The Guild series is a historical life simulation that takes place during the Dark Ages, roughly Europe in the 1400s. Work your way up from the lowly status as an outsider to a respectable nobleman. Create a strong line of heirs to ensure that your family name will be remembered throughout the ages.
There are numerous paths to power and prestige, as you are free to create your own goals to follow to create your dynasty. One way that was shown during the presentation is through a respectable occupation, eventually developing a strong reputation with the people through hard work and patience. Another possible path is to steal, instill fear into the hearts of the commoners and earn notoriety. The critical component is that any decision you make has its own set of rewards and consequences later in the game.
Almost everything in the game has an effect on how players advance. The day and night cycle will increase the chances of crime and violence, and the seasons will affect crops and commerce. Other players online (up to 16 players) or AI will try their best to get a higher foothold than you. The revised AI system adapts, using behavioral patterns that evolve, so the more you play, the more it learns to play against you.
The Guild 3 is a complex game that combines economic and life simulation with a touch of role-playing and strategy. It comes with a steep learning curve, but the rewards outweigh the challenges. The Guild 3 is expected to release later this year on PC.