The Settlers IV
|The Settlers IV|
The Settlers IV (German: Die Siedler IV), known as The Settlers: Fourth Edition in North America, is a 2001 real-time strategy video game for Microsoft Windows developed and published by Blue Byte Software. It is the fourth game in The Settlers series. It began as a mini-game called "Smack a Thief", designed for advertisement and trailer purposes.
In The Settlers IV there are four races: the Mayans, the Vikings, the Romans, and the Dark Tribe. The game can be played via either single-player, playing against the computer, or against another human opponent, via multiplayer. It also features a "free settle" mode where players are free to build a civilization with no fear of attack.
The game was released on March 30, 2001, in Europe and on July 20, 2001, in North America. In 2009, it was ported by Gameloft to iOS devices, under the title The Settlers. Although the game utilizes touch controls, the gameplay, game mechanics and storyline are identical to the original The Settlers IV. In 2011, Gameloft ported the game to both Symbian and Android devices.
The Greatest God Him banishes the Dark God Morbus along with his partner Concora and his servants to the one place Morbus hates more than anywhere: The planet Earth, due to its green colour. Wishing to put an end to the green areas around Earth, Morbus develops seeds that putrify the land and establishes the Dark Tribe to wage a war on all humanity. The Romans work with the Vikings to resolve this problem, but the Mayans take advantage of the situation until they realise the need to unite with the other two civilisations to combat the greater evil.
The game maintains the core gamplay from the three previous games; the player must build a working economy to produce military units, and then go to war against enemies. Iron and coal are needed to produce weapons that are used to "recruit" soldiers from the pool of workers. This, in turn, requires mines and food production. All buildings require wood and stone to build, and all settlers need living space, which means a chain of infrastructure is required before armies may be produced.
The game contains three playable races; the Mayans, the Vikings, the Romans. Each race has three missions available. There is also a much longer campaign; "The Dark Tribe Campaign", where the player switches between the three main races from mission to mission and faces the threat of the mysterious Dark Tribe, who turn the land into a wasteland. Over the course of twelve missions, the player fights against pirates, renegades, and the Dark Tribe itself. In the end the Mayans, Vikings and Romans unite to defeat the Dark Tribe.
To destroy the Dark Tribe base, the player must destroy the fungus farms and the dark fortress at the heart of their camp. The fortress is protected by a toxic area, where any soldiers set foot upon it are instantly killed. To destroy the fortress, the player must first destroy the farms, using gardeners and a priest's spell, which turns the wasteland into green land again.
The game has also had several add-ons released:
- The Settlers IV Mission Pack; released March 22, 2002.
- Die Siedler IV: Die Neue Welt (The Settlers IV: The New World - German only); released November 28, 2002.
- Die Siedler IV: Große Feldzüge (The Settlers IV: Community Pack - German only); released November 20, 2003.
Both the original release of The Settlers IV and the 2009 remake received mainly positive reviews. On Metacritic, the Windows version holds an aggregate score of 74 out of 100, based on five reviews, and the iOS version holds a score of 73 out of 100, based on four reviews. On GameRankings, the Windows version holds a score of 70.59%, based on seventeen reviews, and the remake a score of 79.17%, based on six reviews.
GameSpot's Ron Dulin scored the original game 6.4 out of 10, criticizing it for being too similar to its predecessors; "The fact that the basic formula of The Settlers is fun makes it all the more frustrating that, four games later, little has been done to keep the formula fresh." He was also critical of the combat system; "combat is uninteresting because the only strategy available to you is making as many units as possible. It's never more complex than moving all of your units slowly through enemy territory, hoping you'll have some left after your opponent doesn't." IGN felt the same way, scoring the game 7 out of 10, and writing "Aside from some improved graphics and small additions, it's hard to tell this is really a new game." They were also critical of the AI and the battle system. They concluded that "even with the improved graphics and the addition of some new units and the Dark Tribe, the game just boils down into a repetitive jumble of micro-management that didn't have any really interesting catches or scenarios to keep me hooked." Mark Asher of Computer Gaming World gave the game 3 our of 5 stars and similarly noted the game offers no significant innovation and would be of interest only to the existing audience. Igromania's Andrey Vereshagin gave the game 8.5 out of 10, noting it as a big step forwards in all directions over the previous versions and praising the graphics, however noted the lack of gameplay innovation calling it "same old Settlers".
The 2009 remake received extremely positive reviews. Arron Hirst of 148Apps scored it 4 out of 5, writing "The game is both immersive and addicting, involving you as the player and requiring you to keep an eye on a virtual land, it's efficiency and survival. With great in-game graphics and audio, The Settlers is highly recommended." AppSpy's Andrew Nesvadba scored it 5 out of 5, writing "The Settlers is everything great about strategy games. It's easy enough to jump in and muck around while progressing, but ultimately there's a complex and amazingly detailed set of interactions for players to learn and play with." Pocket Gamer's Tracy Erickson scored it 8 out of 10, giving it a "Silver Award" and praising how the game had been ported and adapted for touchscreen, but criticizing the lack of "Freeplay" mode, multiplayer mode and some poor AI; "The Settlers wins the war with deep economic strategy gameplay, even though it loses the battle over an omitted skirmish mode and other minor issues." Slide to Play's Shawn Leonard scored the game 3 out of 4. He also praised Gameloft's implementation of the game for iDevices, but he too criticized the lack of online multiplayer; "Gameloft has again delivered a 'Gameloftian' style game that's refined in nearly every respect. They took a hardcore RTS game and made a faithful iPhone edition that only features a subtle nod to the casual crowd. Hopefully, The Settlers will see an update that'll make it less antisocial. Until then, it's just a good game flirting with the edge of extraordinary."
- "The Settlers (Fourth Edition)". GameSpy. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "The Settlers (iOS)". IGN. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Spence, Ewan (February 7, 2011). "Review: The Settlers HD". All About Symbian. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- McFerran, Damien (May 21, 2011). "The Settlers HD review". Know Your Mobile. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "The Dark Tribe". Settlers Maps. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "The Settlers IV: The Trojans and the Elixir of Power". IGN. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "The Settlers IV Mission Pack". IGN. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "Die Siedler IV: Die Neue Welt" (in German). Ubisoft. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Die Siedler IV: Community Pack Release Data". GameFAQs. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "The Settlers: Fourth Edition for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
- "The Settlers for iOS". GameRankings. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "The Settlers: Fourth Edition (PC)". Metacritic. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "The Settlers (iOS)". Metacritic. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Dulin, Ron (August 17, 2001). "Settlers IV Review". GameSpot. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "The Settlers: Fourth Edition (PC) Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
- "The Settlers: Fourth Edition Review". IGN. August 20, 2001. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Hirst, Arron (November 20, 2009). "The Settlers Review". 148Apps. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Nesvadba, Andrew (November 11, 2009). "The Settlers Review". AppSpy. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Erickson, Tracy (November 11, 2009). "The Settlers Review". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Leonard, Shawn (November 24, 2009). "The SettlersReview". Slide To Play. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Asher, Mark (November 2011). "Déjà Vu All Over Again". Computer Gaming World. Ziff Davis. 208: 96.
- Верещагин, Андрей (April 2001). "Igromania's Andrey Vereshagin - Settlers IV Review". Igromania (in Russian). Moscow: Igromania-M. 43: 56–57.