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The Settlers: New Allies has finally settled on a February 17th release date

It was first announced in 2018

It's been a bumpy road, but the new generation of plucky Settlers are at last approaching their destination. Now known as The Settlers: New Allies, Ubisoft's Settlers reboot is due to come out on February 23rd.

Katharine quite liked what she played of the town-building RTS last January, but the devs decided feedback from their closed beta meant the game warranted more time in the oven, and thus a third major postponement since the game's original 2018 announcement. Come watch the trailer below to see what's new.

"One of the most notable additions", says Creative Director Christian Hagedorn, is the introduction of neutral bandit camps that protect the roads between players on multiplayer maps. I've never dabbled with the Settlers, but I do associate the series with cosy base-building rather than high-octane pike rushes. Protecting players in the early game makes sense.

He mentions a couple of small but impactful changes, like buildings claiming more surrounding territory when you place them, and there being more uses for food. Other highlights are more in the vein of basic fundamentals: you can now save and load games, customise your controls, tell your military units to patrol or hold their position, and invite friends to private matches.

The biggest changes sound like they've hit the economy, which has been deepened via reworks to tools and research. Tools have many more uses and so are much more important, with Hagedorn suggesting there's now a greater need to specialise your settlement early. They've also added a forestry building that lets you grow trees, which people were apparently clamouring for.

The player lays down a gravel road network in The Settlers

Despite enjoying herself in the beta, Katharine did feel the units were a little humdrum, so she might be pleased to hear the factions have been jazzed up with special abilities that include a very silly looking combat jump/teleport and the ability to place traps.

Elsewhere, the Hardcore mode formerly known as Onslaught has seen "a lot of improvements", and there'll be twice as many skirmish maps as there were in the beta, pushing the total up to 12. The full game will also add the campaign, which will include 13 missions. It's about a clan fleeing their homeland and TM: Settling in a new one, facing challenges "from the raiding of ruthless bandits to the discovery of the new culture of these lands."

Ubisoft have also announced there'll be cross-play and cross-progression between all versions of the game, including PC, Switch, Playstation and Xbox, though the idea of playing an RTS with control sticks makes me shudder.

Presuming no further delays, The Settlers: New Allies will land on February 17th.

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