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Old June 16th, 2014 (1:44 AM).
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: The Netherlands
Age: 21
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Welcome ladies and gentleman, my name is ShadowE and this... this is my wish coming true. Rise of Nations, the extended edition which is just a remake I have been waiting for for a long time. It got released on Steam not too long ago, on June 12th and I freaked out when I saw it popping up. I had no idea there was a remake of this game on the works and I instantly wanted to buy and play it. The question is: Is it a good remake?

The answer: Yes, without a single doubt this is a solid remake of Rise of Nations. It also comes with the expansion Thrones and Patriots which gave you a few new buildings, gameplay updates and new factions to play as.

Graphics wise it already was a good looking game for it's time, and the graphical options in this version are nice, you can turn some things on and off or lower the quality if you like for some smoother gameplay, but this game... I gotta say I turned off the fps counter it comes with for the first part and when I wanted to see how much frames per second it had while playing... I was actually stunned. This game toys with my mind, I thought I was at 90+ fps, but I actually was at 50fps.

Here are all the graphical options and the ability to play fullscreen or windowed, aswell as Anti-Aliasing and V-Sync.


Now are there improvements gameplay wise? Yes and no. Since the game feels more smooth it feels like it plays different, but it is the same trusty mechanics they use which I totally do not mind. Rise of Nations was a solid game and the mechanics were amazing. The fact that you had to balance military along with economy so you either wouldn't get overrun or you would get bankrupt. The idea of aging up in time like in Age of Empires was taken a little step further with more ages, going even further than just the time of knights and kingdoms. Opposed to the AoE remake, RoN did not increase the population limit and that is logical, but they couldn't implement it anyways since they had to add more military research options since that is the only way to get more population (that and building a wonder named Colossus which increased the cap with 50). This makes RoN more strategic since you won't see 500 vs 500 men on the battlefield like you would with the AoE remake.

The most important building in this game is the Library. From there you can age up and research into 4 "tech trees": Military (Red), Civic (Blue), Commerce (Green) and Science (Yellow). Military gives you more access to advanced units like siege artillery and cavalry (later on even tanks). It also increases your population limit by 25 each level. Civic increases your city cap by 1 and expands your borders of your nation a little, i'll get to borders in a sec.). Commerce increases your commerce cap. What this does is also a neat feature RoN had. You have a commerce limit which means if you get over that limit, you can bascially get more than it says. The limit for every resource is displayed and the Commerce tree can increase that. The higher your Commerce level is, the more income you are allowed to have. Science makes the research costs cheaper with each level which is neat. It also allows access to structures which boosts the income of a certain resource like Wood.

The game has the most resources in any RTS game I have ever played: 6.
Wood, Food, Metal, Gold, Knowledge and Oil each play a part in what sort of units you can make, what tech you can research faster etc. The last 2 named resources will appear once you reached the right age to gather them. Food can be gathered with Farms and the income can be boosted with a Granary. Wood can be gathered with Lumber Camps and can be boosted by Lumber Mills, and so on. The Market allows you to sell and buy resources if you have enough of gold to buy, or enough food, wood, metal or oil to sell.

The units aren't different at all, each nation has the same units with a few special units regarding which nation you play as. Each nation also has it's unique traits, such as instantly train citizens, being able to build 2 wonders in a city, etc. This makes balancing the game fairly easy and still they can look differnt depending on the nations everyone else has. German and Dutch soldiers for instance would look the same in-game, while German and Chinese would be different from each other.

This is what a nations special trait looks like when picking one:

The game focuses on something different than most RTS games. In order to win you either have to capture all cities, or just capture their capital (which is marked with a star next to the name of the city) and hold it for a few minutes. The game also made it possible to win in more different, less bloody ways, but there is no fun in that right? :P

Like I said the game looks amazing and it runs quite well. I have 8GB's of RAM and a 2GB NVIDIA Geforce 740 and it runs with everything on and on high at 45-70fps. And even if it has 45fps, it doesn't feel like 45 fps at all, trust me.

Even when zoomed in there is still a ton of quality:

Downsides are that they could have improved the textures of the peasants and the units, plus they might have added unit voices since the noises the main battle tanks make are just killing my ears, but those are just small things in a good remake.

There is also a campaign in it in which you have to conquer the world by playing something similar to Risk and then eventually playing the real battles in RTS mode. This mode feels very unique and it still is suprisingly enough.

Rise of Nations, the extended edition as they call it, but I call it the best RTS remake out there atm. It certainly is worth the money and this game could possibly revive RTS from it's dead depths. If you are looking to get into RTS, this is the game to get. It currently is €20/$20 on Steam, but it might be on sale with the Summer Sale nonsense.

Rating: 9.2/10

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