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The Settlers: Rise of an Empire (German: Die Siedler: Aufstieg eines Königreichs) is a city-building game with real-time strategy elements, developed by Blue Byte and published by Ubisoft. Released for Microsoft Windows in September 2007, it is the seventh game in The Settlers series. In March 2008, Blue Byte released an expansion, The Settlers: Rise of an Empire - The Eastern Realm (German: Die Siedler: Aufstieg eines Königreichs - Reich des Ostens), featuring new single-player campaign missions, new maps for both single-player and multiplayer modes, and an enhanced map editor. In September, they released The Settlers: Rise of an Empire - Gold Edition, containing the original game plus the Eastern Realm expansion, and additional single and multiplayer maps. The Gold Edition was also released on Steam and Uplay. In 2015, it was released on GOG.com, and in 2018, it was re-released as The Settlers: Rise of an Empire - History Edition.
The game's single-player campaign is set in the same fictional universe as The Settlers: Heritage of Kings, albeit many centuries after the events of that game. The player takes on the role of a king trying to re-unite the once prosperous, but now war-torn and divided Darion Empire. Joined by a group of loyal knights, he is opposed by the Red Prince, a dictator determined to be crowned emperor, and the Prince's senior most general, Crimson Sabatt. The Eastern Realm takes place several months later, with the king and his knights slowly re-uniting the Empire. However, when they receive a plea for help from a distant kingdom, they find themselves facing powerful new enemies; a woman claiming to be a goddess, the cult that follows her, and the cities that serve her.
Early in development, the game's designers set out to identify the "Settler gene"; that quintessential component or components which make the Settlers series unique. Having done so, they elected to combine some of the more popular game mechanics from previous titles in the series; the road network from The Settlers and The Settlers II; expansion by means of military outposts from The Settlers, The Settlers II, The Settlers III and The Settlers IV; a correlation between military strength and the prosperity of one's city from The Settlers IV; and heroes, taxation, and soldier's salary from Heritage of Kings. Feeling that Heritage took the series too far from its city-building origins and more in the direction of a traditional combat-based real-time strategy, the designers scaled back the importance, frequency, and difficulty of combat. Similarly, wanting to streamline and re-focus the gameplay, they also simplified the economic model, removing micromanagement and complicated daisy-chain economic processes.
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The Settlers: Rise of an Empire System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP / 7
- Processor: 2 GHz Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon XP 2000+
- RAM: 1 GB
- Video Card: 128 MB
- Hard disk space: 3.5 GB