Rise of Nations is a real-time strategic video game which was developed by Big Huge Games. It was and published by Microsoft Game Studios in May 2003. The development was headed up by veteran game designer Brian Reynolds, of Civilization II as well as Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri.
The game has taken a number of different concepts from turn-based strategy games such as territories in addition to attrition warfare. Rise of Nations features 18 civilisations that are playable through eight ages of world history.
A Well-Designed Game
A lot of thinking as well as deliberation has gone into making this uncommon mixture of aspects work well in Rise Of Nations. It shows.
Your nation consists of cities and their peripheral buildings, and military installations. Each city (or fortress) affects the borders of your nation dynamically, moving the boundary forward or backwards dependent upon the status of your cities as well as on those of your bordering nations.
Construct a new city and the national borders in that region (shown by lines across the map) will alter to reflect the new balance of power in the area – an important consideration as national borders define where you are able to build your buildings in addition to what resources you have access to.
Within the borders of each city, there’s a range of facilities which you are able to build ranging from military camps to grain stores as well as from mining installations to temples. A number of these facilities impact the production of all sorts of resources (build a sawmill in order to gather wood quicker, build a smelter to gather from mines faster, construct a university and stock it with scholars in order to speed up research), while others influence your national borders and others still have an effect on your economy, such as the marketplace that can produce net worth by trading with other markets in other cities.
Similarities With Civilization
All of this will probably seem quite familiar to anyone who has played Civilization. Luckily, there’s a lot more where that came from. Around the map there are a number of resources scattered, ranging from sheep to diamonds, that you are able to exploit by sending a trader from the market to set up shop.
Apart from increasing your net worth, these resources also give benefits to your nation, for example reduced costs for particular types of manufacture, improved construction times or better research abilities. As you go through the ages, more resources will become available for you – such as oil as well as uranium, essential for a modern war machine.
For those who haven’t encountered it, Rise Of Nations is played like a classic RTS from the genre’s golden age approximately at the turn of the millennium, however the game has incorporated some 4X stylings, specifically from the Civ mould. You went through the same swathe of “ages” as you’d expect to in a historical 4X too, so old people with sticks eventually became riflemen, while horses underwent an agonising metamorphosis into tanks.