New PC RTS Champions of Anteria Lets You Pause the Action to Strategize

Champions of Anteria features elemental champions whose powers need to be used strategically to defeat enemies and complete missions.

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Ubisoft has revealed a new real-time strategy game called Champions of Anteria. The single-player RTS spawned from The Settlers: Kingdoms of Anteria and releases on PC this August.

Champions of Anteria has you taking control of five different champions, who each have their own unique elemental power: water, fire, metal, nature, and lightning. You have to choose three of those five to take with you on each mission, considering which elements will give you the strategic advantage in the specific situation.

The champions can also be used in conjunction with each other; for example, the Monk can turn everyone into lightning for a period of time, making the whole party stronger against water. Creative director Mihnea Dragoman explained in Ubisoft's blog how some of the characters work.

"[W]e wanted to give each Champion a different gameplay focus, so they each work a bit differently. For instance, our archer tags arrowheads on each target, and then has abilities that can detonate those arrowheads and inflict different conditions, either damage, or blindness, or whatever," he explained. "Our knight has kind of a rage bar mechanic, which is called vigor. He pools energy up the more he stands in a fight, and then he can consume it to deal extra damage with his abilities.

"Our monk has a system based on a number of bells he can gather and then use to power bigger blessings on the battlefield. He can gather up to three bells, and then there's bigger miracles he can do with the three bells."

Choosing the right elements in encounters is key, and the game's active pause mechanic will allow you to stop the action and take your time with devising your strategy. Dragoman says the strategy game tries to put a focus on tactics, and the active pause helps it do that.

"[Y]ou can stop the action by pressing a key, and you can revisit your plan and tweak it based on the rules of engagement, or just read the environment better," he explained.

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Champions of Anteria will also task you with making choices, such as choosing between freeing a surrounding territory and defending another from invasion. Additionally, you'll be able to train your champions and craft gear in the village between missions.

"The village is the Champion's base of operations. It has a system of resource management; we have a few buildings that you place there, but it's more of a slot-type system," Dragoman explained. "You have a few places where you can place buildings, and it's a matter of how you get the most out of it, and that will get a lot of resources for you, and the resources feed into the crafting."

The Settlers: Kingdoms of Anteria had a closed beta in 2015 and has since become Champions of Anteria. Developer Ubisoft BlueByte wrote an open letter to fans discussing the change, and you can read it right here.

"After much discussion, we made the decision to steer this project in a new direction, meaning The Settlers: Kingdoms of Anteria as you know it no longer exists. However, we are excited to announce that we have been working hard to create a new game, a challenging real-time strategy experience that we are revealing to you today, Champions of Anteria. To be clear, the game isn’t part of The Settlers series, but a new adventure that will further explore the lands of Anteria."

Champions of Anteria releases digitally for PC on August 30.

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