Anno 1404: Venice
Anno 1404 focused on the relations between the West and the East. An important aspect of that is trade and where would we then be without the city of water, Venice? An interesting theme, eventhough there’s little to show for it in how Anno 1404 is created and innovations need to be looked for with a magnifying glass.
A first and most important addition is multiplayer. A lot of fans wanted this in Anno 1404 and Ubisoft has listened to them. Playing together can be done over the internet or through a local network. You can play for yourself or work together in co-op and Ubisoft made a good move by adding multiplaye as it’s certainly worth checking out and an opportunity to test the other new features again a human opponent.
The second big innovation comes in the way you handle the rest of the occupants in the world, outside diplomacy and war. You can now send out spies to spread chaos and uproar in opponent cities and the different options are depending on the level of the house you infiltrate as well as the level of your own cities. Take over the house of a patrician and you’ll be able to inspire a rebellion while infiltrating the house of a nomad can send a belly dancer who will take over all the money instead of it going to taxes. Once at a high level you can buy counselor seats and even the key to a hostile city to take it over. Of course all these tricks can be applied to you too and they’re neat ways to bother the opposition instead of starting up an open war.
As you may have noticed already, this review is pretty short and that reflects the amount of new content in the game. It would have been fun to have a lot more to talk about (like a new campaign, new buildings and more) but unfortunately there isn’t. On the other side, Anno 1404 does a terrific job of standing on its own and there’s little negative to point out when it comes to the fun level of this game.
This expansion contains very little flesh eventhough it’s of relatively good quality. You could call it an excellent 1/4 expansion. Hopefully next time there’s more room to grow and more to talk about.