Build And Battle: The Settlers – Kingdoms Of Anteria

By Adam Smith on August 7th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

I would settle for this

The new Settlers game, Kingdoms of Anteria, is about ‘persitent city building’. Hurrah! The news arrives in the form of a press release from Ubisoft, who will be presenting Kingdoms at Gamescom next week. There are other elements alongside that city building though.

Players will work to build up, control and optimise their production chains and economy to unlock building upgrades and new sectors, resulting in kingdoms growing larger than ever before. They will also have the opportunity to face-off against fierce enemies and frightening bosses in tactical battles to earn resources and special loot as they level up. Players can choose the champion class and skill set that best suits their play style from the thousands of different combinations possible.

So what am I? A town planner or a champion?

But not for that

Both, I guess.

The online PC game Kingdoms of Anteria takes players on a new The Settlers journey where they manage an emerging economy to create a bustling kingdom while leading their champions through dangerous and challenging adventures.

Dangerous? Adventures? Online? While I’m not taking that as confirmation of ‘online only’ just yet, I’m nervously anticipating social features and some kind of SimSettlers situation. Say it ain’t so.

Players can also team-up with up to three friends to dive into adventures that will help them collect loot while discovering the secrets of the untamed lands of Anteria. They can also visit and trade resources with friends to create a healthy supply chain and economic growth. No matter what players prefer, they will be able to focus gameplay on their favourite feature, either developing the Settlers’ kingdom and optimising the economy or seeking tactical fights and new adventures.

I’d describe my current outlook as ‘cautious’. If I were updating my Livejournal, it’d look a bit like this:

Current Mood: cautious, anxious
Current Music: Iggy Pop, Curiosity.

When I visit Ubisoft’s Gamescom patch next week in Cologne, I’ll find out more about these online functions. I’ll be investigating The Settlers as closely as possible, in fact, primarily to see if the city building and resource chain management is as calm and colourful as my memories of the first game in the series. Such pleasant memories. The series didn’t keep my attention over the years but the original has a very special place in my heart – moreso than Sim City or Populous, I thought of it as a world inside a machine.

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44 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Cross says:

    That description, to me, screams Free To Play, so i fully expect Ubisoft to spectacularly cock it up.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rikard Peterson says:

      “Play discreetly in your browser, my Lord.”

    • Frosty840 says:

      Worse, it sounds like the same free to play model as EA’s Dungeon Keeper travesty, or Godus.
      The kind that at best is just a non-interactive tower defence nonsense that isn’t actually fun, even when it’s not microtransactioned into a money-consuming hellbeast.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    She’s got a lovely pair of hammers.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Something something she’ll have somebody’s eye out with that

  3. Premium User Badge

    alphager says:

    This sounds like an interesting game, but seems to be a complete departure from the settlers roots.

  4. Belsameth says:

    This sounds horrid and that while the previous version was a bit of a step back toward the original settlers (and was uterly lovely)

  5. roope says:

    Ubisoft, Online. Yeah, won’t be getting this one. Pity, since Settlers II was one of my favorite games when I was a kid.

    • Premium User Badge

      slerbal says:

      Ditto. I’d also add uPlay and the character art to that list of reasons to just…no.

      I dislike the new genero-fantasy character art style. The old settlers game had their own look which was really cool and didn’t fall into boring clichés. It could be nostalgia talking but I remember it feeling more greco-roman whereas this looks like “we want to appeal to people who like Blizzard”.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      You know they did a remake of Settlers 2? It’s the exact same game, but with nicer graphics (well, the remake came out in 2006, so, good for 2006 graphics). you can get it for $10 from gog.

      • Lemming says:

        Good shout (although your link doesn’t work). Surprised it isn’t on Steam, tbh. Oh well, gog.com it is.

        EDIT: Dear lord, this game is sexist as hell! At least the strategy is fun

        • The First Door says:

          Why do you say that it is sexist, out of interest? I’ve not played the S2 remake, but I was thinking of picking it up!

          • Premium User Badge

            Bugamn says:

            I think he is claiming the new game is sexist.

          • Lemming says:

            The plot of Settlers 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybrCHWZr8vU

            Even for 2006, that’s a bit on the nose.

          • Premium User Badge

            phuzz says:

            There was a plot?

          • The First Door says:

            The plot (as I remember it) in the original was more or less ‘you got ship wrecked explore the land you are on and find out new buildings. Ooh, look, a shiny gate which seems to take us perhaps towards home, keep going until you make it home’. Basically, what I’m saying is that Settlers 2 and Sliders had basically the same plot.

            Anyway, I can see what you mean, the intro is a little… questionable.

          • sinister agent says:

            I would totally play the a Settlers game about the women who escaped those idiots, though. “Exodus: Sick of This Shit”.

      • ScottTFrazer says:

        “Play as any one of the three available nations: Romans, Nubians, and Asians”

        * Raises hand

        “What’s a nubian?”

        • Premium User Badge

          tigerfort says:

          The Nubians are an ethnic grouping originally found in (what is now) Southern Egypt. For more information, try looking things up.

          • Lemming says:

            WHOOOSH!

          • Premium User Badge

            tigerfort says:

            :-P

            (Yeah, yeah. Sorry about that; not enough sleep and a day/week full of people genuinely asking really idiotic questions, and my Kevin Smith recognition filter seems to have gone on the blink. Normal service will be restored as soon as we are sure what is “normal” anyway.)

  6. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I haven’t played a Settlers game in a very long time. I played the first two when they were new (and I think I liked the second one more, because it was basically the same game, but with more stuff and prettier) and I loved them a lot. I played the third and fourth games too, but not as much as their predecessors. After that, no Settlers game sounded very interesting, so I never tried any of them. Maybe this game will reverse the trend, but at least from this announcement it doesn’t look like it.

  7. XhomeB says:

    I’m sorry if that may sound rude, but what in the F do they think they’re doing? How can you screw up a winning gameplay formula everyone loved so badly? An online game? Action RPG elements? Are they completely and utterly nuts, do they even want this game to succeed? From the description, it hardly sounds like Settlers anymore.
    What a disappointment, I was so looking forward to a new installment in the series.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Obviously, Ubisoft want some of that sweet, sweet free to play rpg money. Who cares about old and unpopular genres? *cough*

      Also, I expect there is a sister continent (or planet) called Posteria.

  8. yxxxx says:

    Bluebyte have done pretty well in there free to play games in my opinion. I will be interested to see how this goes

  9. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Aww, no Majesty/Settlers merge? Too bad. Let’s see if the rest of the game conv- WHY AM I IN A GAME AGAIN

  10. mattevansc3 says:

    Over at Eurogamer one of the users, Toothbrush, noticed in the screenshots that there’s a Gem and Shopping cart button (image was too low definition for me to see) and there’s an RSS/Newsfeed button in the bottom.

    Its looking more and more like a “social” game.

  11. The First Door says:

    Hmm… Seeing as the fighty bits of the Settlers games have always been the least interesting for me, I’m not really jumping for joy at this announcement!

    Back to Banished, Factorio, or Settlers 2 for my building fix, I guess!

  12. bstard says:

    Sometimes a product has soul. Sometimes its just called ‘Anteria’.

  13. balinor says:

    I’ll pass. When I need a Settlers fix I’ll just continue on with numbers 2,3 and 4. Haven’t felt the desire to play any since them.

  14. Heliocentric says:

    Settlers 6 was the first resurrection of not crap settlers, it’s economy had a few issues and it was built around aging up anno style and rushing with certain hero/generals was too viable.
    Settlers 7 was a board game brought to life and thus suffered outside of play with people you know. But it was great design for (I assume) for german lan parties.

    It looks like settlers 8 is going back to 6’s conceits and adding in loot and grind, this could be a huge money spinner for them if the microtransaction bubble isn’t already weeping (as subscriptions did), but it’s also a huge disappointment for me.
    The main take away for me is talk of ‘production chains’ rather than ‘resource pools’ meaning that towns can be “solved”, rather than being dynamic engines, mines will probably be infinite, fisheries always recover and seasonal changes never disruptive. I’m reading deep from one word but after following Blue bytes games since my childhood I’m confident that Ubi management don’t ‘get’ settlers and that game designers have fed the PR team key phrases.

    • frightlever says:

      Replying to you because you made some excellent points. But mainly I want to address this:

      “I’ll be investigating The Settlers as closely as possible, in fact, primarily to see if the city building and resource chain management is as calm and colourful as my memories of the first game in the series.”

      I just got around to installing Settlers 7 Gold on uPlay off a disk I bought ages ago in expectation that they’d drop the online DRM eventually – hah!

      Settlers 7 is basically a race and unlike Settlers 6 it doesn’t even have a kick-back-and-relax sandbox mode.

      I’m going to re-install Settlers 6 to see if my hindsight is misplaced but I remember it having an unspectacular campaign but fun enough to kill some time.

  15. Doctor Pandafaust says:

    Sounds like it could be a fun game. I wait to see how Ubisoft manages to fuck it up with microtransactions, DLC or online requirements.

    • Avera says:

      Take a look at the screenshot pekikuubik posted above.

      We have gems, hero leveling, persistent chat (so no offline), ressource numbers in the ten thousands (so persistence online), quests, adventures, a shop and all the other shit all those clones of online city builders have.

      Basically its an Evony Clone without tits… ups… my bad, women do have barely covered huge breasts the size of their heads after all…

      So yeah not sure what you people are excited above? Its the usual “free to play” (in reality compell people to pay hundreds of euros) social game, just the graphics are a bit better and it uses an established brand. See Anno online for an example of how that stuff works.

      Huge timesinks, lot of money traps, no challenge whatsoever (you can never lose), a single city on a map. Basically not even a game in the end but a dressed up skinner box. :(

  16. Geebs says:

    I went on a journey once to the land of Anteria. I travelled too far, and ended up in Posteria.

  17. ulix says:

    There’s probably gonna be another ANNOuncement at Gamescom, of ANNOther citybuilder developed by Ubisoft. And that one probably won’t be F2P, but a real game.

  18. Jimbo says:

    Frightening bosses? I want no part of that.

  19. Bart Stewart says:

    For my building-and-battling needs, I think I will be looking more to Northern Shadow.

    This one feels a bit less like it wants to wedge its paws deep into my pantaloons to fish around for my wallet. I’m also sort of curious how the building aspect will feel (and work) in first-person perspective.

  20. Daemoneyes says:

    Online, Gems, Shop and i bet there are daily quests..
    Burn it with Napalm, just to make sure it stays dead.
    Everything about it makes me want to dropkick a toddler.

  21. GFMistheONE says:

    just hope that they don’t pull the PLAYER MOD BS like in TSO