GameSpot: "The Settlers: Heritage of Kings will take place in a world that tends more to the medieval than to the mythological, along with a form of 'credible magic'. The maps will incorporate active terrain that includes things like changing weather and seasons as well as smaller environmental details, like forests populated with deer and ranging wolves. Resources that you can collect will include iron (used to help build your military), stone (used to help build towns and important structures), sulfur (used in the art of alchemy, which is akin to magic), and silver. Working serfs will collect resources as well as construct buildings; they'll also carry out other tasks. There will be 70 different kinds of buildings and 40 different kinds of people present in the game. Serfs will indicate their needs, like food and rest, via thought bubbles that will appear above their heads, in addition to making verbal utterances. The closer your workers are to their sources of food and shelter, the more efficiently they will work.
There will be 20 dynamic scenarios in the game, and there will be multiple successful paths you can take to complete your missions, including engaging your enemies in battle. If you've built a barracks, you'll be able to recruit leaders who will, in turn, recruit squads of troops for you. Types of troops will include men who use swords, spears, and bows and cavalry and artillery units. In addition, there will be 'hero' units that possess special abilities. You'll be able to train your troops at your barracks as well, increasing their levels and making them more successful in combat. Certain characters will also have the ability to use alchemy, which can actually be used to predict the weather. Weather will affect troop movement. So, for example, a cold, wintry setting will cause bodies of water, like rivers, to freeze, thus allowing your men to cross them quickly."