It may be fair to assume that a majority of people reading this are wondering, “What on earth is Banished?” Billed as a city-building simulation and strategy game, Shining Rock Software’s Banished takes the core concepts of city-building games and looks to give an enjoyable and challenging experience.
The premise is simple, build a town with a group of exiled travellers. The purpose? To build and grow a community, while planning survival and longevity of the townsfolk. Winters are cold and horrific, challenging the player to plan ahead, making sure citizens have shelter and food. There is a degree of heavy resource management, whether it is through the control of agriculture or local trade and business.
The interesting hook to this game is that it seems to really delve deep into a realistic world. You would end up caring about each person, and making sure they are happy and healthy. Managing all the finite details are what a city-building game should be. We have seen so many games try to recreate the magic of previous city-builders, to no avail. The personal and careful nature of Banished is so intriguing, because it doesn’t ask too much of you. It does not ask you to make war with anyone, or have other cities. The simple goal is to build and manage your town, and isn’t that what everyone wants to do? Take SimCity for example, although the core wasn’t great, I would often stare and explore my city as it grew. Banished captures that feeling, it is art style to die for. Seasons change and affect the look of the land, winter blankets snow across rooftops and roads, it is drop dead gorgeous.
Banished also attempts to present you with plenty of risk and reward scenarios, an example being the dilemma between short time survival and long term longevity.
“Cutting down forests reduces the deer population you can hunt. Although your foresters can plant new trees, the cures for many diseases can only be found in forests that have existed for decades.”
The choices made, impact future generations and that prospect is so delicious that I can’t even handle it right now. I need this game in my life. To say something is my most anticipated game may be crazy, but Banished is the only game I am truly excited for this year. It’s looking to provide me with a game which I didn’t even know I wanted, and is almost reinventing the sub-genre of city-building games.
Colour me excited. For more on Banished be sure to check out the official website, follow its development and watch some of the awesome videos on it, you won’t regret it. Banished is out on PC sometime soon, with no release date official.
UPDATE: As soon as I do an article about it, Banished gets an official release date! In a blog post on the official site, it was announced that Banished will come out on the 18th of February 2014. Very exciting times!