The Settlers Game Evolution
Settlers is a PC strategy game, the objective is to build up your race and then attack any opposing enemies. You begin with Guard towers which gain you territory and some woodcutters, stonecutters etc. As you start developing weapons and soldiers you may come under attack by enemy forces and you need to prevent your guard towers from being taken over.
The Settlers 3
In this game you have three races the Romans, Egyptians and the Asians. You can either choose to do the campaign or some single player scenarios. Each game is pretty much the same however the amount of enemies / allies varies and the tools and resources available also vary. By doing campaign missions you are forced to create a more advanced race using more buildings and different types of buildings. For example building a castle or making a balista.
The fighting in the game is pretty terrible as the soldiers perform only one movement, however as this is mainly a strategy game you don't expect amazing fight scenes. The most important part of settlers 3 is your soldiers, you can produce three different types:
In order to get them stronger you must produce vast amounts of gold to increase all soldiers base strength and you can also promote your soldiers through priests.
The Settlers 4
Settlers 4 is basically settlers 3 with new races and improved graphics. You can now play as Mayans, Romans or Vikings and there is a new enemy known as the dark tribe. They have no real buildings and their territory is marked by the ruins on the ground. In campaign you use all three races to battle the dark tribe who have soldiers that are produced from nothing and so if you wait too long to attack you will be easily defeated. They also have priests that will convert your workers into their slaves, this can be frustrating as they can convert your weaponsmith worker or toolsmith worker which can sometimes mean the end of the game.
The Settlers 5, Heritage Of Kings
This saw the first change to the settlers games with a more age of empires kind of feel to it. In this game guard towers are no longer used to gain more territory and you can no longer produce obscene amounts of soldiers. The objective remains the same as always but now you get better buildings and you start to see a more evolved game then in the previous settlers. You now have to build a university which can conduct research to enable the production of new buildings and better weapons.
The battling has changed now with new soldiers to choose from and a single castle as your stronghold (lose this lose the game). Captains are trained at the barracks and are given from 3 to 5 additional soldiers to follow him. The reason you can't have too many soldiers is that you need to pay your captains, money comes from taxes but you will lose settlers if you charge too much. A new addition is guard towers that can be upgraded to shoot cannons and smaller cannons that can be selected along with soldiers.
The story also changes so that the campaign does't give the player a choice of who to be, instead it follows a single story. A new addition now are heroes you are more powerful soldiers to aid in battle. Heroes have special abilities that can be used to give the upper hand in a battle but the enemy heroes also have this.
Settlers 5 Gameplay
The Settlers 6, Rise of an Empire
Settlers 6 has the kind of gameplay like 5 but with improved features. A great addition is the creation of a wall around your settlement. The new features now are that as your city gets more developed the settlers will want more than just food and shelter. You need to produce better clothing, run festivals in the center of town, create roads to allow faster travel and improve their overall quality of living. Other than this the game itself is very similar to settlers 5.
The campaign is again following one story and you have no choice over the race. You can choose which hero you will take into to battle with you.
Settlers 6 Gameplay
The Settlers 7, Paths to a Kingdom
This is were the game begins to go downhill as they remove most of the fighting and replace with more development in your city. The goal is now to develop your city and keep your citizens happy with festivals and better housing. You need soldiers to protect your city from Viking attacks were they will attempt to steal your women. You now can choose from 3 different ways to achieve victory, this can be done through military efforts, science and trade. Conquering enemies is done by either building a massive army or by use of priests. The computer enemies are said to have been greatly improved in this one as they all have different kinds of behavior. Before a computer was just medium or hard and had no real thoughts of it's own. With this game you get the enemy with good military, good trading or good science. They also have different levels of aggression. With 12 different enemies to choose from it should prove more entertaining than previous games.
The campaign proves more of a development than a conquering campaign, so if your looking for a game mostly on attacking I would opt for settlers 5 or below.