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3.2 out of 5 stars
Heritage of Kings: The Settlers - PC
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
Remember how the previous versions of Settlers had a big focus on resource gathering and expansion to the point of micro-management and by the time you reached the point where you had enough resources to amass an army it seemed like a moot point? I've played the original Settlers series for years and during long hours at LAN parties the game would end up crashing before we were able to have any meaningful battles. The Settlers series of 4 and prior was all about building yourself up and fighting seemed like an afterthought.

Enter Heritage of Kings: The Settlers. The resource gathering is still a primary focus, but it has been dumbed down just enough so that you can focus on what the purpose of the game is, to conquer. Where before you never got to that point in Settlers 1 thru 4, now you actually do experience battle and the game is more evenly paced.

I'll give you a perfect example: I haven't purchased the game yet. Why? Because I decided to download the demo and try it first. What ended up happening is I spent about 4 hours building my kingdom and amassing troops to conquer neighboring kingdoms. I went almost all the way through the technology tree as it is allowed in the demo (which is a step or two from the top) and I thoroughly enjoyed the game. My point is it's as captivating as Settlers 1 thru 4 was, but in a more balanced way. There's still fun to be had by playing the previous games, which is why you should own a copy of Settlers 4 and Heritage of Kings: The Settlers, so you can have the best of both worlds.

And no, I don't consider this game a sell-out. I consider it a welcome change. They focused on what needed to be fixed in order to give combat a chance in the game. Also, the kingdom you build is much more fleshed out and believable. I say why complain when Settlers 4 is about as good as you're going to get with the prior version. I think if they had released another game that played the same people would be even more upset. After all Settlers 4 is basically Settlers 3 Gold if you really consider the two side-by-side. What we have here with Heritage of Kings is a new game engine, beautiful 3D graphics, awesome combat and heroes with special abilities. Some say it's comparable to other strategy games, but I beg to differ. It's Settlers at its heart, just balanced for a more enjoyable experience. I find this game equally as enjoyable as any of the previous installments. Maybe more so since it's just a better game.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
In trying to upgrade and improve the Settlers series, the makers have taken away the very things that made the game stand out and in turn created a game much like everything else. Yes the graphics are greatly improved, a big change from the grainier looks of previous versions. But having already played many games like Age of Empires, I didn't want another game just like that.

Many people complain of the pokey nature of the settlers as they struggle to move the raw materials around the map. This is what made this game a great tactical treat. I could severely hamper an opponent not by attacking his army, but by striking at his production. By taking a few forts right in the middle of the path his settlers had to take to transport, say, coal from the coal mines to the weapon smith, I've now drastically affected how quickly he could create more soldiers. It also made things quite tense as I raced to finish a fort of my own, in which I'd heavily invested much raw materials, before the enemy could show up and knock the thing down. Nothing like waiting a long time for a large building to be constructed, sucking up much of your precious resources, only to have the enemy take just one of your forts and then trash everything around it, included your nearly completed building. All that time and materials, gone in a flash.

The new game has raw materials instantly "beamed" into your coffers. Yet despite this, it still takes forever to accumulate enough anything to really produce much. Money especially, a new item in the game, which is needed to create soldiers. Buildings now longer are constructed in that great view where first you see a wooden frame and then the finishing exterior goes up over it. Instead they just sort of rise up out of the ground in a cloud of dust. The game touted that you'd be able to rotate the view in a fully 3D world. You can, but you can't leave it that way. The view snaps back to the originally as soon as you let go of the rotate key.

I'm fairly disappointed with this new game, having considered The Settlers city a great find ever since the first, actually called Serf City. I still have the box and the 3.5" disks.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2005
This is a fun new game in the settlers series with some cool features like heroes, great graphics, and great use of weather in the story.

There are also some sadly missing great attributes of the settlers series that I hope they bring back in the next version. Missing are carriers, trails, and the complex economy where you start with some bricks tools and have to build up industries relying on different foods, etc. The real fun of the old series is in the building of the economy, bounded and measured by the famous carriers. The use of carriers made sure that you had to make good sensible cities or they would end up horribly inefficient.

The new game has fun things too. The heroes bring a lot to the game as they have some character and special abilities and handle a lot of the fighting and leading of fights. Weather is used in an amusing in fun way - you have access to an inventor who can create a weather machine which freezes the lakes and opens up new avenues of attack.

There no longer seems to be an on-line community to create maps that allow the game to be replayable. This is one of the biggest missing features. There is an online section that does not seem to be connected to anything.

Overall I like this game but I hope that the designers consider bringing back the old favorites for their loyal fanbase and mix them with the new great ideas. I would buy it again if they did.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2006
I've seen the reviews from others who played the previous games in the series, claiming this one isn't fun. They're full of it. It has the same basic elements, in a much easier, more fun to use interface that beginning gamers and old hands both can very easily grasp the concepts of and truly enjoy a strategy game right away, without the harsh learning curves. There's no overwhelming manual to read for three days beforehand.

The tutorial is built right into the game play to naturally and gradually ease you into the things you need to do to make your city work. Gradually may make it sound unexciting, also not true. The game opens with your village under attack, and after dispatching the enemies, you must begin to repair and rebuild, so it is definitely exciting and challenging without being overwhelming.

You are introduced to how to control the hero and all other game aspects as you need them in the game. The game gets progressively harder, making you use what you've learned to come up with tactics.

I've never been the hack and slash type even though I love city builders and rpgs. The fighting in this game is smooth, easy to control, usually with plenty of time to prepare. The heros add their own special abilities and personalities to the fighting. In the previous Settlers games, it was next to impossible to figure out how to easily move cannons around to where you needed them, they got hung up on terrain. I didn't have to spend an hour figuring out how to get trade centers to move needed tools from one settlement to another, as all resources were able to be used anywhere I chose to build. The efficiency was still required as your working people need their homes and farms near their place of work. They wouldn't walk half way across the map to find a bed. Frequent saves on harder levels before moving your troops out is a very good idea though.

I loved the combination of RPG elements of heros and storylines, with little things to discover on every single map. Improvements could be made in some areas in that we should be able to sandbox every scenario, there were many I completed the scenario before I finished exploring the maps. We should be able to continue playing the same map if we want to. Another area for improvement would have been goods for our people to buy that we had made. Who can live on food and housing alone? No one, people want *things*. Add a bit of that, and you'd have a powerhouse of a game.

As it stands, I would say this game is a must have for rpg, city building, AND strategy gamers, which is a unique combination that should appeal to many types of gamers. Give it a shot before you let the harsh critics turn you away, at least try the demo. I'm already looking for the expansion pack I just read on their site has come out. ;)
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2005
though it differs from its predacessors, to me this one was the most fun and visually stimulating. the graphics are incredable and stylized and the gameplay is no longer focused on minning gold, instead earning it. mines do have their place though. this plays more on real life though it is set in a fantasy world. workers pay taxes while giving you the neccessary commodities you need to build an empire and defend it. the upgradable society idea work wonders here as well. i love the idea that you can butild a college and research a technoplogy, instead of just building a number of buildings in a certain order, or just having your people know already and just needing the proper tools.

like i said,this is more like life. you need workers for their taxes and rescorces, they need a place to stay and food. you provide this and you win their services. using this money and rescorces you can build great empires and armies. each platoon has a leader and the number of their followers can be increased, as well as armor, sight, and weapons.

this is by far my fav of all the settlers series. i know you will love it, even if all you are interested in the eye candy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2010
Verified Purchase
I previously purchased The Settlers Rise of an Empire. My kids (13-21) and I absolutely loved this. So I thought I was purchasing an upgraded version of The Settlers. The animation of the game seemed so outdated compared to the earlier version. I was very disappointed and bored. There was no tutorial as in the Rise of an Empire, so it really takes some time to figure out how to play the game. Needless to say I was disappointed with the purchase and would not buy the game if I had known this. But you will most definitely enjoy Rise of an Empire. It will keep you busy for hours on end.

Karen/Florida
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on September 25, 2010
I was excited when this game came out. I thought it was a more advanced version of settlers 4. An improvement and update on an already great game series. I was wrong. Its got nice graphics for its time. But they dumbed the game down a lot making it kind of boring. Its no longer a true strategy game. Its more of a RPG/strategy combo. The empire building is really basic as is production. I expect strategy games to require some intelligence. This one is pretty simple, not what i expect from the 5th game in a series of strategy games.

I could even live with all the changes but they had to add insult to injury and remove the ability to use multiplayer maps as single player. I tend to favor large maps with several enemies to conquer. The single player maps are rather small, enemies are nearly on top of you and you are rushed to hurry up and build troops before they attack. This take away a lot for me as i like building up a true settlement and launching and repeling attacks on my enemy.

The map selection overall is very limited. maybe 8-10 maps available in single player mode plus the campaign which is more or less a bunch of mudane task that requires a bit of building and usually repeling an attack then your done. another 8-10 multiplayer maps that must be played in multi player or the village center and keep is left sit occupied but idle.

They took out a lot of the elements that made settlers great and though i havent played the next two games in the series yet, it looks like this is a path blue byte is going to continue down.

If you can pick up the gold version of this game for a few bucks you will probably consider it worth it. But i would only buy it if it was the gold version and only for $10 or less. The original version is severely lacking in content. Unless you like mudane campaign tasks
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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2005
...you will *not* like this one. There are three new features that are an improvement of sorts - first, the weather. The weather, particularly the snow, is cool. Second, the graphics. Significant improvement, although slighly flaky on my XP laptop - could be something to do with my graphics driver or whatever, but not great. Third, the tax / trading system is an improvement on previous attempts - simply mining gold was a little too easy. However, big changes - serfs instead of settlers. A hierarchy of settler types rather than settlers who were all equal and could do any job - not good, probably reflecting some right-wing leaning of a new game designer (I'm kidding, I'm kidding). The little paths that they used to make are gone. The donkeys from SIV are gone. Carriers are gone. Stuff just 'poof' appears. The sequential requirements - need iron and coal to make steel for tools needed to mine needed to make iron and coal and the frustration of cyclical requirements (which one could always get around, if one worked hard at it) - are all gone. Instead you have sequential 'inventions' and 'discoveries'. Game play has changed dramatically, now heavily focused on fighting, and not on settling. No more geologists. Holes are in the mountains, waiting for you to build mines. No more forestry, trees are always there (sort of...still not sure about this). Puzzles and storyboarding now dominates, rather than the free-roving nature of before. Can build anywhere, no borders.

In short, this is a different game. It's not an evolution of the Settlers cannon, but, rather, an Age of Empires clone. Another one. Sold yer soul, boys, sold yer soul.
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on October 3, 2008
Heritage of Kings is everything that Settlers: Rise of an Empire (the next in the series) should have been. After playing through RoaE I was left feeling the game would be an excellent one to use to introduce my kids to gaming, when I have them, but otherwise was very fluffy, cute, and forgettable. Especially since the multiplayer was severely underdeveloped, and the AI non-existent (single player non-campaign is sad).

Not so the Heritage of Kings. A much more complicated game (in a good way) with many more buildings and a larger variety of units and better use of the new heroes mechanic, the single player campaign was also larger and more fun because it actually used AI. The multiplayer looks to be more robust and I briefly tested out the single player non-campaign (random map) to see if it worked and it appeared to.

The one thing that would have made this game better for me would have been a little better writing in the plot, and a little less railroading me into doing stupid things in the game. Aside from that, great game, lots of fun.
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After wanting this game for ages, I finally found it used at a good price through amazon.com and bought it after playing the demo. The game itself is a very cool RTS, with nice graphics and lots of little goodies. The strategy plays a large role, especially considering changing seasons, where rivers freeze in the winter, allowing access to previously untouchable parts of nice sized maps. The heroes are great, each with different abilities and the military system is good, this is a great game for defensive turtles. Unfortunately, the process of building up a large colony and military is monotonous, the same steps and research are required map after map and the upgrades come slowly. This alone is the reason my copy has sat untouched for a couple of weeks, but I'm sure many people would love an RTS where rushing in the beginning isnt such a big issue, and economy is.
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