Anno 1404 – Dawn Of Discovery is a city building and economic simulation game with real time strategy elements. The game was released on February 26, 2010. It was developed by Related Designs, produced by Blue Byte, and published by Ubisoft. Anno 1404 is the sequel to Anno 1701 and is followed by the futuristic sequel Anno 2070. Though the game centers on a series of fictional events, the overall concept of the storyline is based upon real life aspects of medieval/renaissance history such as the Crusades, advancements in Gothic architecture, construction of cathedrals, and hanseatic trade involving the rise of patrician merchants and early forms of capitalism.
As with the other Anno games, the core action of the game consists of discovering new islands, building settlements, cultivating goods, managing trade routes between settlements and managing the needs of the populace to advance the in-game society. One of the main focuses of the game is building monuments. There are 2 types of monuments in the game. Namely a large Gothic Cathedral and a large Arabic Mosque. Certain conditions have to be met by the player in order to start building said monuments.
Trade, acts as a vital part in the game. Occidental populations can not grow past a certain level of success without Spice, and later Quartz, that can only be generated in Oriental lands. Although the taxes bring the player sizable income, it is difficult to generate enough gold to make meaningful capital investments without extensive trading. This can be simplified by creating a passive trading system using the tools player is given in the game.
As player advances through the game, the game rewards the player with access to naval vessels and troops.
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.
Developer(s) – Related Designs
Blue Byte Software
Publisher(s) - Ubisoft
Composer(s) - David Christiansen
Platform(s) – Windows
Mac OS X
Release date(s) - EU June 25, 2009
NA June 23, 2009
Genre(s) – City-building, Business simulation, Real-time strategy
Mode(s) - Single-player, Multi-player
Distribution DVD, download
Minimum System Requirements:
- CPU – Pentium 4.3 GHz or comparable
- RAM – 1 GB
- VGA – DirectX9 compatible graphics adapter with 128MB memory.
- DX – DirectX9/10
Recommended System Requirements:
- CPU – Dual Core
- RAM – 3GB
- VGA – DirectX compatible graphics adapter with 128MB.
- DX - DirectX®9/10