Rise of Nations is definately the RTS you were waiting for!
fandom888 wrote this review on .
First of all, and unlike many previous games, this one has a more political style, as it combines the old-school "just violence", and new features, like national borders or spies and generals.
Unlike Age of Empires, here cities play a different and more important role in setting up your nation and controlling the map, as the give you geographical advantage. For example, when you conquer a hostile city, after the city is assimilated, you gain advantage. Finally, in skirmish you can win by controlling at least 70% of the map, when using default settings. Furthermore, every city is a single community, having its own farms, lumberjacks, universities or temples.
As for the borders, the player can choose to expand by building cities or forts, or to play defensively and keep an army near the boarders, just in case...
Now, if you attack early in the game, you will find out that your soldiers' health is damaged when entering a hostile territory or a neutral one. It happens under particular circumstances, which are four:
1.You have entered a nation with whom you have peace.
2.The enemy has done research in one of his towers.
3.The enemy nation is the Russians.
4.Your enemy has built the Colloseum.
A very important feature of the game is when a player builds a wonder, which gives the player a variety of bonuses, which have often to do with the resources you collect. Since only one wonder is allowed per city (except the Egyptians who can have two), you will have to build more cities, or capture others. Then if you or your team have enough wonder points (the default number is 8), you will win the game.
The kind of resources you will have to collect or the way you collect them is also unusual. For example, food is colected by farms, wealth from markets and caravans and knowledge (which is vital to progressing through the ages and researching new technologies) is gathered by building universities and assigning scholars to work in.
The game also provides a "Conqer the World" campaign, in which you lead your nation from a small territory of the world in the ancient ages, to a mighty empire of the future. Luckily, you can choose to continue playing when the game is over, till you beat them or get beaten. It's a pity, though, that the game doesn't include a particular historical campaign.
In addition, the graphics are very good, and as in Age of Empires, each civilization type has its own architecture and culture similar to the real one.
To sum up, this game is not just another good title from Microsoft Studios. It's the features it has which make it reasonably deep. Of course, I recommend this game to everyone, from a beginner in strategy games, to a real master of this genre.