Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War

$ 19.99

Works on: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 / 11

Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War is a real-time strategy game developed by both Stainless Steel Studios and Midway Games; it was released on June 12, 2006. The game incorporates segments of both third-person and first-person shooter gameplay, by allowing the player to temporarily control a "hero". Rise and Fall is based in the first millennium BC, and features four playable civilizations: Persia, Greece, Egypt, and Rome. The game includes over eighty civilization-unique military units, as well as eight "hero" units—of which only one may be purchased during a game. In Rise and Fall, there are two campaigns: one follows the conquests of Alexander the Great; and the other, the fictional liberation of Egypt by Cleopatra.


Featuring mainly RTS, but also third-person and—with a few heroes only—first-person shooter scenarios, the gameplay in Rise and Fall is unique. The goal of the game is to defeat the opponent(s), which is done by first micromanaging a base, and then training an army to destroy the enemy's position. Both land and sea units are available, allowing for different strategies, including amphibious warfare. As in most RTS games, units fight using a rock, paper, scissors method, meaning some soldiers are more capable of defeating a certain kind of enemy, while being defeated by another (ex. cavalry defeat archers, archers defeat spearmen, spearmen defeat cavalry).

Military units in Rise and Fall are grouped as infantry, cavalry, special, siege, or naval. Infantry, cavalry, and some special units automatically group themselves into formations—groups of soldiers that receive attack and defense bonuses—when at least eight of that kind of unit is present; the maximum number of units a formation may consist of is sixty-four. The unit's speed, attack, defensive capabilities, and range vary, depending on several factors; these include their civilization; unit type; the upgrades that have been purchased; whether or not they are in formation, and, if so, its size. Three resources—wood, gold, and glory—are used to build structures, train units, purchase upgrades; a fourth resource, stamina, is spent using "hero mode." Wood and gold are deposited in settlements, or one of their various upgrades, such as town centers. Glory and stamina are both earned: glory by building and fighting, and stamina when the hero unit kills an enemy. In several RTS games, upgrades—sometimes called "Ages"—are available that represent time periods or technological levels; Rise and Fall uses a similar concept. When upgrades to the hero—called "Levels" in this game—are purchased with glory, new technologies, upgrades, units, and advisors are unlocked. Advisors—paid for with glory as well—provide civilization-specific benefits and bonuses to the player's army and economy. Outposts, guarded by artificial intelligence soldiers,—soldiers who defend automatically—also play an important part in Rise and Fall. Conquering outposts increases the number of units trained from military buildings or ships, while not augmenting their price. The outpost guardians, however, protect it, and reappear until the outpost is taken by a player; once captured, they protect the outpost from attacks by the owner's enemies.

Another feature in Rise and Fall is "hero mode," which allows the player to temporarily take control of a hero, as if in a third-person shooter game; certain heroes—for instance, Cleopatra—can zoom in further than others with their bow, allowing the player to aim as if in a first-person shooter game. In hero mode, the hero unit becomes much more powerful, often allowing the player to destroy multiple enemy formations. Stamina is required to use this mode, however, and is lost quickly during its duration. The longest a player can spend in hero mode varies with stamina levels, which is increased with upgrades to the hero. To balance the game, hero mode can be used much less than RTS mode. Each civilization has two heroes from which to choose, usually a famous leader in history, such as Alexander the Great, but sometimes derived from mythology, such as Achilles.

Rise and Fall may be played in both single-player and multiplayer. In single-player games, only one human player may play, against one through seven computer players. If more than two players will play, they may be grouped into teams, which can be chosen to be either permanent or manageable during the game using diplomacy. Other options available before beginning a game include the "population capacity";—the number of units that are trainable—which map of the twenty-four to play on; the difficulty setting; the number of resources given at the start; and the color and civilization of all players. Rise and Fall's multiplayer component is powered by GameSpy, and may be played using the updated version of the game. Players may host or join matches through either the internet or LAN. The host of the game chooses the options, while the player(s) who join the game either agree to the conditions or reject them; the match begins when all players agree with the host's terms. Each player selects a civilization and color, and does not require the host to change them. The multiplayer was discussed on the forums of Rise and Fall Heaven, a popular strategy game fansite. It was said that it is not frequented by many players, and that matches are often difficult to begin due to indecisiveness. During a game, the rules previously agreed upon are often broken by one or more players, leading to unruliness. Despite these drawbacks, several players reported that they played multiplayer.


Rise and Fall includes two campaigns, which are divided into acts containing from two to four chapters each; a chapter comprises a battle and a cinematic. The first campaign follows Alexander the Great on his quest to defeat the allegiance of his brother, and the Persian general, Memnon. The second campaign features Cleopatra, and her attempts to repel a Roman invasion by Octavian.

The Alexander the Great campaign recounts the young king's conquest of Asia. The beginning cinematic is of the killing of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander's father, and introduces Alexander as a naive and unprepared prince, who is challenged by the duties thrust upon him. Alexander decides to follow the advice of his tutor, Aristotle, by quelling rebellions in Greece and its territories, as well as forming an allegiance with Parmenion. He then follows his brother—who had left to Persia—by sea, and faces off against the army and navy of General Memnon. Captured by deceit, Alexander escapes, but only after fighting in an amphitheatre. He then begins to sack Persian cities, and takes a temple containing the Bow of Heracles, a mythical weapon of immense power. Alexander eventually captures his brother, and executes him for treason. Finally, during the Siege of Tyre (332 BC), Alexander defeats Memnon, and is portrayed as having earned his kingdom. By now, Alexander has matured, and his men hold him in high esteem.

The Cleopatra campaign focuses on Cleopatra VII and her efforts to drive out an invasion by Octavian. As the Roman legions take control of much of Egypt, Cleopatra, her lover Mark Antony, and her brother Ptolemy free areas under Roman rule. Antony distrusts Ptolemy however, believing him to be in league with Rome. Meanwhile, Cleopatra defeats several of Octavian's legions, causing him to send one of his best generals to eliminate her. After an expedition to Nubia, Cleopatra and the Egyptians gain the ability to train war elephants, a gift from the Nubian queen. Ptolemy is found guilty of treason, as Mark Antony suspected, and is arrested. He escapes, killing the guards, but is recaptured. Before being executed, he says he did not kill the guards, and escaped only to save himself; he blames a priest, Tor, for being allied with Rome and killing his guards. The warrior priest kills two more guards as soon as he hears this, before Mark Antony attacks him. Tor quickly kills Antony, and escapes. Bent on revenge, Cleopatra tracks him down and defeats him, along with many Romans and Egyptian traitors. Octavian's general soon arrives with his legions, but is defeated multiple times. Octavian, tired of his defeats, kills him before the Roman armies, setting an example for his men. The Emperor himself then leads the attack on Alexandria, and plunders the city until Cleopatra arrives. Then, he and Cleopatra fight; the Egyptian queen slays Octavian, but is mortally wounded, and dies moments after having freed Egypt. Ptolemy buries his sister in a pyramid, and many Egyptians attend her funeral procession.

Game details
ESRB rating : Teen
Genre: Real-time Strategy · Third-person shooter
Works on: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 / 11
Release date: 12/06/2006
Developers: Stainless Steel Studios · Midway Games San Diego
Publisher: Midway Games
Game features: Single-player
Languages: English (Audio & Text)
Size: 2.34 GB

System requirements
Minimum system requirements:
CPU: Pentium III 1.4 GHz/Athlon 2000+ /Sempron 2200+ or better
CPU SPEED: Pentium III 1.4 GHz/Athlon 2000+ /Sempron 2200+ or better
RAM: 256 MB
OS: Windows 2000/XP
VIDEO CARD: 64MB VRAM Directx 9.0b compatible (NVIDIA GeForce3+ / ATI Radeon 8500+)
3D: Yes
DIRECTX VERSION: DirectX 9.0b (included on disc)

Recommended Requirements
CPU: Pentium 4/Athlon XP or better
OS: Windows XP
VIDEO CARD: 128MB VRAM Directx 9.0b compatible (NVIDIA GeForce FX+ / ATI Radeon 9500+)
3D: Yes

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