Rise of Nations

by Travis

November 11, 2008

In the 90s, games such as Age of Empires and Starcraft paved the way for future real time strategy games, and brought popularity and acknowledgement to the genre.In 2003, Microsoft developed Rise of Nations for the PC. Rise of Nations, and its expansion, allowed the player to control one of the 24 real-life-based nations through the cavemen era to present day. There are no restrictions to this part of the game; for instance, America can be used during the caveman era. Each nation has different strengths that are in some way related to their real life counterparts. The British have the power of empire for example.

During the game you start with a basic city and the cities are the main point of your strategy. Pretty much all the buildings in the game have to be built around one of your or your allies' cities. The placement of cities can bite you in the ass if you place it in the middle of the map, and you find later you don't have enough resources because your dumbass didn't think ahead. There are six resources in this game, food, water, gold, metal, oil, and knowledge. However not all of them are available during the first age and are unlocked as you progress through the ages. To progress, you have to research technologies such as military, science, civics, and commerce. Generally knowledge is the most used resource for all the technologies.

In the final ages, if you have researched all the technologies, you gain access to the super technologies which greatly affect your nation and can be a deciding factor in who wins and loses the game.  These of course, cost a significant amount of resources. Near the end of the game, you gain access to Nuclear Weapons. However in an attempt to prevent players from just launching a barrage of these fuck-you-up bombs, there's an Armageddon timer. This timer goes down every time someone launches a nuke, and if it reaches 0, everyone loses.

This game is a great game to play with friends and also fun by yourself. The AI is quite good, and a good teammate and even worse opponent. The online is the key part of the game, as this is a great game to play with your friends. The game's colorful graphics are pleasing to look at, and the audio is top notch and the taunts are hilarious. I've played several real time strategy games in the past, including Age of Empires and Starcraft, and there's something special about Rise of Nations that keeps me coming back to it. It is my favorite real time strategy game, and one of my favorite games for any genre or system. I recommend this game for anyone.