy game that will be welcomed by PC-owning RTS purists.