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Sacred, PC Games, RPG

Product: Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots
Platform: PC
Estimated Street Price: $29.99
Review By: Randy Stein

The Features

It can be profoundly hard to have an expansion to a game that has garnered several Best of 2003 awards and lets you conquer the world with eighteen powerful, but balanced nations, yet Big Huge Games did just that. The new expansion pack, Thrones and Patriots, which was released in stores on April 28, 2004, makes the already great game even greater. As you play through the game, you will experience a range of new enhancements.

Developed by Brian Reynolds and Big Huge Games, Thrones and Patriots, the expansion pack to the critically acclaimed, best-selling real-time strategy (RTS) game Rise of Nations, adds a multitude of new features to Rise of Nations including; six new nations, a wide variety of new single player campaigns, more than 20 new units, new wonders and an innovative new Government feature.

With the new Government feature, any nation, old or new, can choose exactly how to be governed, which has far-reaching effects on how units perform in various situations. All-new single player campaigns will allow gamers to control the course of history during historical events that changed the world.


One of those new features is the development of Six new nations, which include Americans, which receive commerce, airbase, carrier, wonder, and knowledge benefits, Lakota, which receive building, cavalry, and food benefits,  Persians, which receive food, capital, caravan, and civics bonuses and the Iroquois, which receive barracks, food, senate, and healing benefits. These benefits differ, just like the previous version, but also carries the nations over to the Americas, which in turn provides a more widespread game play. After all, three South American Nations can=t hold up the entire continent.

While the new nations are a great addition, the new Campaigns are what truly sell the new expansion. A step up from the previous version of this feature, it adds more comprehension to the campaigns and an easier-to-manage game play.  The game offers Four unique Conquer the World Campaigns. These campaigns appeal to the more tactical player, in which you take the position of a powerful militant or country, and must follow in their footsteps to conquer the world. These new campaigns include the Cold War, which pits the Americans and Soviets in a nuclear standoff, Napoleon, which puts you in his shoes to take control of the Grand Army to conquer various European nations, The New World, which is a scenario similar to the late 1700s in which you control the rebel Americans, the powerful British or French, or the warrior Native Americans, and Alexander the Great, in which you take control of the powerful Macedonians to conquer Bronze Age Europe.

More than twenty new units and new wonders are available including the Persian War Elephant, which was cut from the previous version. The new units include the Continental Marines of the Americans, which can entrench on their own, Repeating Rifle Horse of the Lakota, and the Elite Mohawk Spearman of the Iroquois. The game also includes two new wonders: the Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon, which gives a +50 Knowledge boost, and the Forbidden City, which give a +50 Food and Timber Boost, and is not affected by capital timers.

The last development that is added to the previous version of the game which gives the expansion pack its name is A choice of six innovative Government type. Starting at the Classical Age, you can build a Senate, and choose either A Despotism or Republic government type. The despotism type gives barracks units benefits, whereas the Republic type gives and overall Commerce Cap increase of +50. The other governments include Democracy(decreased non-library techs)and Monarchy (stable benefits) at the Gunpowder Age, and Socialism (airbase, dock, and factory benefits) or Capitalism (Oil Benefits) at the Industrial Age. Along with the beneficial aspects of each government, It includes a spawned APatriot@ which has defense, range, healing, line-of-sight, plunder, or supply benefits. This patriot acts similar to a general, but has double Craft Points.

Rather than being an Aadded@ feature, governments are essential to your nation=s successfulness, and adds more political realism to the game (instead of the typical military point of the game).

Final Comments

How It Grades
Controls: 87%
Gameplay: 93%
Presentation: 94%
Graphics: 95%
Multiplayer: 90%
Sound: 91%
Manual: N/A%
Interface: 88%
Price/Value: 90%
Overall: 91%

All in all it is still the Rise of Nations that everybody knows and enjoys. The multiplayer matchmaking abilities are still relatively the same, except for the fact that extra features that have been added provide a better game play. It is still easy to learn how to play the game, and has the many options it had before. As for lasting appeal, Thrones and Patriots can appeal to any kind of player for a long time. Note that it requires basically the same requirements to install, except for the fact that you need the original Rise of Nations to install it.

 In conclusion, Thrones and Patriots makes a great game greater, simply put. This review can=t simply tell you all the aspects of this great game. You simply have to purchase the game and see for yourself.

Specs & Package
How It Grades 91%
Version Reviewed PC-CD Rom
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? CD
The Good Points Good Gameplay
Good graphics
The Bad Points Controls

Retail version of Rise of Nations
Microsoft® Windows® 98/Me/XP/2000
PC with 500 MHz equivalent or higher processor
128 MB of system RAM
750 MB available hard disk space
8x speed or faster CD-ROM drive
16 MB video card required
Sound card, speakers or headphones required for audio
Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
56 Kbps modem or LAN for online/multiplayer

Widescreen Support No

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