Part three of The Settlers series continues with the real-time strategy game concepts of the series. In order to conquer the known world, you must supply your armies with weapons, food, and wine for morale. To do this, these things must be produced using raw materials, in buildings which require wood and stone to be built. Each job is undertaken by one of 150 unique characters, across over 100 distinct buildings.
There are three nations: Romans, Egyptians and Japanese. Each nation has its own styled buildings and (dis)advantages. It's also possible to play in multiplayer mode via Internet or LAN. An available add-on brings you a new nation (Amazons) a map editor and some new scenarios.
This edition has a new graphics engine using rendered graphics. Another new feature is the inclusion of moving catapults, ballistics and cannons, giving the combat system more realism and increasing the prominence of military tactics.. Priests can cast spells, which can gain more resources or destroy the enemy. Naval aspects are more detailed than ever before.
In the German gaming magazine PC Player (issue 01/2000) The Settlers III received a special award as "Best German Game in 1999".
The Settlers III was one of the pioneers of copy protection in gaming. When the copy protection detects a pirated release, the forester's trees do not grow, and the iron smelter produces pigs. This renders soldier production impossible.