Rise of Nations E3 2003 Preshow Report

The next game from Civilization II cocreator Brian Reynolds will be at E3 2003.

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Rise of Nations, the historically themed strategy game from Big Huge Games, will be on display at this year's E3. The game's design was spearheaded by Big Huge Games' president Brian Reynolds, a strategy game veteran whose previous credits include Civilization II and Alpha Centauri.

Rise of Nations will be an unusual game that will combine the fast pace of real-time strategy with the grand strategy of a traditional turn-based game. In the game, you'll play as the leader of one of 18 different world nations, such as Germany, Korea, England, or the US. Each nation will have its own individual advantages, as well as unique military units.

Many traditional turn-based strategy games focus on the gradual research of technological improvements over time. Many real-time strategy games, on the other hand, place an emphasis on fast-paced battles between powerful armies. Rise of Nations will attempt to combine both of these elements using a research system that will let you improve the various aspects of a nation, including economics, population, and science. Your research choices can be used to attain victory through economic superiority or scientific advancement, but depending on which nation you choose, you'll be able to just as easily research and develop a powerful army that you can use to defeat your opponents. The game will cover 6,000 years of human history, so you'll see a wide range of technological advancements in the course of any one game, especially in the lengthy single-player campaign.

However, Rise of Nations' developers have stated repeatedly that the game will also lend itself extremely well to multiplayer play, and that the game will be as fast-paced as any other real-time strategy game. In fact, Big Huge Games and Microsoft have conducted extensive focus testing to ensure that multiplayer sessions of Rise of Nations take no longer than 30 minutes to an hour, despite the game's epic scale. Rise of Nations is scheduled for release in late May.

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