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Settlers 7 is a simulation game that on it's simplest settings guides you through growing and conquering several settlements with a focus on strategy. I first played it at a friends house and went online to look for it, however Ubisoft provides a very uninformative website, so I could not locate the specifications for the game and when I called to ask about them, got told it would not work on my system because I lacked T&L supported graphics. I decided to risk it and low and behold it worked fine, so much for customer service!
The game itself is a bit confusing at first, as there is little explanation over what the options on the main menu do, and on first load up it asks you to choose a character and 'pathway' which I still am unsure how it affects gameplay. Once you get into it however, it is a fun, fast paced game with lots of challenge when competing against the computer to complete mission boards. I have spent many happy hours playing the one-player mode and it really drags you in.
There are still some issue with it though, it needs a permanent internet connection due to the DRM. I personally am not a fan of DRM that requires an internet connection, and if I hadn't played it before, I would not have purchased it. There is limited support from Ubisoft when you run out of validations and when I have dealt with them I have been treated quite poorly by customer services.
Overall a great game that will keep you occupied for hours.
The has been a lot of criticism over the new settlers game due to the fact that this game is one of the many DRM protected games which every PC Gamer hates as it limits the number of times which you can install this game onto a PC system. But if you take no notice and look at the game as it is, it is a very enjoyable game to play.
The aim of the game in the main storyline is that you are a princess, whose father says you can't have his kingdom yet and become queen but try head to the region of Tandria and bring peace to its borders. So you have many different levels, all of which take place in different places in Tandria where you have to create an army to defeat the henchmen of the evil ruler of Tandria. In order to create an army you need to make a town, create resources like wheat, water, pigs ect...and gather all these resources to create army, hire monks and priests to find new technologies to help you through warfare. As you get further on in the game the aim to winning a mission is by obtaining victory points. This can be done by accomplishing certain things on the game map, things such as 'conquer this area' or 'complete this quest'. When you get a certain amount of victory points you win.
But you don't have to always play the game in this way. There are skirmishes you can play as well. They work very much in a similar way as a mission map, but you can choose where you start, your opponents, the difficulty of your opponents and the map which you want to play on. And the aim of winning a skirmish battle is by being the first player to obtain a certain amount of victory points.
This Game will entertain you for hours, it might eventually feel like your just doing the same thing over, and over again but, in every map you play on there is always going to have to be a change in how you make you strategy into winning.
There are only 2 real downsides to the game that I can think of.
1: DRM, you are limited to a certain amount of installs.
2: A constant internet connection is required to play. This means if Ubisoft Servers are down, you will be unable to play the game.
I'm going to now do a rating out of 10 for certain aspects of the game.
These days people are more into have the best, most realistic graphics. If you are one of those people who just want a game to look as good as the real world as possible, then you are going to be slightly disappointed. The game has very cartoony graphics, quite a lot different to the previous settlers games. Though, I myself quite like the look of cartoony games and the quality of the picture in-game is very good, just beautiful to look at and is very well made.
The game is very easy to learn. If you play through the campaign for the first few levels you can get a good grasp of how to play. If you are not into playing the campaign and just want to play the skirmish. The game shows quite clearly how to get certain resources and how to make certain things from the resources. Though what could be improved is the AI a little. You tell the game that you want to build something and sometimes you do have to wait for several minutes (longest I've had to wait is 12 mins) because resources don't get to the location of the building fast enough, even though I make a good network.
Price/Value for Money: 9/10
It's a great game, hours of fun and only for £13. A very good price for a very good game.
*This game can also be purchased as a digital download from certain websites for roughly the same price. So you can play it without having to wait for it coming through the post.
Thank You, hope this helped you.