Ubisoft and Blue Byte announced a reboot to The Settlers series of city building and strategy games back in 2018, but the project never materialized in 2020 as planned. Today, the company gave a fresh look at the reboot while also attaching a new launch date to it, and it's not that far off. The Settlers is hitting PC on March 17, more than 10 years after the previous entry. Catch the new gameplay trailer above.
Like the in the original games, The Settlers will have players claiming land, building cities, growing a medieval economy, and even fighting rivals. Both a story-driven campaign and multiplayer (both head-to-head and co-op) are included in the package. The title is being developed on the Snowdrop engine much like the upcoming Splinter Cell.
This time there are three factions to choose from: The Elari, the Maru, and the Jorn. Each faction has its own home biome, abilities, architecture, and military units. Developer Blue Byte is taking inspiration from The Settlers III and IV to expand on the game's economy and military development by adding Engineers. These are a new civilian unit that can be directly commanded to discover deposits, build structures, expand borders, and more instead of utilizing automated workers.
“It's not about changing, it's about evolving,” creative director Christian Hagedorn says. “Settlers III and IV had all of these specialists that used to do one task, but you needed to have 20 units for each of those. You needed to have 20 geologists, 20 pioneers, 20 robbers. We have put them all together into the Engineer, which has enabled the players to pay a lot more attention to what they can do.”
Maps will also feature Landmarks, a special kind of new locations such as mysterious ruins and caches spread across maps that can only be accessed by Engineers for gaining bonuses by trading in a set number of resources.
The combat side of things is getting major upgrades too. Blue Byte is including modern RTS elements like waypoints, group splitting, ambushing with chokepoints, siege elements, and more to unit management too. While combat won't be the main focus of the campaign, it sounds like Ubisoft wants the multiplayer side to be more action-packed and tactical.
The Settlers is coming to PC on March 17. The Ubisoft+ subscription is also providing access to the full experience at launch. A closed beta will be kicking off later this month, slated to run from January 20 to 24. Head here to sign up for that.