Rise of Nations:  Thrones and Patriots


posted 5/21/2004 by Tyler Sager
other articles by Tyler Sager
One Page Platforms: PC
By far the most exciting addition in Thrones and Patriots is the new Conquer the World campaigns. The original Conquer the World campaign, combining the RTS game play with a Risk-type turn-based feel, made Rise of Nations stand out from the pack of RTS games. And while the original Conquer the World campaign is a lot of fun, it’s nice to try the same format on a much more focused map and time period. And that’s just what the new campaigns bring to the table. In Alexander the Great, players get to take the role of the famous conqueror on his quest to, well, take over everything. Focused on the Mediterranean and western Asia in the Classical era, the campaign brings forth some impressive unique Generals, including Alexander himself. The Napoleon campaign also focuses on the conquests of a single general, as players try to unite Europe under their rule. Set in the Imperial Age, this one is a bit trickier than the pervious campaign. The New World allows players to take on the role of the conquering European nations trying to gain control of all of the Americas, or one of the Native American nations trying to maintain their previous, unconquered status. Finally, the Cold War focuses on that tense time in history, with the ability to place nuclear weapons directly on the strategic map itself. Each of these campaigns features brand-new scenarios, some of which are quite well laid out, much more than just “here’s a map, so fight!” Special events and triggers can happen throughout the scenarios, especially during those campaigns following the Conquerors, like Alexander and Napoleon.

Game play and graphics are unchanged from the original, which is generally to be expected in an expansion pack. All of the familiar strengths and weaknesses are in place. The game looks great, and the control scheme is just as intuitive as ever. Like before, it’s still sometimes difficult to differentiate between infantry units at the higher resolutions. Those who, for whatever reason, found the first game not to their liking are not going to be swayed back to the RTS fold by this expansion.

Overall, Thrones and Patriots is a very solid expansion, adding hours to an already engrossing game. The new units and Nations add a bit of freshness, and the additional Conquer the World campaigns pile on hours of enjoyment. Thrones and Patriots is a worthy expansion for Rise of Nations, and a must-buy for fans of the series.

A great expansion to the last year’s wonderful RTS. The new Conquer the World campaigns, in particular, make this a worthy addition.

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