In this multi-part series, we put the new free-to-play strategy game, The Settlers Online, to the test. We break down the mechanics of the game and give you the chance to really get to know what the new Ubisoft title is all about.
The Adventure Begins – Building Our Kingdom from the Ground Up
We start our journey on a wonderful home island, surrounded by a green landscape. This zone belongs to us and cannot be attacked or even taken over by other players. It is your own little piece of land, so you have the time and quiet needed to start creating your Kingdom. Tutorial quests lead us nicely through the first level – a couple of clicks here, a couple of clicks there and your settlers are already on the move. Some head down to the fishery to bring in the catch, while geologists scope out the next spot to open a mine. It is immediately apparent that we have quite the economy on our hands, even if we just have a small settlement.
Starting at level 7, the first special building is available to us in the form of a Provisions House. This unique building offers special items and can only be built once during the entire game. For example, at the Provisions House, you can create food items that can boost the production of your settlers and reducing the time it takes to complete a task.
As time goes on, the population begins to grow in our cute little settlement. However, we have to keep up with the growing needs by building more houses and ways to feed the population. By building houses, you can raise the population limit of your kingdom and hire more settlers to get work done.
All buildings in The Settlers Online can be upgraded in order to produce more. More than anything, it is tied to the research and what we can do in our quaint town. The buildings also look different as they are upgraded – some even turn into a multi-level palace. With streets and decorations we spice up our empire. Perhaps a lantern here, maybe a flowerbed there and already our settlement looks quite nice!
A Call to Arms – Defeating the Enemies Around Us
After we sent our Explorer on just one mission, one thing was crystal clear: We are most definitely not alone on our island paradise. Bandits are around us and have made themselves comfortable in their camps. To get read of these resource thieves, we are going to need some weapons and troops. At the Barracks we can train various units for battle, then recruit new generals and head into battle. Some of the enemy camps have their own powerful leaders, like One-Eyed Bert. If we defeat these particularly tough camps, then all of the bandits in the surrounding area will pick up and move on as well, giving us complete control of the new region.