In the fascinating world of ANNO™ the player will sink into a unique building strategy game, where he sets sail in a beautiful island world to master the tricks of trade, diplomacy and economy, building up his own monumental cities. Continuous careful and elaborate planning will help fulfil his citizen’s needs and let his empire flourish. The upcoming ANNO 1404™ will bring this award-winning building strategy series to a new level:
Discover a strange and wondrous land in the uttermost East: the Orient! This highly civilized land will provide you with endless opportunities, and with the help of your new allies your occidental cities will prosper and become mighty metropolises!
Get to know the culture and technologies of the orient
Learn to interact diplomatically with the foreign culture, make agreements and raise your diplomatic status. Learn technologies to produce oriental goods like mosaic, coffee, carpets and many more.
Make the desert bloom
Bring home the Noria, a mighty water pump, to draw ground water. Master the climatic challenges of the desert islands and make your dry land fertile.
Meet the Sultan and earn his respect
Erect impressive monuments in your metropolises to raise the attention of Sultans and Kings! The higher your reputation, the bigger your possibilities will be within the world of ANNO 1404™.
Anno 1404 (Known as Dawn of discovery in the US) is one of many Anno games out there, and to me it is one of the best. It is a city building game, a trading game, and exploration game and so much more! I love city builders and having the creative freedom to make things look fairly as great as I want them to, only being restricted by having a warehouse, church or a market nearby. I love that you will have to expand to other islands to get the right cultivation for crops, that you can get a nomad settlement to grow new exotic things and that you can do missions/quests in between.
The european/orient areas are new to the game series with this game, before it was more divided, now it is trying to be similar to how europe and the medieval near east was in comparison to each other. You have to purchase gifts from the European side and give them to the leader of the orient to gain his favor and unlock more perks and buildings for your oriental settlements.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who are fans of the Anno series, it’s not a new game by any means but it is still worth the play to see how it is. If you’re into city building games in general, this could be worth a try also.
The game’s plot
The campaign begins when the player is sent to administer a fief granted to him by the Emperor, in the Occident. The Emperor is unwell and Lord Richard Northburgh, cousin and treasurer of the Emperor, is building a magnificent Cathedral to pray for the Emperor’s health. Meanwhile, Cardinal Lucius is making preparations for a Crusade against the Saracens of the Orient, aided by Guy Forcas.
In the first few chapters of the campaign, the player learns the basics of game-play and the economy by assisting Northburgh and Forcas with supply and construction tasks, as well as meeting some of the other main characters.
As the Crusader ships leave the harbor, Northburgh begins to uncover clues to a mysterious plot. He and the player travel to the Orient and befriend the Grand Vizier of the Sultan, Al Zahir, who helps the player to defeat a band of Corsairs and break up a child trafficking scheme. The plot thickens as further clues reveal that a main character is implicated in a sinister conspiracy to overthrow the Emperor himself. Because he comes too close to the truth, Lord Northburgh is captured and the player is tasked with unraveling the mystery.
Over the next several chapters, the player must win over new allies, convince the leaders of the Crusade that they are being manipulated under false pretenses, and survive dire circumstances in order to defeat the villains and restore the Emperor to his rightful place.
The campaign is divided into eight chapters and each chapter can be played on 3 different difficulties: easy, medium, and hard. Apart from the story elements, the campaign serves as a tutorial to prepare the player for the more rigorous scenarios and continuous game modes.
All of the main characters encountered in the campaign are also encountered in the scenarios mode and can be selected as computer opponents in continuous games, although the actions of the characters during the campaign are unrelated to their actions in these modes apart from having similar personalities. Lord Northburgh and Al Zahir act as mentors and trade partners in the other modes, much like they do in the campaign.