The Settlers Online
- Release Date: 2010
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Developer: Ubisoft
- Genre: Strategy
Note: Ubisoft has officially named The Settlers Online as Castle Empire Online, which is nothing but the German version of Die Siedler Online.
Let’s turn the hands of the clock back into the opening years of the Renaissance when the mid-Europe is just awakening stretching its arms from a long sleep. Somewhere in this world, vast virgin lands spread out with Nature-bestowed thick forest, great mountains, productive grassland, and fertile plain with dimpling rivers meandering through. There are not many settlers here yet, visionaries have already foreseen the futuristic empire hustling and hustling with life, though. You can turn that vista into reality in The Settlers Online.
The Settlers Online is a free-to-play, browser-based, strategy MMO centering on the theme of empire building. As the web version of the pervasive PC game The Settlers of the Ubisoft, The Settlers Online is of more convenience for those who love online strategy warfare game yet loathe requirements on computer configuration or subscription fee. And now, players can just access to it through browsers, enter the delightful game world with refreshing and nostalgic graphic style, and enjoy the gameplay to heart’s content.
As the proverb goes, Rome is not built in a day. To construct the great empire, players have to start from taking care of the unexploited lands and build first settlement, providing the shelter to local people. On the small patches of undeveloped lands, players can set about sketching layout for their ideal villages. Taking various factors such as terrain and building functions into consideration, players can build different styles of architecture in the most suitable location, so as to attract more population to settle down.
With increasing settlers, players can further to develop production streamline for more resources and gradually turn villages into thriving cities. As economy grows, players should also consider developing military units, which is indispensable in defense and offense. Army serves its primary duty to safeguard its own village or city from harassment of intruders, whereas it can also be sent out to attack other cities for resources. Given the existence of potential military conflicts, alliance can be formed to strengthen each member’s forces. Besides, as the game proceeds, players also have chance to win important role in guilds, which will bring about honor, fame and treasure.
Isn’t it delightful to see a small village gradually evolve into a great empire under your excellent governance? Isn’t it wonderful to see your dream come true? Then waste no time and start with piling up the first wall.
Review: The Settlers Online
Almost a year has passed since the official release of The Settlers Online and we take this opportunity to have a closer look at the game.
Two years ago, Ubisoft announced that they were working on a browser version based on the classic game The Settlers. One year later, the developers officially published the game. Since then, the game has changed a lot, which is why we think it necessary to take a closer look at the developments and to find out whether the browser version will be fun to play.
Build, build, and build little houses!
In The Settlers Online, you will get your own island, which is divided into different sectors and most of them are still unexplored at the beginning of the game. You have only one building from the get-go, which is the town hall that also functions as a warehouse. And to create a flourishing settlement, you can start with the construction of the first fundamental building.
With lots of buildings to construct, you need more building materials than just lumber. You have to produce raw materials such as stone, copper and coal by dispatching geologists to prospect for the materials.
Over time, you would have a small thriving settlement, which mainly consists of residential buildings that work to increase the production of your settlers. Roads are only for decoration, in contrast to its predecessors and counterparts; goods are collected across country. You have to make a clever use of the space. It is possible to send a scout to explore the surrounding unexplored sectors that are still covered by clouds. Unfortunately, the bandits would capture some areas and you have to retreat before you are able to take them back. Therefore, you have to separate barracks and weapons production manufactures to keep your troop working even when you lose part of your territory.
More room for everyone!
The number of buildings on the island kind of tells how developed it is. Nevertheless, that number is limited by the building permits you have at hand. Although you can obtain them by spending the premium currency, you still have to expand and develop your city as much as you can to get more permits. The same applies to the number of available settlers: every building needs workers who in turn require accommodations. The same is true to the soldiers hired in the barracks. If you already employed all the settlers you have, you must build new residential houses to invite more people, which in turn require more building permits. That adds variety and calls for some planning in advance.
After completing missions and defeating robbers, players will get experience points and enough experience points would lead to your upgrades, which bring small rewards and access to new buildings. At level 18, for example, you unlock the iron mine, which allows you to produce iron swords and then recruit militias. That’s encouraging and it keeps you in good spirits, especially when the opponents always have better and advanced troops.
Intense attention to details
The game boasts great and beautifully designed graphics that you would crave for more even at the first glimpse. In The Settlers Online you can zoom in from different angles. For example, you can have a bird’s view of the whole island and then come right down to the buildings. Actually, zoom in as much as it is allowed and you will be able to notice many details in beautiful animation. If you go around the place, you would see animals roaming in the woods, lumberjacks chopping trees and smoke blowing off the chimneys. All those make it really entertaining and relaxing. What are missing from the game, however, are the hard-working porters who bring the goods produced in the camp for their new destination.
The details have a price though: computers with poor performance can sometimes be a little overwhelmed. Also, there might be breakdowns occasionally but since the developers improved the game considerably in recent months you can now enjoy the graphics on computers significantly weaker.
The gameplay of Settlers has always been based on the production chains of various commodities. The browser spin-off is no exception: you can brew beer with wheat and water, treat the soldiers at the barracks and then provide weapons to train the soldiers. However, gold ore is processed into bars using coal, which is subsequently used to manufacture currency. All production steps are logically connected and are easy to follow. Some goods can be further refined later in the game. For instance, players of higher levels can produce steel and steel swords, which are much better that the copper ones. Sadly, the lack of transportation and roads makes it different from a real production chain.
Everything has an end
Almost all the resources in the game are available only to a limited extent, the farm is harvestable at specified intervals, the well dries up and the mine might be exhausted. You will not have enough materials for your estates because many buildings need to be rebuilt. You might need to plant crops in new farms and dig some new wells once in a while. And when it comes to ore, you would have to send a geologist to prospect for it, which will take some time. Those who would not want to wait that long can spend a bit of premium currency. Besides, it is also possible to produce useful items in the food stores: fish stocks can be increased if you add the required food, which is made from bread.
Should you still be missing certain products, you can check the market for good deals. The game now allows players to exchange their extra goods with teammates. You can decide what and how much to exchange for goods you want.
Long-term motivation and outlook
Those who look for new challenges might as well try missions that give a time-limited access to another island. In that case, you must obtain all the extra rewards and experience points. But since all the quests all revolve around combat missions and you always have to wait until the troop strength is replenished, you can easily get bored.
Thankfully, the developers know about that problem and they try to keep the players with assorted events, ranging from Halloween Special, Easter egg hunting to Championship Event, where defeating an opposing army on a football-type card is at the center. In addition, Blue Byte and Ubisoft have announced that the game will be expanded to include other functions and will offer a PvP mode sometime. That means you will be allowed to compete against your friends and their armies. The developers didn’t provide details on that front, but it’s still nice to see that they spare no efforts to further enhance the game.
The Settlers Online proves to be a very good implementation of the classic game. It’s fun just to enlarge one’s estate, develop new products and explore the island. But once you have conquered all, boredom arises. To make up for that, the developers keep coming up with imaginative events and updates to entertain players, which alone deserves some praise.
Make sure that your colonists always have enough raw materials and products available. You can improve your work force for your settlers, leaving them for all my devotion to your cause.
To increase your settlement, you must explore the surroundings and discover new areas where you’ll find not only valuable natural resources, but also you must push you to defend your settlement and. Are you ready to take good care of your people and increase your influence?
Together with your friends, you will feel much better to share fun with each other. Various options allow players to exchange items in the settlers world. Trade with other players in the buddy list and chat with them in the built-in chat.
Compete with your friends and experience the exciting adventures in the world of the settlers. Explore new islands and save your kingdom from the dangers.
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