Friday, May 12, 2006

Demo Daze - Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War

Kingdoms Under Fire mixed with Dynasty Warriors mixed with Generic RTS.

You would get something very much like Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War. Try out the demo. You might enjoy it.

In the demo, you command the Egyptians against the Romans, I think.

During the game, you can take third-person control of Cleopatra who, being wise and powerful, decided that wearing armor in battle, or even clothing, was for squares. She wields a hand scythe and slices and dices enemies with ease. In fact, it's so easy, it's kind of boring. There's no real visceral feeling to the combat. Just *slice* and the enemy falls down.

You also have a bow to take out enemies from a distance. Trying to hit soldiers on watchtowers was an annoyance, since the hit box on the railing was difficult to judge. I'd line up a perfect shot and see my arrow disappear and produce a brief spurt of woody particles.

Controlling your troops gives you only a mild feeling of power. Tell them to follow or charge, or hold position. They don't always respond well, especially in the thick of battle, but that's understandable. The graphics seem a little too crisp; There's no sense of grit, no dirt or sand kicked up, no rusty armor.

The other part of the game is based around a typical RTS model. You hit a button and can select your owned units and manipulate them around the map. This works exactly the way you would expect. Sadly, there's nothing notable at all about this facet.

I'm on the fence with this game. I didn't see anything innovative at all. The sheer scope of the game, however, might make it worthwhile. Also, there could be a longer-term strategic aspect.

If they can integrate the three levels of action together, it could make for an interesting single-player and a tricky multiplayer.

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