Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome

Strategy 1998 Windows Microsoft Empire management Organized forces Real time

Rise up, rise up!

This is an add-on pack for the original and groundbreaking Age of Empires, one of the classic real time strategy games alongside Dune 2 and Command & Conquer, and if you have the first one, then this is a great addition. The basic gameplay remains pretty much the same, although there are some small but significant tweaks, while the main draw here is the addition of several new civilizations as well as heaps of accompanying units, buildings and other goodies. If you haven't played the original, the essential idea here is develop your small tribe, advancing it through various periods in history, by creating new technologies, forging buildings and defeating your foes. This one adds in four new civilizations, Carthage, Macedonia, Palmyra and Rome, each with a wide range of new units, buildings and some very interesting technology to try out. The changes to the gameplay include the fact that you can now queue the production of certain units, the addition of a new map size, and the ability to alter population limits, amongst others. These changes don't alter the game in spectacular fashion and are certainly not vital additions, but the new civilizations make things fun on a whole new level. They each offer very different challenges and manage to make the game feel almost completely fresh, despite being very old, and while there's a couple of duff units, most of them are also enjoyable to use. The visuals are largely untouched, as is the interface for the most part, so this is still the Age of Empires you know and love, only better.

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