Hands-on: The Settlers: Rise of an Empire

The Settlers: Rise of an Empire, is the sixth installment in Blue Byte Software’s long-running RTS/city-simulation series. Good lord, what else can Blue Byte shove into another Settlers game? Harsh yes, but unfortunately it’s a big problem to overcome. Recently a single-player demo was released and I got some precious hands-on time.


Boasting a new graphics engine and several new gameplay concepts, you’ll be trotting new grounds in this game. Blue Byte is adding lusher environments to build your cities in. The world of The Settlers is expanded to large islands, deserts, dense forests, countrysides and mountains, while each city can adopt several nations. All the environments will feature four distinct climatic zones and four seasons.

Much like the previous games, the gameplay starts out building a settlement. You have to build different huts and buildings to bring in resources — Hunter’s Huts gathers deer meat for the Tannery (clothing), Butcher’s Huts (food) and Soap Maker (cleanliness) while Woodcutter’s Huts gathers wood for creation of buildings and upgrades and Broom Makers (cleanliness). Eventually the main goal for all of these buildings is make the settlement flourish.


One of the gameplay aspects that’s been continually upgraded through each game is the visuals. This time around, Blue Byte certainly paid attention to what attracts gamers’ eyes. All the different buildings have their own set of animations, along with all the different employees. The Butcher’s Hut, for example, can have up to three workers constantly working. One will go to the storage house to get deer meat, while another will cut up the meat and cook it while the last worker will take the cooked meat and display it out front for hungry workers to pick up.

The city life AI has been enhanced, too. In addition to the dynamic city life, every single citizen has their own daily needs. When they’re hungry, they’ll head to the food market to pick up some meat or bread, but if there’s no food, they’ll strike.


So how’s the gameplay? Largely, it’s similar to its counterparts. The same ‘start your cities’ is present in the sixth game, much like the very first game in 1993. While the little additions such as female settlers, enhanced AI and the proposed ‘God game’-aspect seem very neat and add to the game’s desirability, I’d say there will come a time (and probably soon) when this franchise will run out of steam. But in spite of my dire predictions, The Settlers franchise is still very popular throughout Europe.

The Settlers: Rise of an Empire is set for release for PC on September 25th (U.S.), September 28th (Europe) and September 30th (Australia).


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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