Posts Tagged ‘The Settlers’

Have You Played… The Settlers?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The Settlers is one of the games that defined my early years. I was thirteen years old when I first played it and I fell in love with the world as soon as I saw the first lumberjack chopping at a tree. I didn’t realise then, but it’s a simple example of a game’s systems working like a machine: functional, each part reliant on another part, visually cohesive. It’s also a game that doesn’t require conflict to work.

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Not The Settlers Any More: Kingdoms Of Anteria Reborn

It’s been two years since we last looked at The Settlers: Kingdoms of Anteria, and we’ll never see it again. Developers Ubisoft Blue Byte announced yesterday that they have “made the decision to steer this project in a new direction, meaning The Settlers: Kingdoms of Anteria as you know it no longer exists.” It’s no longer a kingdom-building strategy game or a ‘The Settlers’ game at all, but some sort of singleplayer party-based tactical RTS/action-RPG… thing? But hey, it isn’t a MOBA. Even if the new name, Champions of Anteria [official site], really does sound like one. Here, have a look:

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Build And Battle: The Settlers – Kingdoms Of Anteria

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?

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Anteria Decorating: The Settlers – Kingdoms Of Anteria

And so it has come to pass. Revelation chapter thirteen tells of the beast that rose from the sea, “upon his heads the name of blasphemy”, and old blaspheme-bonce is followed by other portents of the end-times. The final chapters of Revelation introduce yet more incredible signs of doom, so incredible in fact that they have long been considered apocryphal. Take this excerpt from chapter 47: “Yea, from the mountain a rumbling, a crack in the firmament, a host cried out in anguish and looked upon the plummy terror of a third-person Settlers action game. Or maybe even a sodding MOBA.” Can it be that we live in those times even now? A trailer for the newly announced Kingdoms Of Anteria caused me to tremble and gnash.

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Settle An Argument: Settlers Online Opens

The Penny-Pinching Of An Empire

The argument being, of course “are free to play browser games necessarily hateful to traditional gamers?” The Settlers Online is taking a beloved strategy name and affixing all manner of new business models to it, but is the ol’ Blue Byte spirit safe and sound in there or has it entirely gone over to the microtransaction dark side? You can find out right now, as the open beta’s just gone live. Miracle of miracles it doesn’t require a Facebook account, though that is an option. Seems primarily bound to Ubisoft’s UPlay system, which fortunately I was already signed up for or I might have screamed at the sight of yet another registration page. And lo, it loaded in my browser, and it looked quite nice.

As to Settlers Online’s place on good-evil spectrum, it’s too early to say. I’ve been at it about 20 minutes so far, and it’s glacially slow, has quite a few resource types and micromanagent screens, a little overcomplicated and well.. like the Settlers in many respects. Which is good. But…
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