Civilizations at War rises to gold status

Midway PC game mixing real-time strategy and third-person action set for release June 12.

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Midway Games' real-time strategy title about societies long gone is almost here. The company today announced that Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War, set in ancient Rome and Egypt, among other places, has finished development and gone gold.

The game, which will be released June 12, mixes up the RTS genre's typical setup. It allows players--normally resigned to directing troops and units from afar--to assume the roles of legendary figures from history and fight alongside their foot soldiers, archers, cavalry, and other ground forces.

The game pulls eight leaders of four historic empires--the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Persians--from the history books, including Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Ramses, Nebuchadnezzar, and Achilles. Players can also choose to commandeer four other, smaller civilizations, then control their hero characters from an action-game third-person perspective, another deviation from most real-time strategy titles. The game also supports up to eight players at once in multiplayer modes.

Originally set to release late last year, Civilizations at War was thrust into the spotlight last November when its developer, Stainless Steel Studios, unexpectedly shut down. Midway promised the game would remain on course, and had its San Diego development studio pick up where Stainless Steel left off.

Gamers who preorder Civilizations at War from certain retailers will receive a 48-page mini-strategy guide. A Midway spokesman told GameSpot the specific retailers offering the guide include EB Games, EB Games Canada, GameStop, Best Buy, Target, Fry's Electronics, and Comp USA.

Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War is rated T for Teen and will retail for $49.99.

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