City-builder dev tempers expectations for anticipated new game by reminding fans it's not an RPG, RTS, map game, or a Total War competitor

Manor Lords
(Image credit: Slavic Magic)

Manor Lords is launching into Early Access next week, and as the milestone approaches, its developer is taking a moment to remind fans what the game isn't.

Yes, it's a slightly inexplicable way of celebrating the imminent launch milestone, but Manor Lords developer Slavic Magic clearly feels the need to get ahead of expectations for the new game. The new game is a "city-builder with battles," the Steam post reads, and yes, "battles are there," but they are not as "huge or as frequent as some of you might expect."

The majority of Manor Lords is actually focused on city-building and management, and so for this reason primarily, it's "not a Total War competitor." If anyone comes to the new Steam Early Access game expecting a grand strategy experience, they're unfortunately going to be sorely disappointed.

Continuing in that vein, Slavic Magic notes that Manor Lords is not an "Empire Management style Grand Strategy game," nor is it an RPG either, or a "fast-paced RTS like Age of Empires of Starcraft," for that matter. The new game is designed to be played on a "much smaller scale" than anything like Age of Empires, and it's also meant to be played from a top-down perspective, even while you're wandering around the in-game towns.

"A lot of the game mechanics focus on aesthetics of your town and resources take some time to be transported around the map," the Steam blog post reads. "This results mostly in more of a relaxed experience, with high-intensity moments spicing up atmospheric citybuilding rather than the game being at high intensity all the time."

I think I can see why this post has come about. If you head over to Manor Lords' Steam page, the trailer that auto-plays has a heavy focus on building and combat, and the game is tagged under 'Strategy,' 'Simulator,' and 'City-Builder' on the storefront. Slavic Magic's post is attempting to say that there's more to this game than the big trailer and Steam tags are permitting. 

Understandably, the developer doesn't want to give the wrong impression of its game or leave players disappointed if they're picking it up purely for large-scale tactical battles. 

Finally, the Steam blog post asserts that Manor Lords is an Early Access game, and will release next week on April 26. The developer also isn't revealing a roadmap for the game just yet, because it's "once or twice before" been overly enthused about a feature, only to find that testers weren't quite as keen, and wanted something else instead.

Elsewhere, Manor Lords has racked up another 500,000 wishlists - after its solo dev's girlfriend guessed it would only get 7,000 total

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.