Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends Updated Demo
The Rise of Nations series made itself known through the staggering number of gameplay options, historical accuracy and the overwhelming array of playable factions, each one of which had their own skills and special abilities. Now, the franchise takes a weird turn toward fantasy and science fiction, by featuring fewer races, simplified mechanics and an emphasis on the differences between factions.
An unending struggle between magic and technology
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends takes place in an universe where magic and technology coexist, but not in a peaceful manner. The representatives of the two ideologies are constantly at war with each other, using everything in their power to destroy the other civilizations and gain the supremacy over the planet. Thus, the game goes about as far off-script as possible from the original ideas of the series, but offers something unique in return along the way.
Although there are only three races in this installment, unlike the 18 nations that were available in the previous title, they are very different from each other, both in looks and in gameplay mechanics. You get to choose between the curious alien faction called Coutl, the magic-wielding Alin forces, or the Vinci, which use technology to overpower their enemies and gain the upper hand in combat.
Not only that they employ different techniques when it comes to combat, but they also require unique resources in order to expand their cities. Thus, the Coutl aliens do not concern themselves with wealth, but replace it with energy instead and use it to power their armies and their establishments. Hence, changing races is definitely not that easy, especially since you cannot use the same strategies or tactics during the course of the game. You do, however, get to appreciate the variety found in the gameplay mechanics, because a lot of work went into assuring the fact that, regardless of the differences between them, the tree factions are still very much balanced in power.
A different take on the base-building mechanics
While you still get to build armies and construct buildings to advance your civilization, you have to go about it in a slighty different way in the case of Rise of Legends. This is because the cities are not structured in the usual way, but rather require special “districts” in order to increase the population cap, mining proficiency or military strength. In addition, you also get to trade with neutral cities scattered around the map, which can also be bought or conquered by force, depending on your mood.
Once the economy is out of your way, you can start focusing on building a sizable army. The game features a very large palette of units to choose from, ranging from basic musketeers and robotic warriors, to strange aliens and magical beings summoned using powerful wizardry. Naturally, they can all be improved and upgraded by spending research points on better equipment, which becomes increasingly more important as you advance through the game.
An all-around successful transition
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends may not adhere to the old standards of the franchise, but it did manage to make a smooth and successful transition between the radically different universes. Moreover, the sheer number of tactical options and the major difference between the three factions provide you with plenty of gameplay hours, especially since the mechanics must be re-learned each time you switch races.