May 17, 2010

The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom

The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom is a sim-type game where you build up a kingdom set in the Renaissance period in a beautifully created middle European world with forests, meadows, rivers and mountains.

Features (as provided by GamersGate):

Enjoy deep and rich building & production systems encouraged by the classic Settlers gameplay
Create a kingdom with fortified towns and small villages where your Settlers produce goods for you.
Expand your realm village by village, sector by sector.
Optimize your creation by tuning production chains and transport systems.
Choose your path among 3 different ways to achieve victory:
Build strong armies and defeat your opponents by negating his military power.
Increase your influence in the monasteries to get access to the most attractive technologies.
Occupy the best trade routes to become the richest player on the map.
Play Settlers 7 Online
For the first time of the franchise history, play The Settlers online.
Enjoy a brand-new graphics engine
Let’s experience the beauty of your realm in an unseen level of detail.

My Thoughts:
To be honest, I have never played a “Settlers” game in this series before. However, I love this type of game, so I figured why not give this game series a shot?

After downloading it for probably around 3 days (I have a slow DSL internet connection), and then the long update of the game, I was finally able to start playing it. Was the long download and update worth it? I have to say that yes, it was.

I started with the Campaign mode where you get to play as Princess Zoe and take over a kingdom defeating enemies along the way. The tutorials in the campaign mode make this a great way to start playing because it teaches you how to play the game better than just jumping into another mode against other players.

Once up to the map of “Expanding an Empire” something called Victory Points are required to win the map. This is how the rest of the game is really played in other modes as well. These aren’t always easy to obtain, and it is advised to look at the options/requirements of getting them before just aimlessly building your city up.

Quickstart and Skirmish are other modes available where you aren’t playing in a storyline, you instead go up against AI and the goal is to get the most victory points (usually 6 or 7) first and win the map. You get coins for winning (used to buy game-store related upgrades), and sadly, nothing for losing.

I did not get a chance to play Empire or Multiplayer. Each time I tried, it wouldn’t set me up in a match with other real players or I’d somehow get frozen (probably due to slow internet).

While playing through the campaign, I was asked to take part in one of their surveys. At the time, I accidentally went to an old map and it reset my progress (talk about frustrating), so I let them know that happened, also that the intro was really long and wished that they would make it so we could just start the game without the long song. Well, perhaps they listened to their players because not long after that – both of these issues were fixed and/or changed! Big props to Ubisoft for coming through on those issues and listening to their players – not all games do that.

The graphics in this game are excellent. They are so good that I have to turn my settings down pretty far to be able to play without awful lag (the computer I play on isn’t even a year old). However, with some settings turned off, I can manage to play it pretty well on a medium-setting and still get very good graphics while playing. Before buying, make sure that your video card will work with this game.

You do have to have an internet connection to play this game as well. I found it a bit annoying because sometimes mine will just go off for a minute and it also disconnects me from the game server (or whatever they use), until the internet is back up. If they could somehow have an offline mode where you can just update your wins or something manually, that would be great.

Overall, I really did enjoy The Settlers 7 and played it for quite awhile. It is also a game that I will see myself wanting to play for quite awhile, even after finishing the campaign. Out of the different types of gameplay available in The Settlers 7, there is something for everyone – and everyone can of course play them all for endless hours of fun.

System Requirements:• Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
• Processor: 2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 / AMD XP 2600+ or better (Intel Core 2 Duo / AMD Athlon 64 X2 recommended)
• RAM: 2 GB (4 GB recommended)
• Video Card: 256 MB DirectX 9.0c-compliant, Shader 3.0-enabled video card (512 MB recommended)
• Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c-compliant sound card
• Hard Drive Space: 8 GB
• Peripherals Supported: Windows-compliant keyboard and mouse
• Internet Connection: Broadband Internet connection with 128 kbps upstream or faster
• Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:
• NVIDIA GeForce 7900 / 8 / 9 / GT / GTS / GTX series
• ATI Radeon X1900 / HD 2000 / HD 3000 / HD 4000 / HD 5000 series
• A permanent internet connection is required to play the game.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom, Ubisoft and Gamers Gate for providing me a digital copy of this game and allowing me to review it.


Anonymous said...

Looks cool. I would totally get it if I didn't have literally 20 games to play between my xbox, ps3, nintendo ds and computer. =p

But I'll def have to pick it up in the future!

Tracy said...

I will check on this at WalMart, do they sell it there? If so it would be perfect for my daughter's birthday too.