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Settlers 2 (PC)

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Sequel to the classic Settlers game. Choose between 4 visually different cultures. Many new features include, better graphics, ship building, scouts, donkey breeders and geologists.

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      12.11.2011 12:42
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      A classic 90's retro title, well worth having another look at.

      Settlers 2 is a great idea for a strategy game and followed hot on the heels on the first game in the series. It puts you in charge of a race of settlers and it is then up to you to help them prosper and eventually dominate the map that they are on. Although this game was released in 1996, and the franchise has now moved onto Settlers 7, my opinion is that this particular incarnation is by far the best of the series, which has steadily gone downhill since then. I've still seen it available in some computer shops in bargain bins for a couple of quid, and is more readily available online through sites such as Ebay. The game still works on my Windows 7, by I do have to run it in compatibility mode. I had a few more issues a while back when I was running XP, but it works fine under emulation such as DosBox, so you should still be able to run this game on modern systems.

      The graphics of this game are very basic, however this does not detract from the game as it adds to the straightforward gameplay, without overcomplicating with fancy graphics. You start with just a headquarters, and then it is up to you to set up a community. The usual tried and tested aspects of a real time strategy game are all here, with resource collection being the name of the game, and initially it concentrates on wood and stone which is required for all buildings. In addition to this mining for resources such as gold are vital, as is producing food to feed the miners. Military buildings are used to increase the boundaries of your territory and later on, as bases to conduct military campaigns against your enemies. Further buildings can then be created, producing more soldiers, gold coins to promote the soldiers and even a donkey breeder to speed up transportation of goods. All in all it is very easy to get into this game, but very hard to turn it off!!

      I thought at the time that this first came out that the major downside to the game is the combat option. The only soldier you can create is just a basic swordsman and although it is possible to promote them through 5 different ranks, these are the only options available to you. You can also construct catapults that will pound enemy military buildings, killing a soldier inside with each direct hit. If the last soldier dies in a building, the building is either destroyed if being fired at by a catapult, or captured if attacked by the soldiers. To conduct an attack, you select your options of how many troops but then you have no control over the actual combat of the troops, which is a bit of a letdown. However I have changed my mind since the franchise continued and I've found it really is a case of be careful what you wish for as many people felt the same way, and this feedback was taken on board by the developers and so future versions of settlers (3-7) have provided different kinds of soldiers but these have really overcomplicated the game, taking away from the simplicity of the gameplay and so as a result its hard to be too critical on this matter.

      Sound quality is also slightly annoying after a while with the same dull tunes being repeated over and over again. There are some decent sound effects but this is not an adequate compensation. However again, it has to be remembered that the game is now 15 years old, and the sound capabilities of computers have moved on massively since this was released. My general rule of thumb when playing quality retro games is to find a good CD or get iTunes going in the background and turn the sound on the game off.

      Multiplayer options on this game are virtually non-existent however the single player campaign is more than adequate for most people, and again the same thing stands as with the sound quality, multiplayer games weren't the norm back then, with the Internet connection of the majority of people still being dial-up and therefore not capable of supporting online gaming.

      There are a couple of negative points to this game too, with any map needing shipping to carry resources around. The control of ships are very limited, you basically send them out and wait for them to find a beach to dock. When you've set up multiple islands, transferring of resources between the islands and especially troops can be very annoying, as there can be long delays between the need for a resource, and the ships deciding to carry them over. There is little to no control and this can slow everything down at critical times. Secondly, during some of the game you get little pop up messages if a new tribe, building or discovery has been made, and a few of these are in German! Not many, and the game was first developed in Germany and then translated into English, but its something which I would have hoped would have been thoroughly tested before release.

      So to sum this up, it is fair to say that the game has dated somewhat now, however it is still very playable and enjoyable, and well worth buying, especially as it is now available in many shops' bargain sections for just a few pounds. It is another perfect example, as many of the older games from the 90's are, of a game just working based upon being very playable, and not concentrating on graphics and cut scenes to the detriment of the actual game. It's the best game by far in the Settlers series, and well worth another go for those who have a copy covered in dust in the attic, and well worth having a look at for those who have never played the game.

      Thanks for reading this, and this review also appears on Ciao under my same username.

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        20.07.2003 01:41
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        I think I've had Settlers 2 for about six years now and i still play it all the time. In fact that is the only criticism I could think of for the whole game, maybe its too addictive. However over the years I've come to the conclusion this actually is the best game ever made. For those of you who don't know the game or Bluebytes' Settlers series, the concept is fairly simple in fact its in the name. You take on the role of a leader of little people called 'The Settlers'. You have two challenges managing a steady economy and fighting in battles. However the war control in the game is very different to other games of its type such as The Settlers 3 and 4. The soldiers are not controlled directly and real time battle tactics do not exist to the untrained eye. However after some playing of this game you realise it is the quick decisions and mathematical concept that actually applies. The most tactical building in the game: the catapult. As far as managing the economy goes this includes features not seen in other games too such as not letting roads become congested and placing flags correctly. However all this applies as well as the normal making food for them to get more work done (well more work done by the miners) and getting a flow of building materials etc. In summary despite the outdated VGA graphics this is a truly amazingly addictive game considering its age. It is the best game ever and if you haven't played it I recommend you buy it, I'm sure its quite cheap now! Oh i almsot forgot - the music's great!

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        17.06.2001 19:47
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        As anyone who knows me will tell you, I have quite a nostalgic streak. But I suppose, in our own little way, we all do to a lesser or greater extent. When it comes to games, there's only one thing I need to tell you – the older games are the best. Sure, there are some really good new games around, that amaze and enthral you, but in the end which ones do you come back to? That's right, for the most part, it'll be the classic games, the superb ones you used to play all those years ago. Think back 5 or so years – PC gaming was taking off bigtime, and people were flocking to the platform to enjoy its unique combination of quality games and practical utilities. Many people (me included) had migrated from similar platforms, or even, in some cases, the consoles. I missed a lot of my old games when I moved across from my previous computer of an Amiga, and it wasn't long before I was trying to relive my Amiga days in every way I possibly could – emulation, shareware, and, of course, new versions of old classics. One of my favourite games on the Amiga was 'The Settlers' by Blue Byte. I spent many an hour playing it against friends, it was so detailed that it could remain fun for years. So naturally, my move to the PC was accompanied by the purchase of it's sequel, Settlers II – Veni, Vidi, Vici. Settlers II was, at it's core, simply an enhanced version of the original Settlers. This was no bad thing – it added a few new features, and an enhanced interface, plus lovely SVGA graphics. However, I think it's important to look at the Settlers I/II game in general, so people who have never played it will have a good idea how it works… - The aim of the game When you look at the big picture, Settlers is a fairly straightforward strategy game. However, if you look closer, it's easy to see the intricacies it brings with it, and it's these subtle details that make the
        game what it is. It's a simple concept – you start out with a castle, and you have to build you community and expand your lands until you have eliminated all your enemies. How you went about this was an altogether more difficult matter. Basically, all your people started off in your castle, and you selected plots to build on, connecting them to the base by paths, with the junctions of paths marked by flags. These buildings were the foundations of your society, without them you could never be successful in the game. - Paths Paths formed the structure of your kingdom – if a settler had to get somewhere, he would need a path to do it. Paths were easy to create – click on the start flag/building and then select which direction you wanted it to go in, or simply click on the destination and the computer would work out the optimum route (sometimes!). As soon as the path was complete, one settler would stand on the path, so when goods had to be transported, the settler would move to the source, pick up the wood/food/etc. and carry it to the next flag, where it would be picked up by the next settler, and so on. It was an efficient system, and often fascinating just to watch the tiny people taking things from place to place. - The buildings Settlers was meant to reflect a working society in a kind of pseudo-medieval timeline. As such, all the buildings you needed to build had a functional usefulness. When you started the game, you had to build a Woodcutter and a Stonemason to harvest resources for you. You may even have had to build a Forester, to plant trees for you to cut down later. So, you'd click on a location inside your territory, and select the relevant building from the list. After connecting a path to another path, or to the castle, little people would start pouring our of the castle to get to work. The first might be a leveller – to level the ground the building would sit on. Then the builder w
        ould come along, pick up some wood that had been piled at the front door, and start putting the building together. And over time you would see it progress until it was completed, at which point the relevant tradesperson would come and occupy the building and get to work. - Resource management and economy The great thing about Settlers was the detail in the society. Each building had a function, supplying some need. For example, a grain farm would supply the windmill with grain, which would be ground for the baker, who would make bread from it when combined with other things. The bread would then feed your people. The mines would supply smelters and smiths to create tools and weapons. It was all a very delicate balance, and it was have the battle trying to ensure all the tradespeople got what they needed quick enough to support a healthy production line. But then this was the fun of it all - Expansion The boundaries of your kingdom were marked by a set of flags in the ground – you can only build and live inside of these boundaries. Of course, it wasn't long before you needed to break out of the boundaries of your kingdom and expand. There were two ways to go about this – either peacefully push forward your boundaries by building military building on the border, or fight, fight, fight! You could only attack an enemys building near his border, when your border met his. This made a lot of sense – you're hardly going to be able to march straight through enemy territory unnoticed now are you? You succeeded in taking a stronghold when all the enemy soldiers in it were killed – battles depended on the status of your soldier. You could improve soldiers through training, giving them gold, and in Settlers II giving them beer! The fights were simplistic but tense, and you were desperate to see whether you won or not. - Multiplayer One of the best things about Settlers was the multiplayer
        mode – you could plug in two mice in and it would split the screen, allowing you to both play at the same time. This was great fun, you could discuss what you were doing, and what each others kingdom develop, before destroying the enemy. Or you could play against each other, which was less fun. - What's new in Settlers II? There were many new features in Settlers II. You could take to the oceans and cross seas (although I never got this to work properly). Heavily used paths were provided with donkeys to help the settlers on the path. The graphics looked superb, in SVGA, although the new midi version of the classic theme tune wasn't anywhere near as good. You could play as different races, which all had their own different sets of graphics – looking very nice indeed. There was also a storyline to the single player mode, which made all the difference. The game generally played nicer and looked nicer. So, what would I improve about Settlers? Well, I've played Settlers III, and I prefer the small graphics of Settlers II personally. All I would as for is a Net and/or LAN option for Settlers II and I would be happy. It is a great game I still play now, and I just wish the two player mode would work better on my PC (two mice doesn't work all that well on the PC). Overall, a thoroughly great game, making the most of that all important gameplay factor. Wonderful.

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          17.06.2001 08:54
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          What can I say? The whole Settlers series is amazing, addictive, original, fun, exciting, the list goes on! Allow me to introduce you to The Settlers series first. The Settlers is a challenge to see how strategic you are in battle, how you can save resources and use them effectively and how you can make a whole settlement out of a few basic materials. Most of the time the object of the game is to trash your opposition by building the strongest possible army of knights and slaughtering your enemy! Cool or what? Let me explain how ou do this... Inside The Game =============== You and other various tribes are set to work on an island. You must use the resources around you such as wood, water, fish, stone, gold, iron, coal etc to improve your settlement. You do this by constructing buildings that will help turn these resources into other materials and therefore, useful products such as swords and shields. You must carefully plan out your settlement to prevent blockages. Blockages are BAD! Think about when you go to the toilet and do a super heapy and it won't go down, that's bad right? Well this is WORSE than that (but I'm telling you now, its not as bad as my super heapy's, wait a sec, what the hell am I saying?!). Anyways, it can considerably cut production and nothing will be built! To defeat your enemies you need to build an army of knights. I love the way its so simple to carry out tasks such as mining for gold to pay your knights so they will train and yet its still so addictive even though you do the same tasks time after time! You can even build large ships to settle on other islands. Features ======== The game includes over 30 different buildings to construct with around 8 variations of each building (and this is only Settlers 2, go take a look at Settlers 4!). There are also 2 different game modes which include: Campaign, where you do set missio
          ns starting from low difficulty up to impossible and Free Game, where you set the conditions for the game. The game is getting older now and even though the graphics are great they are nothing compared to The Settlers 4. But I have to say that its still awesome watching thousands of little people all doing individual tasks on the screen (just one question, when do they take time out for a turd? What is it with me and turd, I'm going crazy!). There are many different jobs that are automatically assigned to your settlers as soon as you start building. Infact there is over 20 different jobs from carriers to shipyard construction people. The developers really have spent a lot of time over the small details of the game. For example, the woodcutter walks out into the forest and chops down a tree with his axe. Then he cuts it up and carries it to the Sawmill! That's only one little person doing one little fully detailed task. Imagine a screen full of literally hundreds of little people doing little tasks, its amazing! Back to the game ================ The game is all about strategy and planning. You have to plan your settlement carefully to move resources as quickly as possible. I mean, you wouldn't build a pig farm at the bottom of the map and then build a butchers 1000 settlers long away from it would you? No, that would be silly. You must control trade routes. If you don't you will undoubtedly lose. Summary ======= This is the second in a line of 4 different Settlers games. I really can't say which one is the best, I own all four games and I love them all! The graphics on the first Settlers are turd (maybe its some sort of natural instinct for me to say turd, maybe it has inner meaning?) but I still love the 'classic' style. The Settlers 2 has great graphics and still includes some of the old classic feel that takes me back to the good old days of the spectrum and Amiga. This g
          ame is a megahit in my book. Its suitable for everyone, so addictive you won't be able to stop playing and because its an older game now the price is right! Well, I think I'm going to go to the toilet now and have a...you know...I'm not saying it...I refuse...no, its coming, its gonna slip out, I cant control it! ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!

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          • More +
            12.03.2001 20:44
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            As anyone who knows me will tell you, I have quite a nostalgic streak. But I suppose, in our own little way, we all do to a lesser or greater extent. When it comes to games, there's only one thing I need to tell you – the older games are the best. Sure, there are some really good new games around, that amaze and enthral you, but in the end which ones do you come back to? That's right, for the most part, it'll be the classic games, the superb ones you used to play all those years ago. Think back 5 or so years – PC gaming was taking off bigtime, and people were flocking to the platform to enjoy its unique combination of quality games and practical utilities. Many people (me included) had migrated from similar platforms, or even, in some cases, the consoles. I missed a lot of my old games when I moved across from my previous computer of an Amiga, and it wasn't long before I was trying to relive my Amiga days in every way I possibly could – emulation, shareware, and, of course, new versions of old classics. One of my favourite games on the Amiga was 'The Settlers' by Blue Byte. I spent many an hour playing it against friends, it was so detailed that it could remain fun for years. So naturally, my move to the PC was accompanied by the purchase of it's sequel, Settlers II – Veni, Vidi, Vici. Settlers II was, at it's core, simply an enhanced version of the original Settlers. This was no bad thing – it added a few new features, and an enhanced interface, plus lovely SVGA graphics. However, I think it's important to look at the Settlers I/II game in general, so people who have never played it will have a good idea how it works… - The aim of the game When you look at the big picture, Settlers is a fairly straightforward strategy game. However, if you look closer, it's easy to see the intricacies it brings with it, and it's these subtle details that make the game
            what it is. It's a simple concept – you start out with a castle, and you have to build you community and expand your lands until you have eliminated all your enemies. How you went about this was an altogether more difficult matter. Basically, all your people started off in your castle, and you selected plots to build on, connecting them to the base by paths, with the junctions of paths marked by flags. These buildings were the foundations of your society, without them you could never be successful in the game. - Paths Paths formed the structure of your kingdom – if a settler had to get somewhere, he would need a path to do it. Paths were easy to create – click on the start flag/building and then select which direction you wanted it to go in, or simply click on the destination and the computer would work out the optimum route (sometimes!). As soon as the path was complete, one settler would stand on the path, so when goods had to be transported, the settler would move to the source, pick up the wood/food/etc. and carry it to the next flag, where it would be picked up by the next settler, and so on. It was an efficient system, and often fascinating just to watch the tiny people taking things from place to place. - The buildings Settlers was meant to reflect a working society in a kind of pseudo-medieval timeline. As such, all the buildings you needed to build had a functional usefulness. When you started the game, you had to build a Woodcutter and a Stonemason to harvest resources for you. You may even have had to build a Forester, to plant trees for you to cut down later. So, you'd click on a location inside your territory, and select the relevant building from the list. After connecting a path to another path, or to the castle, little people would start pouring our of the castle to get to work. The first might be a leveller – to level the ground the building would sit on. Then the builder would com
            e along, pick up some wood that had been piled at the front door, and start putting the building together. And over time you would see it progress until it was completed, at which point the relevant tradesperson would come and occupy the building and get to work. - Resource management and economy The great thing about Settlers was the detail in the society. Each building had a function, supplying some need. For example, a grain farm would supply the windmill with grain, which would be ground for the baker, who would make bread from it when combined with other things. The bread would then feed your people. The mines would supply smelters and smiths to create tools and weapons. It was all a very delicate balance, and it was have the battle trying to ensure all the tradespeople got what they needed quick enough to support a healthy production line. But then this was the fun of it all - Expansion The boundaries of your kingdom were marked by a set of flags in the ground – you can only build and live inside of these boundaries. Of course, it wasn't long before you needed to break out of the boundaries of your kingdom and expand. There were two ways to go about this – either peacefully push forward your boundaries by building military building on the border, or fight, fight, fight! You could only attack an enemys building near his border, when your border met his. This made a lot of sense – you're hardly going to be able to march straight through enemy territory unnoticed now are you? You succeeded in taking a stronghold when all the enemy soldiers in it were killed – battles depended on the status of your soldier. You could improve soldiers through training, giving them gold, and in Settlers II giving them beer! The fights were simplistic but tense, and you were desperate to see whether you won or not. - Multiplayer One of the best things about Settlers was the multiplayer mode –
            you could plug in two mice in and it would split the screen, allowing you to both play at the same time. This was great fun, you could discuss what you were doing, and what each others kingdom develop, before destroying the enemy. Or you could play against each other, which was less fun. - What's new in Settlers II? There were many new features in Settlers II. You could take to the oceans and cross seas (although I never got this to work properly). Heavily used paths were provided with donkeys to help the settlers on the path. The graphics looked superb, in SVGA, although the new midi version of the classic theme tune wasn't anywhere near as good. You could play as different races, which all had their own different sets of graphics – looking very nice indeed. There was also a storyline to the single player mode, which made all the difference. The game generally played nicer and looked nicer. So, what would I improve about Settlers? Well, I've played Settlers III, and I prefer the small graphics of Settlers II personally. All I would as for is a Net and/or LAN option for Settlers II and I would be happy. It is a great game I still play now, and I just wish the two player mode would work better on my PC (two mice doesn't work all that well on the PC). Overall, a thoroughly great game, making the most of that all important gameplay factor. Wonderful.

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