Ubisoft's The Settlers revival is finally here... almost. The company has revealed that its reboot of the classic build-up real-time strategy game will be available March 17th for Windows PCs through the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Connect. The developers are also whetting appetites with a five-day, registration-only closed beta starting January 20th that will include two of the game's three factions as well as two multiplayer Skirmish modes (one- and two-player teams).
The rebuilt game is "mostly" derived from The Settlers III and The Settlers IV, and looks decidedly nicer than many RTS titles thanks to the use of the same Snowdrop Engine you find in games like The Division series and the upcoming Avatar release. While it won't compete with the latest first-person shooter in looks, it might be more visually appealing than its competitors. There is a story-driven single-player campaign, but Ubisoft is clearly banking on the eight-way multiplayer to help with longevity.
However well the game plays, Ubisoft's main challenge is simply revitalizing the franchise. There hasn't been a brand-new game in the series since The Settlers Online in 2010, and the decade since has only led to a cancelled game (Kingdoms of Anteria) and four years of development for the imminent reboot. While there will certainly still be fans, it's not clear how many of them were willing to wait a decade for a follow-up.