Microsoft deploying Thrones & Patriots demo

The trial version of Rise of Nations expansion gives taste of four-player real-time strategy and Alexander the Great campaign.

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Just days before the release of Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots, Microsoft is offering a free demo of the anticipated expansion pack. Available on GameSpot DLX, the 244MB demo will give players a taste of the new features and content the pack will add to the real-time strategy game. The demo does not require gamers to own the original retail version of Rise of Nations.

In the demo, players can choose between four nations, including the all-new Persia. Besides a tutorial, the demo will feature three different random map types and part of the Alexander the Great campaign, which is one of the expansion pack's new historical campaigns.

Developed by Big Huge Games, Thrones & Patriots adds a bevy of new features and content to the original Rise of Nations (which is required to play the retail version). The pack will feature four new nations, including the Persians and the Americans, and four new historical campaigns, including the Napoleonic Era and the Cold War. More than 20 new units will also be featured, including Persian war elephants and US marines. Rated "T" for Teen, Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots is scheduled to ship next Tuesday at a retail price of $29.95.

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