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The Settlers III: Quest for the Amazons

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Blue Byte
Developer: Blue Byte
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 20
Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

Getting a little tired of the same dopey guys from The Settlers 3? Has the allure of the 'cute' Egyptians, Romans, and Asians worn off a bit? Well, Quest of the Amazons offers new levels, new maps, and a new race of females which are, to say the least, much more pleasing on the eyes than the original races you had to choose from. The Amazons have a less cartoon-like appearance. It seems that their proportions are much more realistic.

Gameplay:

Quest of the Amazons introduces a few variations into Settlers III. With eight new spells, and a new 'thief' class, variations in strategy are introduced. With thieves, you can now scout outside your territory and swipe goodies from your enemies. Too cool. Blue Byte (thankfully) decided not to give the archers their infamous modification to allow for better shooting, and here, hair color is determined by one's lot in life, and every female is amply curved. Are they sexy? Well, they look good. Trying to label them as sexy might be going a bit far, but they are leaps and bounds beyond the men. And then there's the level editor.

QOTA comes packed with a level editor. If you've used a level editor before, you'll find that The Settlers III Level Editor is relatively easy to understand. First, you can design your own land mass by simply using drawing type tools, with types of land instead of paint. Paint on a little desert here, some grassy plains over there and a little snow up there... then use the terrain tools to raise, lower, and texture the land a bit. Then colonize your land with Settlers and plant the natural resources they'll need. If you find The Settlers III somewhat intimidating, this is your chance to give YOUR guys more resources. Then again, if you want a REAL challenge, give the other guys a big advantage. Either way, you'll get that childish pleasure that can only be obtained by carefully building up colonies and then haphazardly laying them to waste. It must be the sand castle phenomenon.


Difficulty:

Okay. The Settlers III is hard, as I said in my The Settlers 3 review. If you have played lots of strategy games before, you'll find a new challenge. If you haven't, however, the intricacies of The Settlers III may be quite daunting. At least now, with The Settlers III Level Editor, you can tweak the scenarios a bit, and thereby make success easier to achieve or more fleeting. And besides, at least with the Amazons, you have something pleasing to look at.

Game Mechanics:

I've used level editors before, and I must say, The Settlers III Level Editor is a very good editor. It's easy to use, and allows for complete customization of missions, from goal objectives, to location and availability of resources, to assignment of teams, to creation of landmass; from the smallest detail to the largest. You can even test out your levels by viewing them as they would be seen in gameplay prior to creating the finalized game scenario file. Then, when the mission is finalized, you can share it with others on the net or via e-mail. In fact, now you can even play your created missions online against opponents.

Online Play: With internet play on Settlers III servers, a World Wide Ladder and ranking system, and the ability to play user-created maps online against another player, QOTA was built for internet play. Also, the interface for using this online function is clean and works well, allowing you to chat with other gamers in a 'lounge' before starting a game. Playing with the QOTA pack online is fun, but many gamers do not already have the QOTA pack. Because of this, it can be difficult to find an online game that accepts the Quest of the Amazons pack. However, I found that talking to a few people in the chat room (lounge) will usually turn up someone that is interested in a Quest of the Amazons enabled game.


-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:



Requires an installed full version of The Settlers 3, and 150 MB additional free hard disk space.
 

Test System:



AMD K6-II 400, 64MB RAM, Voodoo 3 2000 PCI, Aureal Vortex II A3D Sound Card, Benwin BW2000 speakers

Windows The Settlers 3 Windows The Settlers III Mission Pack

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated