I installed and played this demo a while ago, but I’m pretty sure I still remember my impressions correctly. As with most of my demos, it was downloaded from jucaushii.ro.
From the publishers:
In Rise & Fall, players assume the role of one of history’s greatest heroes and build a civilization from the ground up. Amass enough glory, and Rise & Fall lets the player fight alongside his troops in Hero Command Mode, laying waste to carefully prepared enemy plans, formations and fortifications with an almost supernatural combination of leadership and martial skill.
So, as is implied by the statement above, the game has two modes, Hero and Strategy. The screenshot above is of the strategy mode. It’s pretty much the same as every other game in the genre. There are probably a lot of subtleties that I’m missing, but you have to be more versed in the genre than I am to pick them up.
I can make some general comments about this mode though, the viewing angles were handled well, I never felt like I was missing anything, which is a common complaint of strategy games. You also had complete control over your own viewing angle, so that was cool. I remember times in Warcraft 2 that I would have loved to zoom in and watch my awesome Paladins and Rangers wreak havoc (not to mention my gryphons).
While the conventional strategy mode is good, the game really comes into it’s own in the hero mode.
I think the team that developed this game knew that the hero mode was going to be the clincher, because a lot of the cut scenes and advertising seem to emphasise being able to play as the particular heroes.
It really is enjoyable.
When I played the demo, I spent a huge amount of time in hero mode as Cleopatra. To be clear, what happens is that when in strategy mode, there is a unit which is particularly strong and probably has a range of other talents. This is your hero. Nothing new there.
In this game however, you can choose to go into hero mode. This zooms in, and from being able to see your entire army, now you can only see your hero, and you control them directly, in semi-FPS sort of a way. They probably made the demo particularly easy so that you could play in this mode for ages and not have to worry about anything else.
There is the danger I suppose of getting engrossed in your “hero play” and forgetting that you have a base and hundreds of units that are sitting around waiting for orders.
Never the less, running over the hills killing soldiers in hand to hand combat is remarkably refreshing for this sort of a game. The one thing I’d like to see in future games is the ability to play as any unit. Sure, it’s great playing as Cleopatra, but it would be cool to play as the galley captain or chariot driver.
I really enjoyed my time playing this game. My only complaint was the way units got onto the transport ships. I ended up having to manually move units to the front or back so more could get on. What a pain. I wouldn’t buy the game at retail ($89.95 @ gpstore.co.nz ) but I wouldn’t return it if someone gave it to me.