Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War Hands-On Update

We try out the latest version of Stainless Steel's PC real time strategy game that uses the power of your brain (and hundreds of troops) to conquer the ancient world.


CHICAGO- We've been following Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War, the upcoming real time strategy game from developer Stainless Steel that lets you play as one of four ancient civilizations, for some time now. The promising game blends elements from different genres to create a unique new real time game that's looked quite promising. The latest version of the game on display at Midway's press event today in Chicago did nothing to dissuade that impression as the game continues to get polished up.

The game stands out as a unique hybrid in the strategy genre thanks to its gameplay which mixes traditional real time elements that let you raise and command massive armies of soldier with more traditional console style gameplay wherein you'll take active control of a lone hero that you can level up by earning experience. Though mixing both mechanics together could lead to trouble for the game's pacing, Rise & Fall seems to be avoiding such issues thus far.

Though there wasn't anything new on display from the last few times we've seen the game in terms of content, the visuals and control have been tightened up. The game continues to run better and the artwork is especially impressive thanks to a level of detail that's sharp. We were especially pleased to get a look at the tech tree in the game which gave us a better sense of the real time strategy elements in it. The different levels of technology you'll reach as you play will remain consistent as you progress through the game which is a welcome change from other RTS' which invariably cast you back to the dark ages in between levels, forcing you to work your way up the technology chain again. This is especially handy as you'll be able to earn different advisors, based on the level of your hero, by spending the glory, the game's currency, you earn as you play. Though you'll find three advisors available initially, more will open up as your hero earns experience and increases in level.

Despite all the different gameplay systems at work under the hood of the game, Rise & Fall still remains accessible thanks to a simple interface. The point and click interface coupled with an efficient command system all keep the game easy to get into.

Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War is currently slated to ship early next year for the PC, a shift from its original date at the end of this year. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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