456th played so far


Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2006
Developer: Big Huge Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

We loved Rise of Nations when we played it. It was a good mix of strategy gaming and civ-style simulation. Sure, Age of Empires has it similar, but the work and experience put in by one of the Civilization series lead designer shows.

Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends takes a similar formula, but sets it in a fantasy/steampunk world. Enough for me to be even more interested.

Our Thoughts

Yeah, the game pulled it off again. The fantasy veneer on top of the game works really well, adding some variety to the world and providing some interesting concepts. So far we’ve only played the steampunk race, with the others providing magic and a more esoteric background. Even so, the world is interesting from the start, something that still draws you in.

The city and empire building seems to have switched a bit in the game. The RTS levels feel a tad more RTS like. While still focused more on base building than others, this isn’t quite as intense in this game. You’re still building cities – multiple ones even – but with a few less resources to keep track of and slightly simpler research.

Instead, more of this moves to the worldmap. If you battle in a map, resources are moved from adjacent maps, giving you additional gold or units partway through a mission. This is done through another resource management system – really just investing your XP in diferent areas, but it feels more tactical than that. The same also unlocks different starting units, building up your initial army wherever you go.

It’s a very nice expansion on the otherwise often meaningless campaign map – the missions may be slightly different but normally your choices seem to matter little. Here they’re a vital part of your strategy, bringing it a bit closer to, for example, the Total War formula.

Final Thoughts

This game has rapidly risen on our list of games to play and we had trouble putting it away in the end. This is honestly why I love playing strategy games.