The Settlers Online: Castle Empire (originally named Castle Empire Online) is a free browser-based strategy game developed and published by Ubisoft for Windows, Mac and Linux. Known as a chip-off of the popular franchise, The Settlers, it is aimed high to be a browser game played like a real PC one.
With the lately announcement, its official website opens as well, providing screenshot gallery and much information covering FAQ, guide and news, etc.. Besides, it also puts out calls for players to sign up for the Closed Beta Test. And those chosen as testers can not only get first hands on it, but would also get a special item of limited edition when the game releases.
The Settlers (Die Siedler in German) is one of the most popular video game series in German PC game industry. The game allows players to rule a kingdom, attending to its economy and military build. Since the first game appeared in 1993, overall eight installments are developed, making it a multi-million selling franchise. All games of the franchise were developed by Blue Byte Software and published by Ubisoft or Blue Byte (acquired by Ubisoft).
The Settlers Online: Castle Empire is an empire-building strategy MMO set in a medieval background. It bears an inseverable tie with The Settlers franchise, which is shown in the fresh medieval graphics (2D though) and core strategic gameplay. It is a Settlers game around ‘economy, supply chain and expansion’.
In The Settlers Online: Castle Empire, players build up a kingdom from scratch. All starts from a tutorial, which acquaints players with the interface, building styles and resource-related gaming mechanics. House settlers and send them to work in mining spots for resources necessary to drive the supply chain going on. Empire grows as economy boosts. Then players can explore to expand, claiming new zones and gathering new resources. That’s when the military units roll to play. There is a period of newbie protection, after which players need to prepare for attacking or being attacked.
Social aspects are also offered in a wide range of activities. Usual, casual interaction is available when players pay visits to each other’s empires, grant small favors, present free gifts, communicate via global chat. More interesting and complex lies in the gameplay related to trading, co-op exploring and guild building, etc..
It is a free-to-play MMO with a cash shop in it. Players can access to a full content without money invested in. And certain premium items can be bought for gems gained via leveling up or taking quests. Yet paid players can get certain gameplay faster and easier. While shortened construction time is a typical bought shortcut, other advantages such as additional building queue, unlocked adventure and decorative objects are all implemented.
While strategic and social elements are all designed to keep players’ long commitment, constant updates will also be provided to keep the maxed-out feeling at bay. To ensure players always have something interesting to do in the game, developers will continue to expand and enrich it with new content, seasonal events (such as the Halloween and Christmas events), and higher level cap to name a few.