The Settlers: Rise of an Empire - First Look

In dry Northern Africa, where farming and cattle are less viable career choices, we saw bandits steal a water cart, and sent one of six possible hero characters - imagine knights, each with a unique power like entertaining people, healing people or maybe hacking them up - to fight them off and get it back. Meanwhile, lions hunted zebras, but could have attacked us.

Then in Southern Europe, we witnessed a siege, which we repelled by closing our gates and putting troops on the wall, who then pelted the enemy with arrows until they ran off, enabling us to claim their catapult and siege towers for ourselves.

We doubt The Settlers: Rise of an Empire will set the world on fire - it really doesn't innovate so much as refine and beautify a game genre that's been around for almost 20 years. But just as some people prefer wine to beer or jazz to hip hop, a certain subset of folks are going love this artistic, classy city builder.