The Settlers New Allies is the eighth installment in the renowned yet slightly rusted franchise. The new game has a crucial mission to reboot the series and restore its former glory. Let’s summarize everything we know about the new take on The Settlers.
The Settlers series
Every strategy game fan has heard of The Settlers. The series, created by German developer Blue Byte Software, kicked off in 1993. Players fell in love with its entertaining combination of city building and real-time strategy. No wonder multiple sequels followed, making The Settlers one of the most widespread series of the 1990s. Unfortunately, over the past year, the franchise and the entire RTS genre have lost much of their popularity. Hence, since the release of The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom in 2010, we have welcomed only the poorly received browser game, The Settlers Online. Consequently, the new installment must regain the former fans of the series as well as introduce The Settlers to a younger generation of players.
A rocky road to the release
Ubisoft announced the Settlers reboot in 2018 and planned to release it the following year. The path leading to the premiere wasn’t an easy one. The game developed by Ubisoft Düsseldorf (Ubisoft acquired Blue Byte in 2001) has been delayed multiple times. First, Ubisoft moved the premiere to 2020. The next piece of information was published in July, and it definitely wasn’t the news everyone was counting on. Instead of the long-awaited installment of the classic series, players got a statement about the indefinite postponement. Those who had preordered the game could even get a refund, which wasn’t a positive sign.
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The game re-emerged in January 2022, with the release date set for March 17. We thought that everything was finally on the right track. Unluckily, we were wrong. Beta tests maintained between 20 and 24 January indicated that players were unhappy with the game. This sad observation has led to another indefinite delay. On the flip side, despite all these struggles, Ubisoft has shown determination to make Settlers an exciting experience and a worthy successor to the famous franchise.
In November 2022, the light appeared at the end of the tunnel. This time, Ubisoft announced the new and, we hope, final release date. The game is supposed to hit the shelves on February 17, 2023. Moreover, it has changed its title from The Settlers to The Settlers: New Allies. At first, it will be available on PC, while the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Amazon Luna versions of the game will be released later.
The Settlers: New Allies is set to keep all of its traditional elements, like real-time battles, resource management, and base building, while introducing fresh ideas that will make it stand out from other titles in the series. Longtime fans of the series should feel at home as the core of the game remains unchanged. You’ll start your adventure with only a few settlers and limited resources. During each mission, you’ll grow your town, fight enemies and make strategic decisions. For example, you’ll need to choose which research guilds to invest in. Two guilds (crafting and protection) are available right away, while three advanced guilds (engineering, citizens, and administration) can be unlocked.
Selectable factions are essential to every strategy game, and The Settlers: New Allies is no exception. The game features three playable nations: the Elari, the Jorn, and the Maru. Each offers unique visuals, backstory, units, and abilities. For instance, the Jorn can surprise opponents with a combat jump, while the Maru can use traps. Thus, playing each civilization requires a slightly different playstyle.
In the 13-mission single-player campaign, you’ll lead the Elari, who must head for some uncharted territories after being forced to abandon their homeland. If you’re not interested in the story, you can play skirmishes. In this mode, you will fight against AI or other players. You can also team up with your friends to join your forces and defeat the machine together.
In most games, you have to play online against others to find the most demanding challenges. Of course, The Settlers: New Allies offers multiplayer modes too. However, there’s also an offline mode that will mercilessly test your skills. In Hardcore mode (formerly known as Onslaught), you’ll have to compete against incredibly skilled AI and deal with obstacles that aren’t present in regular skirmishes. For instance, your opponent can start with advantages such as extra units or resources. Before every mission, you’ll determine which modifiers apply. The good news is that with the most difficult challenge comes the highest reward. You can also summon your friends to assist you in completing Hardcore missions