Rise of Legends
Rise of Nations (and the add-on Thrones & Patriots) is a classic RTS game, but it has some nice features which give it a unique taste. That’s how we like it. Does Rise of Legends follow in those footsteps or has the game totally been changed along with the name?
Let me first explain the biggest difference. In Rise of Nations it revolved around building your kingdom throughout history, but in Rise of Legends there are no eras. You just live with your people in an invented world, which isn’t really fantasy-like, but rather sciencefiction. There are 3 different people: Vinci (a people of inventors with robots and the likes of that), Alin (some kind of desert magicians) and Cuotl (think of alien Azetecs). Each of them has been worked out well, their worlds are all very different, which requires a different strategy eacht time. Collecting resources and researching both have been simplified. Because of this you can concentrate on combat, but it is a pity, ’cause like this you’re pushed in a certain direction without the possibility to develop a style which meets your own strategical needs. What you get is very good, but it should have been more.
Traditionally the singleplayer offers a campaign and ‘quick battle’. The campaign consists of three parts, in which you (you guessed it already) play with a different race every time. Unfortunately the story isn’t that exciting (you are Giacomo, who wants to punish the murderer of his brother), but you will have fun with the various scenarios. Just as in Rise of Nations you first play on a so-called world map, on which you conquer areas by winning scenarios.
Those areas offer you certain advantages, like the possiblity to expand your army or develop the characters further, or a power which allows you to for example heal your troops or to let some enemy units defect to your army. On top of that they bring in reinforcements when you have to fight in adjacent areas. A disadvantage here: sometimes the same scenario (be it presented in an other way) has to be played, especially when the enemy recaptures your areas. I don’t have much to say about the length of the campaing and the difficulty levels, because they are all well balanced.
The tutorial comes to you in the form of balloons. For me it was ok, but I think it depends on your own preference. Who doesn’t like it, can turn it off. By the way, it’s possible to adjust precisely which messages have to appear and which don’t.
A quick battle is somewhat different from a scenario in the campaign. For instance, you earn your powers by dominating certain aspects. If you are to first to have a certain amount of units, you’ll get treachery (some enemy units defect to you). If you want to keep that power, you’ll need to maintain the largest army. Every race has its own unique power.
The graphics are quite good, but there isn’t more to say. About the sound I could say the same, but there is one problem: sometimes dialogues are heard in the middle of the game, often something very important is said. Annoying, because the text doesn’t appear on screen, so you have to listen instead of concentrating on building up your base. On top of that it isn’t always clear who’s talking. After a while you’ll learn to recognise the voices, but some of them are very similar.
If you loved Rise of Nations, you’ll love Rise of Legends too. This game offers some fun, but don’t expect something innovating, ’cause it isn’t there.