Excellent refinement of an enjoyable original
The original Settlers was pleasingly mid-paced slice of historical strategy game, which largely eschewed violent combat as seen in such games as Dawn of War and Command and Conquer and instead offered a more thoughtful experience. This follow-up continues in this fashion and offers more of the same empire-building activity so it should appeal to fans of the original or to anyone looking for something requiring a bit of careful consideration. Perhaps the biggest difference this time around is the visual styling, which updates things from the medieval feel of the earlier game to a Roman theme. However, the gameplay is largely similar and once again requires players to build and develop their own settlement, and which is achieved by constructing various buildings and making use of your workers, each of whom have unique skills. Resource management is also key as is developing a decent transport network so your happy little citizens can move around with ease. Although the game's focus isn't really on battles, there are other settlements out there whose needs conflict with your own so it is inevitable at some point, which requires you to maintain a standing army, further adding to the complexity. The Settlers 2 doesn't really do anything wildly different from its predecessor, it simply refines things to the point where everything is done well and although later editions like The Settlers 3 and The Settlers 4 added in several new features, this one is often considered the best in the series. The streamlining of game mechanics along with the updated graphics help to create a compelling and enjoyable strategy experience that will eat up your time if you're not careful, so if you're curious about the genre or a veteran, check this out.