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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Price:£12.96+ £2.03 shipping

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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2003
Rise of Nations is a curious game in that it is so large that it spans both globally in-game and categorically when one considers its genre. The influences of its predecessors Civ II and Age of Empires are readily apparent, indeed the game is almost a polished mix of the aforementioned games and also Empire Earth. The superior graphics and delightful unit animations emphasize RoN's visual prowess. The real innovation lies in the Conquer the World campaign. A 'Risk' type map of the world allows nations to use any possible means to gain as much territory as possible. The multiplayer is excellent, fronted by GameSpy, and many a gamer may expect to lose their afternoon attempting to expand their nation's borders. If there are shortcomings, then they come in the form of the scenario editor. Several significant attributes have been excluded, but the developers have promised more soon. In short, Rise of Nations is a credit to the RTS genre and a must for any strategy fan. With far more going for it than aginst, it will keep you coming back for more.
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on 18 July 2017
No key code provided so couldn't download and email support address was not contactable. Disappointed.
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on 27 May 2003
Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy game and is similar to (but a lot better than the already great game) Age of Empires.
You start off with a city, some farms, a lumber camp, and a library, and you slowly expand your nation by increasing your resource incomes (food lumber and wealth at first, and later knowledge, oil and rock become necessary as well), researching (military / civic / commerce / science) and entering new ages (there are 8 ages in Rise of Nation, compared to just 4 in Age of Empires - they range from before a few years A.D. to today), building new cities, upgrading units and conquering enemy territory with your armies.
That all might seem very complicated and very difficult to do, but don't worry, Rise of Nations has a good tutorial which will help complete beginners learn the basics of real-time strategy games. Players already familiar to the genre will be able to start playing very quickly after playing through the tutorial battle. I was able to have fun playing this game after this, and didn't require any manuals. Rise of Nations also has a bunch of specific training missions, such as the Age Madness missions where you try to simply age as quickly as possible.
The "Conquer the World" single-player campaign isn't made up of pre-made missions as in nearly all other RTS games. The whole campaign is dynamic. You can choose your enemies and allies and you can choose which parts of the world you want to conquer, so it offers plenty of replay value.
Real-time strategy veterans will be kept busy by this game's multiplayer mode for months (I'm sure this game will still be popular in a few years). It's full of strategic depth, offers numerous multiplayer game modes, and lets you play 14 different civilisations. What will lead you to victory? Should you build as quickly as possible so that you have a strong economy in the future, or quickly build a force up now, and try to get rid of the opposition immediately? Or should you build a strong defence, and try to win by building wonders? Every little move you make requires strategic thinking. There are numerous multiplayer game types, such as "Death Match", "Barbarian at the Gates" and "Sudden Death", all of which should be interesting.
Anyway, I could write a few thousand words on Rise of Nations, but I'll keep it brief and end it here. This game is a "must have" for anyone who likes strategy games, and I'm sure people who aren't all that familiar with strategy games yet will find this game awesome as well.
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on 7 November 2003
Easy to get into and easy to play. I quite enjoyed the game overall as a single player - there's no way I'd play it over the net with a 56k modem! It was easy to get up and running, especially as it is (almost) engine as the other microsoft 'Age of ...' games. Playing at 'Easy' level was just right for seeing how it all pans out, but when you up the ante to 'Modest' it got much tougher - more than I would have expected - but gave the AI a fairer fight. I frankly could'nt be bothered to try any harder, because after a few solo 'quick' games I found myself with all the gear and nothing more to do but fight it out - endlessly! I found that once everyone else had developed their armies it was trench warfare all over - win a few/lose a few - and whilst you can try a develop new stratagies after watching how the AI deals with your S&T, it began to get boring.
Playing the solo 'World domination campaign' was good fun - but again if you want to get through it in a day it had to be played at 'easy' level and you don't seem to be able to swich the levels once you start the campaign.
The unit graphics were excellent. Sound pretty good, music.. disable! Interface good.
Overall I felt fairly contented with its value, but its appeal fell away fairly quickly. Start slow, end fast, but always the same route from beginning to end... research the same things, do the same things. It's re-playability is low. I've played about 3 campaign games/ 5 or 6 quick matches and, well, its always the same. Maybe I've missed something.
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on 1 August 2003
Microsoft has a fine pedigree of real time strategy games, and this collaboration with Brian Renyolds develops what is essentially Empire Earth into a well ballanced epic. The AI has been vastly improved, not only the opposition AI, but also your own (your idle citizens will automatically try to find something to do). Having borders and areas of influence in and around your empire certainly gives this game a Civilization III feel and gives the game a new dimension. The game genuinely allows you to build several cities on the same map, and you soon find youself assigning different tasks to each city; ie. cities deeper in your territory are best for research and resource collection, whilst those on your borders are best for defence and building your armies. The single player campaign is also a new twist, allowing you to choose territories on a World Empire-style map to play the next battle.
Unfortunately, the variation between each battle is very little, each one is pretty much the same as the last, but with progressivly more advanced units. However, it will still take a while to get tired of the game.
All in all, this is a game very similar to the earlier Age of Empires series, but it has stretched itself to become one of the best of the 'old style' strategy games. The game has been well planned, and the gameplay is as slick as the AI is smooth. A little more variation between the scenarios would have easily have turned a very good game into a classic.
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on 24 September 2003
I've had a few false starts with realtime strategy games of late - "Anno 1503" was just plain disappointing (more like Civ3 than Age of Empires), and "Empire Earth" suffered from utterly insane AI, even on easy settings. Although I love games like "Age of Empires 2", I've searched in vain for something with a bit more depth, and "Rise of Nations" fits the bill beautifully.
"Rise of Nations" (RoN) plays like Empire Earth, but looks like Age of Empires/Age of Mythology. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The object of the game is easy enough - conquer your enemies through diplomacy, wiping them off the face of the world or building and defending a suitable number of Wonders. Like EE and AoE, there are a number of distinct ages ranging from something Ancient Greek/Roman-ish to the "Information Age", which corresponds to approximately now. To advance to the next age, you have to do the usual gather resources, perform research routine. Again, like AoE, there are a number of civilisations (18) to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses - some civilisations have had their abilities extrapolated into the future (eg. Incas and Mayans) which leads to some interesting gameplay options in later ages.
Strategy plays a far more important role than any of the "Age of Empires" games - in RoN, resources don't deplete, making it important to defend your resources as well as your cities, and national borders play an important role; if you're foolish enough to attack a nation that you haven't declared war on, your units will suffer "attrition damage". This is a nice touch, and although it's a simple concept it adds much to the strategic aspects of the game. As well as this, there are the usual diplomacy settings where you declare war, propose peace or attempt to make an alliance with another nation. The handling of 'Wonders' is a lot like Empire Earth; it is possible to win the game by building and successfully defending an appropriate number of wonders, and the Wonders themselves confer various bonuses - once you've built enough of them, a timer, a la Age of Empires, kicks in. Other nice touches include the "Armageddon Clock", which acts as a deterrent to reducing your enemies to radioactive dust - every nuke that lands reduces the Clock by one, and if it reaches zero then it's game over ... for everyone!
"Rise of Nations" also has the usual range of tutorials and scenarios although anyone familiar with "Age of Empires" will be able to skip these. An interesting addition is the "Conquer The World" scenario, which combines the RTS aspects of the game proper with something akin to the board game "Risk" - although I haven't played in this mode much, it certainly does add an extra dimension of interest to the game.
Putting aside the obvious graphical/gameplay similarities between "Rise Of Nations" and "Age of Empires"/"Empire Earth", this is a game with an awesome amount of depth - the easy difficulty settings are enough to allow a beginner to get into the game without being repeatedly pasted, whilst the harder settings will give the hardened RTSer a serious challenge. There are also enough gameplay differences between AoE and RoN to make it a worthwhile purchase.
"Rise of Nations" will be a hard act for anyone follow, and is a worthy benchmark for other realtime strategy games. Prior to buying this, "Age of Empires 2" had taken up almost permanent residence in my CD drive - "Rise of Nations" has replaced it.
Buy it!
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on 29 July 2004
This game is alot like Age of Empires and Age of Mythology. But it's far better. If you like them, you'll love this. It's so in-depth with awsome scenery and 2 zooming levels. The graphics are just so amazing. I have recently upgraded my computer and have to admit it makes it run so much faster. The music can be relaxing at times and exciting at others as you lead your amy to war!
There are so many levels of upgrades and each nation (18 in all) has it's own unique units. You can play this game for hours and never get bored, and your battles seriously can last for hours! It's a great feeling to raise a strong army of troops and horses and cannons, and an even better feeling when you upgrade to the Industrial age and the horses beome tanks!!
You can make horses, tanks, all kinds or soldiers, boats, helicopters, planes and neuclear weapons!!! And thats just some of the units. There is an amazing amount of buildings.
This games has everything all other stratagies have and much much more. Great graphics, great units and buildings and great gameplay. Just make sure you've got alot of time on your hands! Also you may need a faster computer, as when you reach the last few ages there is SO MUCH going on! The more RAM the better.
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on 20 May 2003
I recommend that you only buy this game if you thought Age of Kings was great. The difference between the two is not much in terms of the actual gameplay. You construct buildings, gather resources, build units, and research new technologies.
The pros:
- pretty graphics with some nice detail
- some fun units, such as the Nuclear ICBM
- multiplayer is fun as always
The cons:
- rubbish strategy aspect, where you just build units, ram them against enemy units head-on. The computer does just the same!
- Limited appeal as single player
Bottom line: I would have expected more from this game, taking into account all the hype that's been surrounding it. For people who like 'fun' games. Not for serious strategists or empire builders.
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on 1 December 2003
This is one great piece of software. Having been a fan of realtime strategy games since Age of Empires was first released, I've tried just about all the RTS games that have been released. Without any doubt, this is the pick of the bunch. Playing the solo game at easy level is a great intro to empire building. The real fun starts when you move to harder categories and all nations have achieved the greatest advancement. Having a squadron of Stealth bombers at your disposal supporting ground artillery and troops is incredible. The attention to detail throughout the game is faultless and the graphics are superb.
My advice? If you're an RTS fan, buy this game - you won't regret it.
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on 4 June 2003
Since Ensemble Studios' Age of Empires, years ago, 2D isometric RTS games haven't changed much. There've been advances in graphics and AI, but all 2D RTS have felt pretty much the same until recently (with Age of Mythology).
Rise of Nations initially has this feel of familiarity, but then it reveals itself to be much more than its predecessors. The resource gathering system is very well executed, with a removal of the 'micromanagement' that so many people find annoying - resources do not deplete. RoN also introduces the concept of national borders as being very important to tactical planning in the game.
The game itself is graphically pleasant, though don't expect to be overwhelmed by beauty. That said, it runs well, and there are a number of other features to make this one of the best presented 2D RTS games ever. Each of the 18 nations has unique units and a characteristics, which gives a good variaty of options for play styles. The 'conquer the world' campaign also gives the game depth and gives the player control over their own mission structure.
For new RTS gamers, this game would be a good introduction to the genre. For experienced RTS gamers, this game offers variaty, a new approach, and a solid challenge.
Overall, this game is a good buy, as it can be played for hours and hours, with differing battles and good presentation. A good game. Good.
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