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The Settlers: New Allies Review – Is It Worth Playing?

The Settlers: New Allies (Credits: RockPaperShotgun)

The Settlers: New Allies is Ubisoft’s new RTS City Builder online multiplayer game. The Settlers is a video game series originally created by Volker Wertich. Multiple titles were released throughout the 90s until about 2016, when they created an action-adventure game based on The Settlers IP called Champions of Anteria. The first one was released on the Commodore Amiga in 1993.

Now, 30 years later, we have the Settlers’ new friends, which are described as a balance between building and combat through the lens of modern gameplay’ by Christian Hagedorn, the game’s creative director. It is released by Ubisoft Düsseldorf. This is essentially a relaunch, with a narrative-driven campaign and also an online play Skirmish mode with a maximum of eight players divided into three sides.

  • Release Date: 17 February 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Amazon Luna
  • Developer: Ubisoft Blue Byte, Ubisoft Düsseldorf
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Genres: Real-time strategy, City-building game
  • Mode: Multiplayer video game

Features Added After Feedback

After receiving a large amount of feedback and Improvement requests from the Fans and beta version players to create a better experience of The Settlers game, Ubisoft has implemented some main changes and additions before releasing it officially on 17 February 2023.

The following are some of the improvements made, as claimed by the Developers. 

  • Pacing for all game modes is improved for a more fluid gameplay experience. One of the most notable additions is the rush protection that was added to all multiplayer.
  • In the earlier phases of the game, more options are added to traverse the map, and you are now able to help your allies without losing the opportunity to defend your own territory buildings.
  • Ranches require wheat for production, and there are more uses for food in the game.
  • An upgraded save and load functionality and customizable key bindings are added.
  • Now there’s an option to invite friends to private PVP matches.

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The Settlers: New Allies Plot

The Settler: New Allies gives you soldiers to do your fighting and Engineers to do just about everything else, but there’s a third kind of unit that’s so important you won’t even control them directly. Carriers are your rank-and-file citizens, they have a constant presence in the world and make your settlements lively by bustling around and automatically doing various chores, but they’re not just for show. 

Engineers can build structures, examine mineral fields for mining discoveries, and expand your boundaries to offer you more room to flourish. They can also engage with sites such as destroyed mines and witch’s houses, which provide valuable resources for the initial player to reach there.

Your engineers may also construct decoys and defensive structures to shield your towns from attack, but they are vulnerable to attack unless accompanied by troops, who may also be hired from carriers. Each academy has protection and crafting research trees with the option to add a specialized administrative tree geared towards settlement defense, claiming and holding territory, or offensive power.

So if you’ve got the time and deep enough pockets, you may even want to build one of each. The Settlers: New Allies lets players pick between three factions, and the campaign’s 13 missions will give you a chance to see what all three are capable of. 

The story centers on the Alari affection of hardy crafters and builders out to find a new home after fleeing civil war, but you’ll also have a chance to play as their new allies, the nature-loving Maru and the battle-hardened Viking-like Yorn, each with their own perks and distinct units.


The Settlers: New Allies Character(Credits: GamesHub)

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The Settlers: New Allies Game Play

The Settlers: New Allies is beautiful on each map of the game. The land stretches into the distance, and the clouds open to reveal streams, mountainous ruins, grassy plains, and idyllic sandy beaches. Further wanderings with engineers and military personnel reveal even more magnificent vistas.

But again, the threat of destruction as the surprisingly fast pace of the game determines life in your fledgling colony and the difficulty of each round. This is a settler in an unknown land in the long-running franchise where previous games focused on their actions building the economy, training the population, and exploiting the natural landscape.

The new allies turn the tone on these city builders, sending players across various maps and tasked with building dense defenses and a stable army before considering the economy, food, or human needs. The new allies are both simple and complex compared to its predecessor.

No more thinking about food and a thriving money-based economy; instead, iron and coal reserves which can be found in underground deposits, are scattered across the map. These resources are directly used for enlisting common citizens in the military and allowing each civilization to build its strength and power, but your apparent dependence on these resources presents a whole new set of challenges.

The Settlers: New Allies is divided into several game modes. A large campaign with more than 10 hours of gameplay and several Skirmish modes where players go against online rivals or AI opponents, and no matter which one you choose, you’re tapping into the same basic idea where you are a ruler who wants to expand your civilization, build thriving cities, and protect your citizens as threats grow from all directions.

Skirmish mode allows you to free play in building cities is technically the main mode in The Settlers: New Allies. When you play the game, you usually start from scratch with Alari Maru or Jordan settlements, the only difference being their stylish buildings, unique fighters, and colors together with the new townspeople.


The Settlers: New Allies Gameplay (Credits: WayTooManyGames)

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You will start by building resources, gathering centers, sawmills, and quarries. These machines provide a unique resource that is returned to other buildings and transformed from one to another, eventually becoming a tool of the army.

Warriors, crossbowmen, spear throwers, berserkers, or similar warriors have the ultimate goal of building an army of buildings that do the hectic work of connecting your city with various roads. You build a logging Camp to produce wood which is for sawmills to make boards and planks, which are used to build houses and other buildings. Other townspeople dig for stones if there are mines nearby.

They may be lucky enough to collect coal, iron, gold, and gems as they all contribute to unique buildings. As long as you set up the upgrade process, planks go into building rocks from warehouses and training grounds.

They eventually make their way into upgrading your army through a long chain of city-building processes. The real challenge is gathering all the resources you need, and that’s why The Settlers: New Allies isn’t always generous in each encounter.

You will be randomly placed on the map. Sometimes you will be placed on a map with an ocean nearby; this makes it easy to build a gate, a structure that can be used to buy and sell resources as needed. Sometimes you’re far from water, and any attempt to establish a port is instantly thwarted by roving enemy forces who can quickly overwhelm your engineers if they roam the unclaimed land unprotected.

The Establishment effort is likely to be an acquired taste, but it generally evokes the warm, satisfying feelings you expect from a good RTS. The building is a reward in itself, as is a hard-won victory. It’s great fun watching your sims interact, grow stronger and eventually embark on missions of conquest across beautiful battlefields. It’s a joy to watch your little doll-like characters from across the land work together to destroy hordes of enemies.


The capture of Warehouse from The Settlers: New Allies (Credits: RockPaperShotgun)

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Environment and Border Safety

The Settlers: New Allies could be an incredibly rewarding experience. Thanks to the invisible and constant gameplay environment, it’s an exhilarating feeling to see your army flourish as you put each building on the production chain and to see your horde advance.

In part of climbing the right mountain to protect, develop, and prosper your city, the complexity of this flow requires considerable understanding, which is expertly laid out in a smooth tutorial mode and makes for a relaxing city-building game once you understand your true purpose. 

There is no way to significantly upgrade your settlement, and there are no additional settlement unlocks. Also, your warriors cannot be equipped with a large number of weapons. There are no catapults or primary weapons, only ground troops that must be masked to overcome enemy attacks. There are some light tactics involved, including avoiding enemy towers and building your own to protect your weak points.

The main strategy in The Settlers: New Allies is to outmaneuver your opponents rather than tactical combat. Victory is by no means easy, but it’s pretty simple: gather resources, build your army, and march across the battlefield. Victory comes from building cities and being able to make the most of Natural Resources.

But you can feel discouraged after going this far in the game campaign mode, which features a loose story driven by objectives. Gentle objective posts lead you through deadly battles and Wars. There is a story that drives the action and creates a sense of purpose that justifies the hustle and bustle of the game.


The Settlers: New Allies City (Credits: RockPaperShotgun)

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Micro-transactions In The Game

Interested players can spend money on The Settlers: New Allie’s items in real life, but they’re purely cosmetic, and it’s hard to understand why they’re being introduced. You can use the game’s credit currency to buy items, but they don’t provide any in-game benefits. You can also buy boosters that give you more shards that can be used to refresh the weekly and Community challenges of the game’s encounters.

Considering that the game is focused on single-player and multiplayer adventures and that these decorations don’t benefit the game in any way. It’s hard not to feel like these micro-transactions are gratuitous, not all games need to include live service elements, and The Settlers: New Alliance seems like a great example of that.

The overall gameplay experience would be even stronger if there was more focus on the New Allies campaign, which gives players a real sense of power and beautiful lands to explore. Seems like the game is confused about its identity. Is it a live game, or is it a tribute to the great RTS games of the past, are they colonists or smaller Empires?

Final Verdict

It’s fresh air to find a modern game like this with such a deep history built into the Snowdrop engine. The game has all the latest and greatest cross-progression and cross-play Technology. The Settlers: New Allie’s graphics are perfect for this type of title without the demanding cost of PC resources. As a matter of fact, this game was also released on consoles, so you can enjoy playing it with a controller too.

The building system is complex enough to keep you engaged and take pride in your layout but still keep the focus on the enemies roaming the map stylistically. The combat is similar, with a smaller variety of units and abilities without the loss of fun.

You might not like the territory-claiming mechanism very much. It feels a bit like training wheels. Having to use Engineers to make every tile buildable is kind of rough. Resources are easy to manage with the Boost system. Apparently, your workers love to work double time. Some resources need to be surveyed before you farm them. It’s not a huge deal, but it can be annoying sometimes.

Luckily, AI-powered civilian units will wield all your resources around the roads you build to help balance this out. The Settlers: New Allies comes with a very extensive Hands-On tutorial which is essential for these types of Games.

If you’re an RTS or city Builder veteran, you should have no issues figuring out the simple systems on your own. Remember to make a note that there is no way to restart the campaign from the beginning. The story itself isn’t too in-depth for it being an online game, but still, there’s a narrative to follow throughout your 10 hours of the campaign.

It being multiplayer is what really makes this game worth it. The campaign is just some long introductions to the factions. In multiplayer, you essentially have unlimited replayability in several different modes. You can queue with up to four friends versus casual or hardcore AI or with up to four friends versus other players online.

Both modes can be played in 1v1, 2v2, or 4v4 on up to 13 different maps offering different wind conditions. Five different Guilds of research, including crafting, protection, citizens, administration, and engineering, ensure you a variety of paths to victory.

This game is all about PVP. If you’re not huge into the PVP scene, the campaign might not justify spending the money to buy this game, but on the other side, the game is never the same when you’re queuing with friends.

Paving your way and tending to your pack, the lack of depth and character makes new allies feel like a messy experiment but worth the experience. 

Our Rating: ⭐ (3/5).

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I am a hardworking, motivated individual who loves to learn and take on new challenges. I am passionate about writing content and making a positive impact in the world. I am a strong believer in the power of collaboration and teamwork.

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