The Rise of Rome
Age of Empires Expansion
Pack a Welcome Addition
Fans of "real
time strategy games" like StarCraft, Dune 2000, etc. have undoubtedly
enjoyed Microsoft's "Age of Empires," in which you build your civilization
while seeing to it that others don't build theirs.
MS has given a new title to lovingly load onto your hard drive via the
expansion pack "The Rise of Rome." It not only gives you a new empire
to build, it adds features to the original game that are welcome, indeed.
Empires is kind of like a cross between "WarCraft II," "Civilization II,"
and "Conquest of the New World." It plays like the usual real time strategy
game, which is to say it's a lot of fun!
presents you with random maps, as well as various campaigns and scenarios.
As with the competing games mentioned above, you start with limited people
and resources, sending out villagers to gather food, cut wood, mine rock
and gold, etc. Other villagers become builders, constructing the other
buildings that help your civilization grow (like the Barracks that unleash
your hordes upon your enemies).
played those other games, you'll be right at home with Age of Empires
and its expansion pack. We found it a hoot.
of Rome, which requires you have Age of Empires installed first, lets
you guide the heirs of Romulus and Remus to the heights of their decadence.
Or you can take charge of Carthage, Macedonia (Alexander's ragtime band?),
or Palmyra if you prefer.
new wrinkle to the expansion pack is the ability to build more than one
of a particular unit at a time, the lack of which we found a shortcoming
of the original model. Now, by clicking repeatedly on the little box that
starts the process, you can control how many of each unit you want, as
long as your resources will support them.
Naturally, there are also new units to construct and control
as well, new technologies to invent, and a new set of campaigns and scenarios.
Empire's graphics are first rate, with each figure animated quite well.
The sound is also top notch.
eight players can duke it out online, via the Internet (Microsoft's Internet
Gaming Zone), over a LAN, or modem to modem.
of Rome is a fitting expansion to Age of Empires, and if you enjoyed the
first game you'll probably want to have it.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think