Ultimately not a bad game, just "too casual". Definitely enjoyable for many, especially younger players, gamers with lives or those who actually prefer the simplicity. For a hardcore reviewer like me, the gameplay is unfortunately just too simple, repetitive and unchallenging.
In the world of media, fans **** or a specific franchise can sometimes be more of a hindrance to it's success than the rest of us. I'm saddened to see some negative perspectives on this game. Myself, being new to the Settlers series, and this being the first Settlers game I've played, I was hugely impressed with the scope of Settlers 6. I've been playing PC games since the Ultima days and I can honestly say that I haven't been this addicted to a game since Ultima 7. Not that I'm comparing this to Ultima 7 but, my point is is that this is not just an RTS, or a city building game. In fact I don't really think you can pigeonhole this game.
To summarize. You have to gather resources before you can build anything, and you're free to control your hero and explore the map to find such resources (and sometimes treasure). Your settlers can harvest wood, stone, and iron. Your settlers can hunt game, fish, and raise livestock including sheep and cattle which, they can sheer and milk respectively. You can then process those materials accordingly, by setting up cheese or tailor shops. You can grow wheat and a baker can turn it into bread. Apiaries, taverns, etc. It's all these little details that, for me, separates Settlers 6 from most RTS or strategy games. It's a little bit Medieval simulator, with some action and exploration built in.
You can zoom right in watching your settlers as they work, and they will speak to you and give feedback as to their level of comfort. This is not one of those abstract empire building games where the UI is basically a board game played on your PC, against a computer AI. Settlers 6 is real time, and you can see your settlers up close, as well as interact with them. The maps and models are fully rendered, which allows you to not only zoom in, but also rotate the camera or your building models in any direction. People compare this game to Age of Empires, but graphically Settlers 6 looks like a modern game, whereas AoE III looks like a DOS game (with all due respect). Being that Settlers 6 is also less combat oriented, your units are only limited to 2 types, archers and swordsman, but, you also have your knight, who is on horseback, and you can build 4 types of siege engines.
Another couple of points I want to get out there. I've read some say that this specific installment is less complex than it's predecessors. I straight up disagree. After completing Settlers 6 I went on to try earlier versions and actually found them lacking in comparison. I think sometimes people confuse a less informative and cryptic UI as complexity. I've also played Settler 7 and I still feel Settlers 6 is the winner. Admittedly, missions can get repetitive, but the trick for me was to just take my time on each map, and build up my town and gain he highest rank possible with my knight before rushing to the objective.
Another happy note. The custom map missions come with a sandbox style map called "free settlement". A great way to enjoy the game once you've completed the campaign.
A lightweight, yet fun, title which should appeal to those who are new to the Strategy genre, or those that want a more relaxing experience. Its only major drawback is that its more of a sidestep than a revolution of the series.
Unfortunately, the creators of Rise of an Empire have managed to make a Settlers game so narrow in scope and so lacking in player control that it's only slightly more interactive than dropping fish flakes in with the Neon Tetras.
It's a surprisingly competent little city builder. It's the last game from the Settlers franchise I played chronologically, being extremely disappointed with the 5th one (what a wreck) and The Settlers 7. I have to say that Settlers 6 positively striked my conciousness after few games in a row. Although it's not the Settlers game I still wait for, it's a strong enough title to keep me interested in for more than a few custom games.
There's a lot to hate and criticise in Settlers 6: the overall art-direction, **** UI and camera movement, problems with structure placing and inability of your settlers to take care of themselves where you hit the greater amount of them and your town grows up to be a bigger city. The most glaring gameplay issue is the expansion and resource planning. Say goodbye to exploring the map and sending geologists into mountains. When you enter a new zone, you get all info on a plate - deers are here, fish are here, iron is here, stone is here. There's some cattle/ship. Build an outpost and get it all to your town. It surely spoils the game itself.
Although the production chains are simpler than in the classic Settlers before the 5th, your settlers have demands - more of them with each development level of your city and with each promotion of your knight (a hero that grants small bonuses and a different active skill). Overall, you have enough to build and oversee to keep you invested.
The military layer of the game lacks magic from Settlers 3-4, but in exchange you get siege equipment, torches which keep the things varied enough. It's not the Settlers 5's spam units or the AI will flood you and it's not the "click attack and see what happens" we got in the Settlers 7.
If you're looking for more classic Settlers, you won't find it here. But Settlers 6 are still decent enough on their own to grant you 20+ hours of entertainment.
Basically my first contact with the series and a rather unpleasant surprise. Unbelievably lame story and characters (so infantile) and the gameplay itself is kinda... after 10 missions I feel like i keep doing the same **** so I'm gonna drop this, this is a very weak 6/10.
There is no way but to compare as there are games of the same genre on the market and I was comparing it with the game of Anno series... Hands down, Anno is much better. The mechanics for development are not easy to follow, so you don't exactly know how many of each building you need to keep your town in balance; controls are fine, but I had to use a keyboard for moving around; the story is sort of meh. I haven't played Settlers series much before (tried one of the first very long time ago and didn't like it much) and wasn't much impressed this time. It's not bad, but not good enough for me to spend my time on it.
SummaryIn The Settlers: Rise of an Empire, the player builds lively, bustling towns in a medieval world. Each settler has his or her own daily routine, with a range of different actions and behaviors that can be observed by the player at all times. This enables the player to get the best out of the settlers, build up a flourishing economy, tend...