Historical games. Settlers 2: Veni, Vidi, Vici


The game comes and wins. In all senses. Everything that strategy can defeat. In The Settlers 2, well, almost everything that needs a great strategy. Almost everything. No one, except the most avid haters of the genre and a small number of casuals, will not remain dissatisfied. The period that the game “lived”, occupying its niche in the gaming industry and in the hearts of the fans, speaks for itself. Nearly 13 years, since 1996, the brainchild of the untimely dead “Blue Byte Software” continues to please the heart, soul, and other internal organs, from the eyes and ending with the spleen. Much more than survived they failed to compete in the market creators. The more interesting it is again, not one year after the first call in the game, to plunge into its fantastic atmosphere.

The “lot” of the main characters was cast in the first part, and at the time of the beginning of the mission-prologue of the second part, the situation can be characterized in the best way and from scratch begin a new life. The player’s task, of course, is extremely difficult. There was a monstrous shipwreck, survivors swam to the nearest island is to normalize the sad situation and bring their people to wealth and prosperity.

In The Settlers, in general, a rather peculiar and uncharacteristic strategy for “plot” system. That is, the missions that we have to perform in the course of the game are woven into a common storyline. Naturally, this is not an RPG, so the plot is extremely simple. After the first island, the “mini Romans” under the command of a certain Octavius ​​will have to explore the islands, develop, fight with hostile nations, in general, the usually looking strategic development system is cleverly woven into the storyline. What delivers. Of course, the medal has another side. The plot line in the strategy in places starts to tire. In this one of the few wonderful minuses The Settlers. You are not allowed to step back from the proposed line. It is necessary to make a metal factory on the plot, send workers, etc. You refuse to build, please, but you will not see any further progress.

Of course, you can argue that in the best representatives of the RPG genre, the ending is still one, and the progress on the storyline, as a rule, depends on the passage of certain “checkpoints”. Nevertheless, even in the worst RPGs, your path is still torturous. He (the path) is still looping, but the amplitude and direction is a completely different matter.

In Settlers, you go to the assigned goal clearly, directly and purposefully, like an icebreaker in a polar fog. In the rest, the plot is designed competently and logically. The first mission, with the weird title “Off, we’re going” rather teaches the basics of the game. Of course, like almost any tutorial, you can skip it. Next already adds several new buildings and, most importantly, enemies. In the next, you have two opponents, and then on increasing. The mission lasts for a long time and, to each of the following, you will master without difficulty enough for it to pass through the skills.


Briefing to the first mission

The beginning of Settlers is ordinary and non-standard at the same time. On the one hand, everything is like in classical strategies – there is a single headquarters building, there is no shit, empty areas around – system, user, develop and lead the people to prosperity. You will see exactly the same beginning in dozens and hundreds of classical strategies. However, not all so simple. “Let’s find ten differences”, that is, take some classic of the strategic genre, for example, Age of Empires and compare it with Settlers.

Let’s start with a simple and fundamental – development in time. In the vast majority of strategies, you will have to go through the stamp from century to century, or from millennium to millennium, or from some other time periods into others. Clearly, in each next era, you are available new buildings, new units and so on. The good of the state has developed and intensified under your strong and wise government.

Settlers from all this left, as Ostap Bender used to say, “from the dead donkey’s ears.” 80% of the buildings are known to you almost immediately, and the unknowns are not related to the “level-to-level” transitions. Since such transitions are completely absent. You say it will be uninteresting? No, the already mentioned storyline in Settlers more than compensates for waiting for the opportunity to build some advanced forge. The thing is that you are systematically developing, moving on the plot. When you need to protect your borders, “in the old ruins in the south of the island our scouts discovered a drawing of the guard tower”, you will need your own fleet – there will be a shipyard for you, strong swords will be needed – geologists in the mountains will suddenly find iron.

In general, from the initial list of buildings immediately you will need only a few. Of course, you can fit your territory with huge metal plants, or breweries, or jewelry shops. Sure you can. But everything rests on a simple question. What for? Why do you need a metal works, if you have not even built an unpretentious steelworks? And why do you need a smelter, if you do not have an iron mine? And why do you need an iron mine, if you do not even have fishermen and hunters to supply miners with food?


Construction of a timber processing building

The difference is the second, and, for sure, one of the main. Inability to manage the life of an individual unit. This fundamentally distinguishes Settlers from the classical strategy and makes the game much more like a town-planning simulator.

I explain: if in the same Age of Empires you canonically select a couple of builders by the mouse and send them to build a bath, then in Settlers everything is again different. Need a bath? Okay, boss, just show me where it’s needed. And who decides how to build this bathhouse, it’s not you who are sorry. Moreover, the ruler should have much more serious tasks. It. by the way, makes the game much closer to reality.

In general, you can still manage, but only a few types of units are members of your small but proud army, scouts, and geologists. And then, the management is that you tell the unit where to go, but it’s “he” who decides how to go and what to do there.

In addition, there is a difference in the very process of building a particular building/mine. Remembering the classics of the genre – allocated the units, if resources were available – showed the place and sent the workers to build. In Settlers, the construction process itself is much steeper and more realistic. Pointing to the place of the future building, you will be forced to observe how little men in amusing blue togas bring or even bring on donkeys a stone and wood, in thought, (just like real builders) scratch their nape and then begin to build. Moreover, if the building is large enough (the farm is there or the fortress), then even the survey engineer making measurements and planning of the terrain is ahead of all. Or a working planner, leveling and preparing the land for construction. And now compare this splendor with almost any strategy where one single person is hammering on the ground, as a result of which scaffolds and walls grow from under the earth.

By the way, it is possible to build in Veni, Vidi, Vici only at fixed points. That is, somewhere you will be able to build only farms and hunting lodges, somewhere – warehouses and smelters, and somewhere you will be allowed to build farms, villages or even whole fortresses. Under the mines, of course, there are separate “construction sites”.


Determine what and where you can build….

The construction of battle scenes and massacres against civilians is also delivered in a very original way. Fans of large-scale battles, strategies, tactics, Macedonian phalanx and Red Army wheelers are recommended not to play in the game. The maximum to what I drove my unfortunate soldiers – it’s a fight 9×9, and the poor guys neatly broke into pairs and felled each other with their hands, feet, clubs and other miscellaneous garbage. And they fought honestly. Soldiers fought with soldiers, officers with officers, generals with generals. Forgetting Remarque, who wrote about World War I, “it would be nice if our chancellor, their minister, and a dozen kings and ministers would go out into the arena in silk shorts and beat each other with clubs …”. In Settlers, this is the case. Unlike construction – it is unrealistic. But honestly.

By the way, it is much more interesting than battles, the very process of preparing and developing your soldiers. First, you can regulate the number of citizens of your country sent to the service themselves. Secondly, the number of higher ranks in your army directly depends on the number of people in general, as well as the training centers – fortresses, barracks and, attention – on the number of gold mining plants. What seems to hint to us …

And, finally, the quality and skill of your soldiers depend on their salary and, one more pleasant detail, on the beer supplied and the number of breweries. The title of the paragraph is just as meager as my attempts to reasonably describe the differences in the chart between Settlers and the hypothetical “medium strategy” are sparse. In a word, this is heaven and earth. But that’s where it’s up to you.


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