It’s been a solid 12 years since the last Settlers game. But not much longer. Ubisoft’s classic RTS franchise is getting a revival of sorts when a new iteration releases later this year.
Simply titled “The Settlers,” this upcoming RTS game will be the eighth game in the series (not including spin-offs). Beginning in 1993, the last game we saw was in 2010 with The Settlers 7. Details about the game aren’t terribly clear just yet. The franchise is traditionally more about city building and sustainable management than about the fast-paced reaction-time nature of more competitive RTS games. So we can likely expect it to maintain that trend.
The basic name implies a reboot or remake of the original game. With such a gap in their timeline, an entry point for new players would be a smart move, after all. But with the noncontinuous nature of the game’s lore, it’s hard to be sure.
So when CAN you expect to play the classic RTS revival? Officially, The Settlers will release on March 17, 2022 for PC. You might not need to wait that long, however. The game will have a closed beta test run as early as January 20. You can register for a chance to participate on Ubisoft’s website.
Now here’s the bad news, which comes in two parts.
First: It will only launch on the Ubisoft store or the Epic Games store. Those wanting the game on Steam will, at best, have to wait until the exclusivity period is over. That’s assuming there even is one, which is normally at least a year long.
Second: there appears to be microtransactions of some kind? When you go to pre-order the game, some incentives offered, both for standard and deluxe edition, include something called a One Day Shard Booster, defined by an asterisk as an “in-game soft currency,” it’s not exactly clear what role these play in the game. They do, however, activate the red flags of our minds as the standard practice for games that promote microtransactions. Whether these shards are used to speed up production, unlock special units or buildings, or are “cosmetic only,” it still indicates that the game is designed as a money squeezing machine more than as an enjoyable RTS experience. It’s enough to shift us from “excited” to “cautious,” to say the least.
Either way, The Settlers will release on March 17, 2022, on PC for $59.99.