The time has come to go back to Anno 1800 and to help the progress of the industrial revolution once more. Sunken Treasures is the first DLC for the game, and it adds several things that will greatly benefit your playthrough, but might feel underwhelming at the end of the campaign.
Following the Queen
The Queen has disappeared and it is up to you to send an expedition to find where she has wandered off to. After some searching and with a little luck, you discover that she headed to Cape Trelawney, where a great naval battle happened many years ago. Now it is up to you to find a sunken treasure, a lost Royal Scepter which will inspire the entire empire.
Cape Trelawney becomes a third region where you can build and if you felt that the islands of Anno 1800 were far too restrictive in size for your grand schemes, you will love these new spots. This new area has an island that is three times bigger than the biggest island from the base game, and the lack of pirates means you can happily go about trading, exploring and surveying the ocean floor for treasure with a ship equipped with a diving bell. Get ready to go hunting for riches and scrap.
One frustration I have encountered in Anno 1800 is the system for improving your various workplaces’ efficiency. Besides the obvious improvements, like harder work conditions and effective building placement, you need buildings with relevant items or people inside them to boost an area around themselves. Acquiring the people for the task at hand is often left to chance, and you will spend a lot of time looking at what the trader has to sell (at great expense) or hoping for a quest or expedition reward that meets your needs.
Instead of handing over all of your money to an NPC for a nice building upgrade from their rotating roster of items, you can now “transmute” the item you want
This DLC fixes this, at least partially, by having a trading post full of items to make your ships and admin buildings a whole lot better. Instead of handing over all of your money to an NPC for a nice building upgrade from their rotating roster of items, you can now “transmute” the item you want, using scrap from shipwrecks and various industrial goods to make the items of your dreams. From consumables to make all mines on an island produce more resources (at a cost of a higher chance of fire breaking out) to permanent improvements to town halls or your ships, there is a whole menu of delicious items to craft, meaning you can find the bonus you need to keep your empire thriving. You are going to need it, as having more Old World buildings means your New World islands will need to provide even more luxury items for the people back home. While more cotton or rum is easy enough if you manage your space, limited items like gold mines will benefit greatly from some town hall/worker union upgrades.
After having an Anno game that literally allowed us to explore and build on the ocean floor, the diving bell ship might come across as rather underwhelming
Under the sea
After having an Anno game that literally allowed us to explore and build on the ocean floor, the diving bell ship might come across as rather underwhelming. You never see below the water, but instead, look out for small shapes (or eventually sonar pings) to find treasure. It isn’t the most fun you will have as you comb the ocean for places to get more scrap or resources, but the rewards for your work outweigh the annoyance of hearing your ship captain warble on with every command you issue.
Sunken Treasures feels like it would fit in perfectly mid-game, giving you a quiet set of islands to turn to while waiting for other projects to build, or to net yourself some valuable upgrades to improve your ships or various production hubs. As a late-game addition, the large open spaces will be welcome but might feel lacklustre considering your fortunes and efficient island empire have already been made and kind of make do without it. If you are starting a new playthrough, or haven’t played before, Sunken Treasures will add some great improvements to your islands, letting you eke out the efficiency you need to grow a sprawling empire. If not, unless massive swathes of open space appeal to you for more profit, you might find yourself frustrated at trying to stock new islands that are all pining for goods from The New World. Sunken Treasures falls under the Anno 1800 Season Pass or can be bought separately.