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Rise of Legends

February 3rd, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Lots of new stuff on Rise of Legends is coming out. Gamespot has revealed that the third race is a stranded alien group called the Cuotl. (Their name is vaguely Meso-American, so it’s kind of appropriate that they will have a Mayan theme.) March’s CGM has a great preview written by Ben Sones that goes into a lot of detail about the game with quite a few nifty screenshots as well.

Usually, aliens turn me off. But I sort of like what Big Huge Games is doing with the Cuotl. Asimov said that really advanced technology is nearly indistinguishable from magic and that’s the theme they are going with. A few aliens with advanced tech crash land on a planet and help provoke a war between the forces of magic (the Arabian Nights themed Alin) and the forces of science (the Renaissance steampunk themed Vinci). The Cutol themselves are few, so they rely on human soldiers to support their own very expensive but very powerful weapons of war.

I have to say that I am getting more excited about Rise of Legends with every story. BHG took a risk by deciding not to just do Rise of Nations II – yet another historical RTS with pikes and horsies and tanks at the end. The whole “Rise of…” name is enough to twig people to the fact that this is a sequel of a sort, or at least is from the same people. But by trying to give gamers a completely new setting, they set themselves up for a sort of failure.

Face it. People like staying in their comfort zones. And most strategy gamers have little time for a new backstory. Magic needs elves and wizards, right? And flying machines should be airplanes, or at least orc built zeppelins. A Mid East motif coupled with lumbering mechanical doo-hickeys is a recipe for cognitive dissonance. Some people might reject Rise of Legends based on the look alone. Don’t laugh – I know of people who refused to buy Civ 4 because it went 3D.

I’m ready though. After Galactic Civilizations II, Rise of Legends will be the second must-have strategy game of 2006.


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