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The best parts of the game
Rise and Fall implements traditional real-time strategy game elements combined with third person perspective that provides an interesting point of view for the gamer
Naval combat elements and mechanisms during game play are the best part of Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War, new and inventive, detailed and fleshed out, the ship board combat is fluid enough to provide an entertaining experience.
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The bad parts
Rise and Fall includes an Action mode that adds over the top difficulty on all levels of play to an already difficult game, not sure who the developers were thinking was going to be able to play, let alone beat this game.
Lackluster graphical presentation and frequent frame-rate issues crop up as you play, even with a good machine you may find the experience frustrating, and it certainly takes away from the entertainment value of the game.
Graphical problems; like troops marching into the hills and disappearing or projectiles flying through objects keeps cropping up during play, taking away from the enjoyment and fun of the game.
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The game graphics
Play this game on a lower resolution level, higher resolutions only slow this game down even more, and the graphical elements don't really get much better on the higher resolutions.
This is a run of the mill presentation; the color palatte appears broad, yet the colors are bland and nothing special.
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Sounds of the game
The Gladiator style sound track is okay, but a bit showy and over done at times, kind of over dramatic, but this was generally during the third person perspective segments, so they were probably trying to create atmosphere.
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The game's story
There are two campaign modes included with Rise and Fall, the Alexander campaign with you playing the part of Alexander the Great in the war between the Persians and Greeks; and the Cleopatra campaign, with you as Cleopatra the Queen of the Nile leading he Egyptian people in their fight against Roman invaders. You will also interact with other characters from history, such as Mark Anthony and Greek hero Achilles as you revisit the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome.
You need to use your slaves to collect the resources you need to keep your campaign going and build the things you need. They will harvest wood, gold, and glory, which is gained by building monuments or accomplishing great feats of skill. You use glory to level up your character or military units, recruit advisors, which are special assistants that grant global bonuses, such as being able to mine gold faster or boost the moral of your troops.
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Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War is an overly difficult game that will probably make most gamers stop playing in favor of a less challenging game that requires less than perfect intellect and reflexes to master. If you like a challenge and don't mind frustration, then this game will fill the order perfectly. Rise and Fall can be beat, especially on the lowest difficulty level (three difficulty levels are included), but even on this setting requires a little skill and patience to beat
The designers did include a lot of content for the gamer to fill their tiime, including a skirmish mode, two campaign modes, and a multiplayer mode for up to 8 players on large, well designed maps with a good variety in terrain. The multiplayer mode is really well balanced with see-saw battles of attrition that can take quite a few hours to play.
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The final grade received
Rise and Fall tries to be everything for everyone, but is it a real-time strategy title or a third person adventure game, and because of this hybrid nature misses the mark on both attempts. The developers made the game a bit to hard even for my liking, so I don't expect this game to have gamers flocking to the stores, but the parts I did enjoy were really entertaining. These would include the naval battles, the third person action mode when it worked right, and the successful implementation of tactics and strategies that eventually, after many hours, lead to victory.
The graphics and the whole game has an unfinished feel to it, almost like Midway, who was having financial problems during the development of Rise and Fall, may have had to make a few compromises.