Setup & Rant Before the Review;
This game is freaking broken. There's just no nicer way to say it, the sheer number of bugs in this game is absolutely staggering, and the fact that not one but three separate expansion packs were released without addressing them is ludicrous and unacceptable.
Modding the game to fix the bugs is ESSENTIAL, unfortunately finding mods for this game can be difficult unless you know exactly where to look.
I'm going to make it easy for you. You need this!http://forum.runeforge-games.net/index.php/topic,1438.0.html
On to the Review:
This is a game that had a lot of potential, once you start playing it that will become obvious to you rather quickly. The Guild 2 is a hard game to describe in terms of genre, because it meshes many together rather well. It's technically a business sim in which you control a simlike character from an isometric angle.
You can start a business, advance your character, career, and dynasty, try to have children to inherit your dynasty, and over successive generations you can end up owning several thriving businesses meeting the economic needs of your town and other nearby towns.
Alternately you can start a bandit camp, or a thieve's guild, or run around killing and pillaging and being an outlaw.
You can be a church leader or a healer, or a necromancer or a well poisoning witch.
You can climb the political ladder, and bribe, befriend, poison, duel, assassinate, libel, or imprison your political rivals.
You can charge people with crimes, gather evidence, and have them jailed or executed. You can be a jailer and torture prisoners. You can become a corrupt mayor, or an inquisitor who burns people at the stake.
Like I said, hard to describe. The game defies genres.
Playing it fully modded will allow you to catch a glimpse of the greatness that could have been if the game were developed by a company that actually cared about quality. Unfortunately, the game you catch a glimpse of will never be fully realized.
Back to where I started, on the issue of bugs. I may come across as overly negative, but I would LOVE to recommend this game, I love this game and I deeply enjoyed it, now I have the Steam Version thanks to a Steam Sale and I want to tell you to buy it too.
But I can't, I can't recommend that you buy a game being sold with this many major bugs and no official fix in sight. Someone's making money off of it, apparently, so fix it!
One long night and a cup of coffee, that's pretty much all it would take if you built the fixes off current mods.