Flash of Steel header image 2

Rise and Fall of Egypt – An Early Look from Gamespot

July 28th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Gamespot has posted the first profile of a culture in Stainless Steel Studios’ upcoming Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War. The Egyptians get the star treatment and there is quite a bit of information about what we can expect from them.

The game has hero units as the major new innovation, and SSS has gone to the obvious choices of Cleopatra and Ramsses the Great. Historically speaking, Cleopatra was a ruler with more ambition than actual success, but name recognition is important. Telling a player that he is now controlling Hathepsut or Thutmose III just doesn’t have the same instant appeal.

I do note that Cleo is wearing a dress that exposes her midriff – just like Isis did in Age of Mythology, and like no one who wasn’t a dancer would have at the time period in question. And that’s a very short skirt. I think I can see the Nile Delta. The priestess isn’t dressed much more modestly. The Britney-ization of computer women is not limited to The Sims or RPG fantasy anymore.

The priest, healer, and architect advisors emphasize the commonplace understandings of ancient Egyptian society. They were religious and they built stuff, just as we have learned from Cecil B. DeMille movies and Civ 3 (where Egypt was Religious and Industrious.) The military looks to be your standard computer game melange of Ptolemaic armies (elephants and cavalry) and the Pharaonic armies of Ramsses (charioteers and swordsmen).

I should do another article that compares how various games have seen various historic cultures. I think that there is a lot of subtle education going on that reinforces both traditional and legendary understandings of what made certain cultures tick.

As for Rise and Fall, it still hasn’t climbed into my gotta-have-it list despite the pull of the period for me. The naval battles look like a real change of pace, and I think that SSS’s Empires: Dawn of the Modern World was an underappreciated and tightly paced jewel of a game. Stay tuned to Gamespot (and here) for more updates.


No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.