Rise of Nations Review
Well I would like to do a real review of RoN, not one of those crappy reviews made by people that read the cover and speculate that the game must be like “what the box says”.
RoN is not like the Civ series unlike what many reviewers say.
Just because RoN has tech lines doesn’t make it like a turn based game. In fact the only real part of this game that is turn based is the single player conquer the world campaign. All of the other single player and multiplayer elements of the game shape it into a huge triumph of RTS glory.
The game has features that boost RTS games to the next frontiers.
The Resource cap feature of RoN is one of the best features ever incorperated into the genre. With this one innovation you can judge how well your econmy is doing and how fast you can deploy your strategies. In the first 3 minutes of the game you know what you will be capable of in the later stages. By observing your resource level in real time you can, instead of waiting for your resources to accumulate to build a unit you have a garanteed time on when you will have the proper amount of resources to train said unit.
The Borders of RoN are without a doubt the single best feature! You can strategically force your enemy to play defensively once you grasped the concept of aggresive border pushing. Borders give you an effective way to cripple your enemies economy by stealing away their resources! Using “Cities” another feature of RoN you can create an actual “Empire” in the same way that the Romans did so long ago!
Now you say “ok this game must be nothing but a resource gathering, tech, and age race” HA! You are wrong friend! In fact RoN can be one of the most aggresive games you’ve ever played! But it can also be a fun Tech race game if you see fit, thanks to BHG’s option of “peaceful Tech Race”. With that option you can just go at it trying out tech and age your enemy.
Cities are an awesome addition to the game. With Cities you can impose your borders on enemies, increase trade, and increase your resource gather rates!
Combine city placement with research and map types and you just eleminated the boring art form of “build orders”. Now you must plot your whole game forcing you to use strategy in order to bring victory to your Empire!
You must be saying “this is too good to be true”. Well it gets even better. RoN makes it harder to spam out 1 type of unit thanks to RoNs “ramping cost” feature. This helps to eleminate the “1 unit rush” like the cavalry in some games that can kill every other unit, you know the game. Well because of RoNs Ramping costs and perfect unit balancing that 1 unit junk is a thing of the past. Try to make an unequal army and you will be torn apart by a balanced army.
Many people compare this game to Empire Earth, I can see why they both go through Human history and they are both pretty big games. Although in Empire Earth every playable faction looked exactly alike and none had units unique to their own Faction. RoN does , RoN offers different art based on the region that a certain nation is from. Korea doesn’t look like Spain in the real world so why should it in game land. also RoN offers special units for each nation that no other nation can create. Some units like the British Longbowman can only be made by the British nation, same goes for the German Tiger Tank only Germany can build that.
To some it all up, RoN is a rich game that can be played fast and aggresive or slow and diplomatic. In no other game have i been able to win the game in 3 minutes or with the same nation try a different strategy and win the game in an hour.
If you are a good RTS player than this game is rite for you. Take the time to learn some of the infinite strategies that this game has and you will find out why after a year people are still learning the many features of Rise of Nations!