May 16, 2022
The Settlers has a long-running history as a video game franchise, and it's well-known among some gamers for being the series that defined some of the aspects of the city building games (especially those that feature elements of warfare). The eighth (counting one remake) installment in the series returns with more improvements and additions, and an even more streamlined gameplay that allows you to develop some truly impressive strategies.
For the most part, the gameplay remains the same as in the previous games. Depending on your style of play, you can choose to either concentrate on building a solid army, exploring the various technological trees available, or even focusing on trading entirely. Those three choices are represented by their respective game modes, and if you choose to play, for example, the military mode, you'll have to quickly gather an army and take your enemies out – while on the other hand, in trading mode, you'll need to defeat them by building the best trading routes and claiming a large portion of the trading market.
There's also a campaign mode, though it's rather short and not really the main focus of the title – it serves more as a tutorial (albeit a rather long one), as each mission will give you access to more and better pieces of technology, letting you gradually get acquainted with all of the aspects of the gameplay. Multiplayer is also available, and it's been developed very well and offers a balanced experience, much like the previous titles in the series.
Graphics and System Requirements
The Settlers 7 doesn't really improve the game's visuals that noticeably compared to the previous games in the series, but it's still a refreshing experience, especially for a strategy game. One thing we didn't like that much was the moving away from the vibrant and rather cartoony look of the first games, giving the game a more realistic and somewhat gritty art style. It still fits the gameplay nicely though, so we can't complain that much, we guess.
The game doesn't take a powerful PC to run it properly, and if you managed to get The Settlers 6 to run well, you should be able to cope fine with this one as well. If you're planning on fighting your friends in the online mode though, make sure you've got a good processor (and of course a stable connection) so that you don't drag the entire game down and degrade the experience for others.
One thing that the newest Settlers has been criticized for, was the restrictive DRM system used. You'll need to have an Internet connection to authenticate yourself to the game's servers, even if you're only going to play offline – which made a very bad impression on us. Still, it's becoming more and more common, sadly – and if you think about it, who doesn't have access to the Internet nowadays anyway?
It's good to see a franchise get to its 8th installment without becoming repetitive and/or losing its quality – and we hope that the developers of The Settlers will continue to please us with such great titles in the future, too!