Rise up, rise up
The original Rise of Nations is a classic real-time strategy game which plays out like a mix of Age of Empires and Civilization and which still stands up well today. Rise of Legends sticks with many of the elements which made its predecessor so good but adds in enough new features to ensure that it's also well worth adding to your collection. Perhaps the most notable difference here is the change of setting to a steampunk-style universe where religious zealots lurk in the jungles and the magical Alin rule over burning deserts. The main focus here is on the campaign, which features over fifty scenarios to play through, and with fifteen heroes to control as you attempt to conquer all that stands before you. The gameplay is classic RTS stuff, featuring a mix of combat, resource gathering, city building and so on, but there are a number of new features included here, neutral units, dominances and so on, while the three races all offer very different playstyles. Rise of Legends really is a superb game which just begs to be played whether you're a fan of the genre or a complete newcomer. It's a sequel which genuinely expands on its predecessor and improves on it in almost every way, with a number of new mechanics which subtly alter the gameplay and which make it richer and more rewarding than ever before. It's a game which also looks glorious, sporting some superb design work and which serves to suck you into the well-written world. It's hugely addictive stuff too, so if you pick this up, which you should, be prepared to say goodbye to your life.