When you combine the designer of Civilization II with the publisher of Age of Empires, you get a pretty cool game. Rise of Nations combines all the best parts of turn-based, empire-building games with the excitement of real-time strategy. You can guide 18
Can turn-based concepts work in a real time format?
I suspect that now you can see my problem in some detail, and no, I won¿t take lithium for it. I place its origins squarely at BHG¿s doorstep for creating a game that borrows extensively but cautiously from the TBS genre, doing what it does extremely well but offering next to nothing which is new.Does that make it bad? Hardly, but it does indicate the kind of dichotomy of views among players that Rise of Nations will probably face. Despite the PR rhetoric, this isn¿t the RTS that brings in all the TBS diehards, looking for a depth of gameplay that goes beyond the standard feature set created in Dune 2, more than a dozen years ago. Gameplay will vary slightly if you play towards different winning conditions, but not as though a group of new features were being slotted into place. Rise of Nation¿s diplomatic options are slim and its nations lack real personality, unlike such other RTS titles as Europa Universalis II and the Total War series. Similarly, there are RTS games out there made by Topware that will appeal more to the player who wants a genuine 3D use of terrain for strategic purposes.On the other hand, Rise of Nations is incredibly rich in optional gaming conditions. Multiplayer is fun, standalone is a challenge, the AI is among the best I¿ve seen in an RTS, and the learning curve is surprisingly slight. A part of me thinks BHG did an excellent job on this one, while another part believes a chance was missed to move more than cautiously beyond Age of Empires and design something strikingly fresh and imaginative.In the end, though, I can¿t fault BHG for delivering anything less than a professional product that will strongly please RTS players.
Decent, full color manual. Very low learning curve. Great interface. No in-game encyclopedia. Superficial but fun set of six tutorials. Can watch computer AI play itself.
1078 x 768 resolution. Age of Empires artwork. 3D isometric view, but 2D gameplay. Good unit animations. Only three tile sets for eighteen races.
Dull, generic music. Decent notification sounds.
Very strong opponent development and military AI. More research depth than most RTS titles, but technologies and races feel abstract. Good balance. Poor diplomacy and trade options.
Lasting Appeal (8.2/10)
Huge number of customizable options affecting gameplay and winning conditions for standalone and multiplayer modes. Changing victory conditions donu00bft introduce new elements of gameplay.