THE Settler: New Allies is a real-time strategy game developed by Blue Byte and published by Ubisoft. It is the latest instalment in the popular Settlers strategy franchise, which has been around since the early 1990s. If you’ve never had the chance to play a Settlers game, or a game of this genre before, buckle up as a wealth of experience is here to guide the way.
In The Settlers: New Allies, players take on the role of a settlement leader in a fantastical, medieval-inspired world. The goal of the game is to build a thriving settlement, explore the surrounding lands, and defend against enemies with strategy and tactical thinking playing a major part in the core mechanics. Players can choose from three factions, the Maru, Elari and Jorn, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses, to customize their gameplay experience.
The game is divided into two main modes: the Campaign and the Skirmish mode. The Campaign follows the journey of the your chosen faction as you try to unite the warring factions of the world. It’s nothing necessarily to rave home about, but offers enough to distinguish itself from its core gameplay with some decent story-telling. The Skirmish mode is the game’s multiplayer mode, and I’d argue the core game-mode, which allows players to compete against each other in online matches or against A.I.
Gameplay in The Settlers: New Allies is centered around resource management and settlement building. Players must gather resources such as wood, stone, and food to build and upgrade their settlements, as well as train and equip their armies. It’s very Age of Empires-esque in this way, but branches off into its own unique elements with the remainder of it’s gameplay. The game additionally features a complex economic system that allows players to trade resources with other settlements and factions, which can be crucial for gaining a strategic advantage.
One of the unique features of The Settlers: New Allies is the game’s focus on cooperation and alliances. Players can team up with other settlements and form alliances, which can provide strategic advantages and help to defend (or pose a threat) against common enemies. There’s nothing nicer than pairing up with the other struggling player to vastly overwhelm the lobby ‘bully’ who has been sending multiple mini-attacks against you as you came to grips with how much more fast-paced multiplayer games were. That’s right FalconLover – I’m talking about you.
Combat in the game is not as prominent as in other real-time strategy games, but it is still an important aspect of gameplay. Players must build and train armies to defend their settlements and attack enemy settlements. Combat in the game is strategic and requires players to make use of terrain and unit positioning to gain an advantage.
The game’s graphics genuinely beautiful, with immensely detailed environments and character models presented throughout. This is complimented even further by the consistent level of animation used, which really adds to the immersion of the experience. The game’s sound design is also excellent, with a memorable orchestral soundtrack that adds to the game’s atmosphere.
I’d say the biggest downside of the game is its steep learning curve. The game’s economic system and settlement building mechanics are very complex, and new players may find it overwhelming at first. It’s one of those games that I think will very quickly lose new players who aren’t willing to give it a good go, but to combat this he game does feature a comprehensive tutorial system, so it’ll just depend on withered or not you’re willing to genuinely take in all the information.
Overall, The Settlers: New Allies is an excellent addition to the Settlers franchise and a solid real-time strategy game in its own right. Its focus on cooperation and alliances, combined with its impressive attention to detail, make it a must-play for fans of the genre. If you’re looking for a challenging and immersive strategy game, it’s definitely worth checking out.