I forgot that I’d said I was gonna weigh in on the Rise of Legends beta sometime. Since it’s been about a month from the game going gold, I figured now was a good time to do so. But seeing as I haven’t touched the beta in two months (god damn you, Oblivion!), I decided to just paste something I’d posted on the beta forums. Joe Pishgar had asked us to post our first impressions on the game. My feelings are still pretty much unchanged now, but remember that this was still in beta (though the only difference between the beta and retail is performance and bugs):
I’m having a hard time getting into this game. Maybe it’s just that some days I’ll get 10 random crashes, my computer will lock, or my monitors will turn off, and other days (like today), I’ll get no crashing whatsoever. (Maybe it’s because I left steam open; I smell a conspiracy :P)
Or maybe it’s the fantasy setting. I loved RoN cause it had some sense of realism to it. I like the vinci units well enough; they’ve got a neat art style and nearly realistic feel. But now that I’ve gotten into the alin campaign, I feel a bit out of place. The alin units, buildings, spells, etc. don’t feel as natural and easy to grasp. Just the last scenario I played, I had to read all the alin tips to figure out how to transport units. Summoning winds to carry units? Is that inventive or just nutty? At least those tips are there.
Or maybe I just feel like I’ve played this game before. I know someone or everyone will want to disagree with me, but it feels just like playing Warcraft 3 with some RoN elements tacked on. But the RoN elements are the best part! I liked Warcraft 3 well enough, but I played it all of a month. I probably quit that because I got addicted to RoN.
So a lot of the scenarios are just the same dribble that is in most rts games. And I’ve begun dreading the scenarios where you only have to take all the enemy cities. I wanna rush and get it over with, but then I have to chase the AI around to every other neutral city on the map. My favorite part of the game right now is the strategic map. Spending the points gained after a scenario is as fun as leveling in an rpg. I also like how the player can use cards in the game. But I’m also missing some conventions of ron, like having multiple armies. Although, I understand that the maps are much smaller and can’t really support multiple armies. I haven’t tried the multiplayer or quick battles yet, but I’m hoping that’s more fun than the campaigns.
Basically, I just wanted Rise of Nations 2: a killer graphics engine, more campaigns, more random map gametypes, better modular mod support, etc. But this is another game altogether. You’ll probably lose some RoN fanatics like myself but gain players from a new audience.
I also forgot to mention last post that I did a demonstration video for my MultiMonitor Cursor Lock program. You can see that here. It shows the general concept plus how to quickly setup the shortcuts. I used DivX 6 for compression, my webcam and an older version of CamStudio for recording, and VirtualDubMod and Vegas Video 5 for editing. It’s about 4MB at 1 minute in length.