I used to have the original Settlers on the Amiga many years ago. That game caused me to sit up until the early hours of the morning, then being totally knackered in work all day only to do it again that night. Years later I bought a half decent pc and invested in Settlers 3. The game looked gorgeous and seemed pretty similar, there were flaws for me though. You had control of some kind of wizard that could cast spells which could aid your soldiers in battle. I could never get the hang of this wizard and his spells and so every time I was attacked, I lost. This ruined it for me slightly and reading up on the next ones, they seemed to have their flaws, so I gave up on The Settlers games. That pc eventually broke and I didn't bother to replace it with anything decent enough to run these games.....until now. Having just bought a nice new pc I began to look at what pc games I've been missing over the last ten years. I thought back to the many hours of fun I had in front of The Settlers on the Amiga and wished for the same thing again and so I looked into The Settlers 2 (10th Anniversary).
Straight away you notice the graphics have been updated, now this seems a bit odd....why? Well you can zoom in and have a close up look at your Settlers which sounds great but in practice is totally useless and I've used that only a couple of times just out of interest. Yeah it looks pretty but does not add anything to the gameplay. I want to play zoomed out as it really is a game that you need to be able to take in large amounts of area to see how thngs are running. This is also a problem as now, unlike Settlers 1 & 3, you can't zoom out very far meaning you have to scroll around a hell of a lot more. This makes it hard to take everything in for me. Also, I actually prefered the graphics in Settlers 3, everything looked that bit more realistic and shiny. I have however got used to the new look now but it did take a bit.
This doesn't seem to be going well, until we get to the gameplay. It's just like the original game again, you can sit back, turn your brain off and enjoy creating your little villages and watch them grow. There are no wizards, so for combat now you just make sure you have a Smithy to make weapons, Brewery for beer, Mint for making gold coins and your army grows. It is still hugely satisfying when your border meets up with another races border. You click on their Watchtowers, select how many soldiers you want to send over and sit and watch them battle it out. If you win, it is still a very rewarding experience watching the enemies surrounding buildings implode and your border expand.
Although it is pretty simple, I've sat for hours since buying this, it is just as addictive as the original Settlers years ago. I've only just completed the 2nd mission so I've still plenty to do and I'm looking forward to it. If I could change anything for the better it would be to get rid of the new graphics and go back to Settlers 3, but other than that I love this game.