If you like survival games and city building, Patron may interest you, but he will not forgive you even a bad decision

Uniting survival and strategy in a video game always sounds good, but it is still a challenge that is not easy to overcome. I’ve played Patron, a new city-building and real-time strategy, survival and management game that has good ideas and will appeal to fans of the genre, but is not without a few buts.

Those players familiar with the city-builders, real-time strategy games and survival Surely they have in mind Banished, a title of this theme that was released a few years ago and quickly became a reference of the genre. It is inevitable to remember it while we play Patron, the new game from the independent studio Overseer Games, because it is evident that Banished is an inspiration for the study (even certain details of the interface are very similar, really). Still, I don’t want it to be misunderstood either: Patron is a title that has his own ideas and that provides some interesting mechanics, although I think it is a title for lovers of the genre, since it does not finish focusing what is its real objective, beyond raising the city.

At Patron we are, to no one’s surprise, the “Patron” of a colony that is established in a new territory. Our job is to manage all our citizens and direct them with a firm hand towards a better future, full of well-being, wealth and a lot of work. Or at least try. Patron invites us to develop the settlement as much as we can, without a specific objective, beyond the very challenge of trying to grow as much as possible, since it does not have additional game modes. Grow the city it won’t be easy at all and it will take us hours and hours, because the games of the game are really slow and durable (if we survive, I insist). Something that I do want to make clear, because it seems to me to be very relevant in complex and deep games like this one, is that the game It is fully translated into Spanish, so that the language will not be in any case a barrier to enter this ambitious video game.

This Mediterranean is not relaxing at all

Patron

Patron’s winter is one of the biggest dangers.

As soon as we start a game, we can choose between one large number of predefined maps with different difficulty based, for example, on the complexity of obtaining resources. Still, we can customize different elements of the game to make our experience even more satisfying. Needless to say, yes, I recommend start with default options and in a rather low difficulty, so that you can adapt without too much frustration to the video game, which has some mechanics that can feel somewhat unfair at first. It is not an easy game, nor does it want to be. Life in Patron is hard.

I have wanted to insist a lot on the mediterranean map, since I live next door and it has made me especially funny to try to develop myself in a scenario “similar” to the one I know. Silly, yes, but it has helped me to see for myself that Patron does not forgive a hesitant management at all. We have to be very clear about things. I was struck by the fact that the studio recommended that we bring be very careful with the first winter and that we didn’t expand too fast. I tried to listen to them, but not even with the warning I could overcome my first icy days with guarantees, although that first stumble served me perfectly to understand the game.

Patron is a title very slow, or at least that’s how I felt it, and that tranquility that it impresses on development means that you have to think very carefully about what the next steps are, because your city can collapse with a bad decision. At first, you have to focus on obtaining wood and making firewood with it to be able to spend the winter, since the cold causes our villagers to start spending much more firewood to warm themselves and if they run out of it, deaths come. And I really tell you, a death in Patron can be the trigger for the end of your gameespecially in the early hours of your new settlement. It must be taken into account that, in Patron, citizens are divided into children, youth and adults. The first two are neither working nor productive, so our number of useful units is reduced. The first bars are hard because you will have very few people to assign to the different tasks.

Patron

Investigations in Patron.

And I mean it completely you have to grow up with a lot of head. First you make the houses necessary for the families to live and then you have to think about how many production buildings you create, because you have to put to work in each one of them at least one citizen, which means you lose a person for other tasks like building more structures. Micromanaging is really important and I give you the example of a early game So that you understand me, but the reality is that this is maintained throughout the development of the games, which as I anticipated a few lines before, are really long.

The long duration is mainly due to two factors. The first, because citizens grow slowly and there are few in the first hours so that the development is fast, something that even becomes uncomfortable in some moments of the game. If a family has a child, in the future it will become an adult, but everything happens with a desperate tranquility, because to grow and expand you need more villagers, and it is difficult to obtain them. In fact, a piece of advice: it is recommended focus on improving buildings rather than building others, but, above all, it is essential to ensure that we are producing the right resources to meet the needs, because exceeding ourselves will not be efficient either. The second, because the amount of investigations What can we do from the City Hall it’s huge and it will be difficult for us to move forward. All this I don’t mean it as a negative, it is not: I just want to make it clear that we are facing a slow game and that he really wants us to understand the complexity of building a city from scratch.

The citizen is always right

Patron

Patron boasts of having a “unique system of social dynamics” and, although I do not dare to repeat the phrase with my words, I can say that the feeling of the people is everything for the development of the colony. Citizens have different needs, and I’m not talking about the typical ones for food, cold and shelter. Have religious, tax, security concerns … And we have to conscientiously watch that they are happy, because if not, there is no development that is worth. In Patron there are four types of citizens and the question is that each group receives in a different way the decisions we make, as well as the laws we enact. For example, a random event may be that the king asks the colony for 50 coal: giving the monarch the resources may increase the loyalty of our peasants and workers, but it will lower that of the merchants and bourgeoisie. When we do not have any of these citizens, the decision is simple, but when the colony advances, things get complicated.

And it is that citizens are the basis of Patron. If we don’t give them good houses, no children will be born; If we don’t put up surveillance posts, they will be restless; if there are no supplies of herbs, they will become ill; without the people we are nothing. Even so, the reality is that all the feelings of the villagers have a somewhat strange and not transparent random point, and even in the birth of babies everything depends in part on luck. You can have several saved games and different things will happen starting from the same point. And be careful, this seems fantastic to me, but it is something to be clear, because that point of unpredictability exists and although everything seems controlled, for example, a fire can appear that annoys an entire district.

The beauty of your city

Yes, the game is slow, I have made it clear, but although cities develop little by little, the part of construction is entertaining. There are some details such as not being able to build diagonally or make freer shapes with the paths that I have not completely liked, but the game gives you lots of terrain information. By pressing just one key we can go to a construction interface, another indicates the fertility of the land for farms, another the amount of minerals … This aspect is well achieved and I think it gives more than enough information so that we can know if we are placing a construction in the best possible place, although the options to modify the terrain are scarce.

The game complies graphically, although it has not seemed to me that it stands out especially in this section. Something curious, because it is usually the other way around, is that I think it gains a lot when we approach to see the buildings or units working. In terms of performance, with an Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti I have been able to play it at 2K and 60 FPS with the highest graphic quality without major problems, but uploading it to 4K made the FPS drop substantially. I also tested it a bit on my laptop, which has an Nvidia GTX 1650, and with full graphics and 1080p, the game was around 30 FPS. I have to say, and it is reality, that this game can be enjoyed smoothly at 30 frames per second, so I don’t think you should worry too much. Still, the studio has stated that it will improve the game over the next few weeks, with different adjustments to its systems and also at the level of performance. By the way, an update has already come out with changes in some mechanics, but I have not been able to test in depth if these modifications really change the experience, but I think it is important to keep in mind that development is not finished although the game has already been released on the market.

Patron

On Steam you have a demo available if you want to try Patron, a city-building and survival game that fans of the genre will especially appreciate. The development is slow, it has some aspects that could be improved and it is very much oriented to enjoy for the simple pleasure of growing a city, but you will enjoy it if you have been caught by other similar ones. Still, in my opinion, games like Frostpunk they have much clearer the objective and the scale they want to achieve, and they end up being a much more recommendable and satisfactory experience than Patron, a game that you can already buy on PC if you wish.