The Settlers: New Allies – Review
Follow Genre: city-building, real-time strategy
Developer: Ubisoft Blue Byte, Ubisoft Düsseldorf
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

The Settlers: New Allies – Review

Site Score
Good: Very pretty graphics, Easy to learn
Bad: Extremely slow with no fast forward mechanic, Very repetitive
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The Settlers: New Allies had an uneven road to travel from conception to release. First announced under the simple title of The Settlers in 2019, the game was postponed many times and received negative feedback during beta testing which led Ubisoft to continue working on it even longer. But now the game is finally here, and it’s also the first in the franchise that will release as a multi-platform title even if it’s currently only out on PC. Sadly, what we got is a pretty standard real-time strategy city-building game that doesn’t manage to draw in many people.


While some wouldn’t expect a lot of plot from a city builder, The Settlers: New Allies actually has a narrative-heavy campaign to play through. During this mode, you follow the three different factions of the game and learn more about them. The Elari is a group of people who fled their home country after a violent coup led to civil war and chaos. They land on a cluster of islands where they’ll have to try to rebuild their settlements and train an army to take their country back. Along the way, the Elari meet foes and friends alike, including the two other factions: the Maru and the Jorn. Each faction has slightly different lore (even if they play almost the same). The campaign guides you through the story with NPC dialogues and very pretty cutscenes between missions.


Visually, this game goes for a less realistic approach. The world of The Settlers: New Allies is genuinely gorgeous, popping with color, and full of beautiful nature. The maps are large enough to not bore quickly. If you play the game with the graphics settings turned up, you’re definitely in for a treat. There’s a stunning amount of detail in the animations too, making it fun to zoom in and watch your civilians go about their day traveling around and producing materials for you. The three factions have unique aesthetics which makes them distinct from each other and the game even offers additional cosmetics to purchase with real money or in-game currency for people looking to spruce up their settlement’s look even more.


As the more cartoonish graphics and simple gameplay (more about that later) might tell you, this title in The Settlers franchise offers a more relaxing and lighthearted experience. The soundtrack follows this trend since it’s full of upbeat tunes with string instruments and jolly beats. Only when you march into war can you hear the music get tenser. The game has all of the classic sound effects you’d expect from a city in full swing, from the sawmill working on wood to the ring of the pickaxe in the mines. There’s also good voice acting – both for the short, repeating sentences that encourage you when you perform specific actions and the actual character dialogues in the campaign.


The Settlers: New Allies combines city-building elements and real-time strategy, though it does both of these mechanics in a very simplistic manner. If you’re looking for complicated supply chains and advanced combat tactics, this isn’t the game for you. Rather, this one seems to be aimed at newcomers to the genre or younger players. In terms of game modes, there’s the campaign mode mentioned above. This mode guides you through thirteen missions with set objectives to hit so you can advance. The Skirmish mode is where you are placed on the map with one or several people (or AI if you don’t like online multiplayer) and fight to become the strongest faction. There’s also a tutorial mode and weekly challenges.

Whichever mode you play, the gameplay remains the same. You start with a few civilians and are put down on a map. From there, you begin to build your settlement. You mine ores and metals to produce everything from weapons to tools. You’ll also need wood to build more buildings. With engineers, you expand your borders by claiming land to build on. What’s curious is that the game does not require you to feed your colony. While you can make food, it’s only used to boost buildings and isn’t needed to survive. What you will need is an army, since the game has more focus on its military than ever before. There are only three different troops for you to train, and this means that strategically there are not a lot of nuances. As long as your army is bigger than the enemy, and you build a couple of towers for defense, you’re good to go.

Another lacking mechanic is research. While you can build guilds, there’s very little to unlock. You also can’t speed up the game or change difficulty in Skirmish mode, both these elements are pretty basic and we didn’t expect them to be omitted. The result is that The Settlers: New Allies feels like it’s not layered enough to be a good city-builder but also not fast-paced enough to make an interesting strategy game. Again: fun for beginners or for short bursts of time, but not for hours on end.


The Settlers: New Allies is a weird mixed bag of good ideas that never get a chance to be fully enjoyed. The result is nice enough but never feels like it delves as deep and leaves us sorely wanting. So while the game isn’t a bad experience, it just wouldn’t be our first choice when looking for something in this genre or even this franchise.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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The Settlers: New Allies - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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