Banished is an independently developed settlement simulation, with a survivalist backbone. It's about heading into the wild and building to live rather than sitting on top of a casino and living to build. If memory serves, I haven't actually played a Settlers game since the second but Banished looks like it may well tap into the same part of my brain, absorbing hours of my time in peaceful construction and careful management of tiny people. The latest video suggests that access to and movement of resources will be significant, even in relatively compact colonies, which should put a pleasing emphasis on layout and individual needs. I am keen to see more.
Quite how the game will keep players on their toes isn't entirely clear yet. Weevils in the food supply? Marauding robber-wolves? Extremely harsh winters of chilly discontent? The development blog contains some answers.
You can lose people from starvation, overpopulation, disease, hypothermia, harsh winters and dry summers, and deaths from working dangerous jobs. Your fields and orchards can suffer pest infestation, and livestock can develop diseases. I plan on adding fires and a few other disasters as well.
The post about how the AI for individual settlers function is a great insight as well, even if it does contain actual lines of code and therefore frightens my simple mind.