The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici

aka: Die Römer, Die Siedler II: Veni, Vidi, Vici, The Romans
Moby ID: 598

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 82% (based on 27 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 85 ratings with 5 reviews)

Complex and intriguing.

The Good
The core of the game is its resource system. The player has to manage dozens of different resources, building a complex system of buildings that provide each other with the required supplies.

The Bad
The game's advantage is also its bane- the gameplay is very slow. Setting up the most basic colony can take up to 15 minutes, and then the real game begins, with the player building more and more different structures all around the map.
The battle system is very schematic, and the final hours of play end up with repetitively building military structures and attacking, without any thought or sense of purpose.

The Bottom Line
If you have a lot of free time, play this excellent strategy game.

DOS · by El-ad Amir (116) · 2001

Comes highly recommended

The Good
This is one of those games where you can set up your little settlement and then just sit back watching them go about their daily lives, cutting down trees, hunting for food and mining the various types of valuable substances which can be found in the mountains, the little people are extremely small but animation is fantastic through out especially on the backgrounds as you can see deer running in the forests, bunny rabbits hopping across the landscapes and the trees swaying in the wind. The graphics them selves are 2D but with the isometric view you get a cool 3D effect with each and every building being lovingly designed by the people at Blue Byte software with attention to detail second to none.

You start with a completely blank canvas and your HQ in the middle of the playing field, you are restricted within a boundaries at first but this can be extended once you build a watch tower and barracks but first you must start with the basics, build a forester and a woodcutter, these will cut down the trees and replant them so as to keep the stock maintained, from here on you build all of the available places of course remembering to send out the scout to discover water and other valuable stuff needed for you to succeed.

Once you begin making your way through the various chapters of the game you will discover new buildings and you will encounter other tribes, its at this point that you have to keep extending your empire by building barracks and watch towers to train your villages in the art of combat.

Each chapter can take quite a few hours to complete, in fact this game could ruin your life as you may find yourself turning up late to any plans you may have just so you can squeeze and extra hour out of the game. Its clear that a lot of time and effort was put into this game and it was a shame that it wasn't big in the USA, coming from a small company and selling by the bucket load in Europe it may have stopped Blue Byte being sold to Infogrames, the reason for the failure in USA was due to extremely bad marketing by SSI, they failed to get enough ads out and the magazines just looked it by and who knows, if the series had been such a massive success as it is in Europe they just might still be there own company.

The sheer amount of detail in your settlement when you have progressed on to the later levels will impress, your village becomes a large town and features loads of little people going about their daily lives, I didn't think it could get much better than this but the sequels proved me wrong and im eagerly awaiting number 4 in the series

The Bad
The main flaw with this otherwise brilliant game, combat is a case of just er..... watching and hoping that your man wins, some interactivity on this would have been fantastic and really raised the tension levels when you go to take on the evil forces.

The Bottom Line
Just go out and buy it NOW, you will not be dissapointed.

DOS · by tony cowling (2) · 2001

A wonderful game for late hours

The Good
This game is the best in Settlers series. It has the good old graphics which was "improved" in Settlers III..but I still prefer the old style. It even has some MIDI and CD tracks. It's great also because there are more tribes and there are differences in building types between them.

I wish Blue Byte made one more game like this.

The Bad
The only problem is that it doesn't have the map editor and at the moment you can't get Mission CD anymore and when I bought that game Mission CD was not yet available. And also you may experience some problems with sound setup under Windows.

The Bottom Line
Get this game if you really like strategies.

DOS · by frin (107) · 2009

A delightful game.

The Good
This is one of the best strategy games ever, even better than its predecessor Serf City: Life is Feudal. Truly a magnificent game with great graphics, fast and efficient engine, excellent gameplay and replay value and the best of all - truly magnificent music I really enjoy.

The Bad
Nothing. It may not be perfect, but I can't think of anything truly unlikeable.

The Bottom Line
A great sequel to a great classic, this game will keep you occupied for a long time.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 1999

Interesting concepts, but annoying in the end

The Good
There's certainly no lack of resource-constrained real-time strategy (RTS) games out there, but I think Settlers managed to take a really unique path and come up with a game that sits on the brink of being truly excellent.

All RTS games have to decide where they are going to focus. Some, like the classic Command & Conquer, focus on the production of fighting units, reducing all other aspects of the game to a bare minimum. For instance, there's only one type of resource, and collection time is limited primarily by the expense of the collectors. There's no real "economy" to speak of.

Settlers, on the other hand, focuses on the economics more than anything else. The game has a reasonable system for not only defining and collecting resources, but also moving them around the settlement, which I think is interesting. As the user adds new buildings to their settlement, the supplies needed to build it have to first be transported to the building site, and when its finished, the goods it produces have to be returned over the same route. Contention for the routes can lead to real delays in moving supplies around the colony.

Settlers has no user-controlled combat. This is both the most unique and oddest aspect of the game. Instead, Settlers uses a sort of "area of influence" or "projection of power" concept, where your buildings, notably military, project your power in an area around them. If you build a barracks, for instance, you will "capture" a certain amount of area around it. The net result is "your territory", the borders of which are displayed on the map as a series of flags.

Combat is abstracted away almost completely. All the player has control over is sending troops from one of their military buildings to attack troops in another. If they win, the opponent loses control of that area, and their settlement shrinks. There's no real concept of things like attacking their buildings to "hurt" their settlement, it's all about area.

The game progresses by building the economy, which makes newer types of buildings possible. These are then used to project power further afield, thereby capturing more territory and natural resources. So while Settlers has no direct combat, to speak of, the game nevertheless progresses in a fashion similar to most other RTS's.

The Bad
There are two problems with the game, which in my mind are serious enough to make it an overall failure.

The main problem is that you have no control over the people. Everything in the game is done through a simplified "planting of the flag" (of various sorts), at which point the settlers will start doing whatever you request. For instance, you can plant a literal flag and then ask you scout to go to that location. You can't, however, control your scout directly. I found the random movements that resulted to be extremely frustrating.

But its a side-effect of this system that is truly aggravating. Since territory is gained or lost via "projection of power", and that power is in turn defined by the presence of troops, its possible to loose swaths of land because your trooper arrives a second later than "his" (the computer). In this case the border moves, and all of your buildings in the area are destroyed!

Settlers REALLY needs some sort of direct manipulation system -- I should be able to tell my troops what to do directly. After all, its combat that attracts most people to the RTS genre in the first place. With the combat being so abstract, you also end up with things like catapults that don't actually fire at the enemy, per se. It's all just weird.

The other problem is a little more piquane: the designers simply didn't know where to stop when it comes to detailing the resource movement. To start with, every building must have a road to it. I found this to be somewhat unrealistic at a minimum.

But more annoying is the fact that the road to the building ALWAYS faces a single direction, the "southwest", which means you have to route the roads around the buildings in order to connect them up. And those roads take up room on the map, which means you end up with these spaghetti pathways that makes building annoyingly difficult some times. This is really poorly thought out.

As if that weren't enough, the actual terrain "under" the roads effects travel time over them. If the road goes uphill, goods will take longer to move. This is really nothing more that superfluous -- it adds nothing to the gameplay at all, and requires the user to micromanage ROAD BUILDING. Borrring!

The Bottom Line
A very interesting and unique RTS that I would recommend to anyone. I found it frustrating to play, personally, but many others praise even the parts I don't like.

I really think that a few basic changes would dramatically improve the gameplay. For one, it needs a real combat model, even a simplified one from something like C&C. For another, there should be more ways to damage the enemy than simply chipping away at their border. Attacking their buildings directly would greatly add to the game, IMHO.

DOS · by Maury Markowitz (266) · 2006

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by mo , Scaryfun, mareckuss, Alsy, Cantillon, Apogee IV, Wizo, Patrick Bregger, Jeanne, Mr Creosote, Dae, Big John WV, Joakim Kihlman, Tim Janssen, PCGamer77, ModernZorker, ti00rki, Zeppin.