News Archives - June 2006

The Ancient Relic Quest
Posted on 6/28/2006 at 11:16 PM by Intrepid
If you were planning to enter The Ancient Relic Quest contest, do so soon, as only 24 hours remain until we will stop accepting submissions.

More details on the contest can be found here.
Rise and Fall on top in the UK
Posted on 6/27/2006 at 7:26 PM by Intrepid
According to ELSPA Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War is the top selling PC game in the UK, beating out other high profiles games such as Half-Life 2:Episode One and Hitman: Blood Money.

You can check out the ELSPA sales chart here.
Intrepidís Rise and Fall Review - 8.3!
Posted on 6/25/2006 at 4:44 PM by Intrepid
Gaming sites around the globe have been weighing in on Rise and Fall, now its our turn. You can check out my review of Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War here. Here is a short blurb from the review:
Perhaps the best feature of Rise and Fall is the editor that ships with the game. Simply put: ďThis is the best RTS editor to dateĒ. With the editor you can construct your own scenarios, campaigns and multiplayer scenarios. The editor is so powerful that youíre only really limited by your imagination. I can guarantee that you are going to see better stuff than the standard half-baked RPG scenarios that usually dominate the download section of a typical RTS game.

Rise and Fall isnít a game for everyone, but it is certainly worth checking out if you are an RTS fan who is looking to play a solid RTS title that mixes things up a little bit. Rise and Fall is not revolutionary, but it does put an interesting spin on what has become a stale, stale genre.

Final Score: 8.3/10
The Ancient Relic Quest (Contest) Continues
Posted on 6/22/2006 at 10:28 PM by Intrepid
The number of people who have entered the Ancient Relic Quest has been fantastic so far. Letís keep up the participation.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the contest here is the contest blurb:
Hidden somewhere at Rise and Fall Heaven are Five ancient relic images (excluding the main page). In order to compete in this contest you must find all five of these images and send the URL where the images are located to this address: intrepid@heavengames.com

The contest will be open until June 29th at 12:00 am (EST), after which time new entries will not be accepted. The names that have correctly found all of the five URLs will be entered into a draw. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a Nvidia 256mb 7800 video card, a copy of Rise and Fall and a Rise and Fall Poster. The four runners up will receive a copy of Rise and Fall, a Rise and Fall poster and a HG T-shirt.

A big thanks to Midway and Nvidia for supplying the prizes for this contest.

Further details concerning the contest are available here.

Happy Hunting
GamesRadar UK Review - 9.0!
Posted on 6/21/2006 at 1:51 PM by Lysimachus
A couple days ago GamesRadar submitted a very detailed review on Rise & Fall with an impressive score of 9/10. The reviewer, Tim Stone, was very impressed with the game, and we can thank him for taking out some good hours to provide us details that many other game reviewers failed miserably in providing--both in the good and the bad.
"In 2009 every build-and-battle strategy game on the shelves is going to come with its own version of Rise & Fall's fantabulous Hero Command mode (HCM)...."

"....With a relatively simple innovation, Stainless Steel Studios make the weary RTS genre seem fresh and exciting again. They've realised that most of us never wanted our strategy games to be more like RPGs or TV history documentaries; all we really craved was the chance to shrink like Alice and wander about among the silicon souls that slave and soldier for us."
The full review is 4 pages long and can be read starting here.

Also be sure to check out GamesRadar's Rise & Fall screenshot collection. You can tell that these screenshots were taken on very high-end PC systems, as the detail appears to be superior to those screenshots seen from other sites such as Gamespot and IGN. After clicking each image, be sure to click the link called "+Supersize" on the bottom right-hand side of each image to expand it. Thanks to developer Sean Mccann for pointing this review out.
The Ancient Relic Quest
Posted on 6/20/2006 at 6:04 PM by Intrepid
Hidden somewhere at Rise and Fall Heaven are Five ancient relic images (excluding the main page). In order to compete in this contest you must find all five of these images and send the URL where the images are located to this address: intrepid@heavengames.com.

The contest will be open until June 29th at 12:00 am (EST), after which time new entries will not be accepted. The names that have correctly found all of the five URLs will be entered into a draw. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a Nvidia 256mb 7800 video card, a copy of Rise and Fall and a Rise and Fall Poster. The four runners up will receive a copy of Rise and Fall, a Rise and Fall poster and a HG T-shirt.

A big thanks to Midway and Nvidia for supplying the prizes for this contest.

Further details concerning the contest are available here.

Happy Hunting
New Persian Unit Discovered
Posted on 6/18/2006 at 11:37 PM by Intrepid
It has recently been discovered that the Persianís get access to a new unit after their hero reaches level 10. The consensus so far is that this unit adds the much-needed super unit that the Persian civilization is lacking. Numerous Rise and Fall fans have already stated that while they donít feel the new unit is historically accurate, it will help to make the Persian civilization more competitive online.

The recently discovered unit weighs in at around 40 tons, is about 200 metres tall, and disperses flaming projectiles from its mouth. The following pictures show how devastating this unit can be against the Greek Hoplite units.

Despite the size and strength of the new unit, some forumers have already stated that they feel the newly discovered unit is underpowered.
Two New Rise and Fall Reviews
Posted on 6/18/2006 at 3:36 PM by Intrepid
Games Radar and TVG recently reviewed Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War. The review from Games Radar is fairly short and lacks the detail that you would expect from a review. The review from TVG on the other hand is fairly detailed. Here is an excerpt from the TVG review:
Midway isn't known for their RTS titles, but Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War manages to deliver on almost every front, with high doses of action and innovative features such as Hero Command. The scenarios, which focus too much on taking control of the Hero, are major disappointments, and tarnish the rest of the game.

A good enough looking title (if your PC can cope with all the gloss turned on), an intuitive HUD, and epic music all helps with the immersion. There are a couple of niggling glitches that could be improved over time through patches, Civilizations at War nonetheless remains a solid title, and one that non-RTS action heavy gamers should check out.

You can read the Games Radar review here and the TVG review here.
The Assembly has Spoken...
Posted on 6/17/2006 at 12:49 PM by Intrepid
Several weeks ago we asked the question: What do you think of the coverage of Rise and Fall so far? The majority, 49% of the respondents, said that the coverage was great. Here are the final results:
Great (49%)
Okay (27%)
Mediocre (8%)
What Coverage? (15%)

This week we are asking the question: To what degree have you had technical problems with Rise and Fall?
Reviews
Posted on 6/16/2006 at 11:19 AM by Intrepid
Here at Rise and Fall Heaven we try to stay as up-to-date as possible with all the reviews on Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War.

Latest Reviews
Gamespy - 2.5/5
GameAxis - 8.3/10
IGN - 6.0/10
Yahoo Games - 3.5/5
1UP - 5.0/10
Gamespot - 6.6/10
Impluse Gamer - 9.5/10
PC Gamer UK - 91%

If you are looking to check out the latest Rise and Fall reviews you can do so here.
GameAxis Review - 8.3
Posted on 6/14/2006 at 1:25 PM by Lysimachus
GameAxis wrote out a very well-thought-out review on Rise & Fall giving it a decent score of 8.3. The reviewer does an excellent job a highlighting most of the major innovative aspects of the game, and seems to be very pleased with its visual appeal.
"On the visual side, RAF is an absolute MONSTER. There will be very few rigs out there capable of maxing out all the settings for the game on Ultra and get away with a super smooth frame rate. Even the GameAxis gaming rig, which normally laughs at most games, saw frame rates ticking around the 30 fps region during normal play with actual bouts of slow down when things got really intense. The reason of course, is the absolute crazy scale with which you can view the action."

"There's a lot to see here as well. You'll be battling all over Europe and Africa resulting in a variety of landscapes from arid deserts to hilly, snowy regions. In each case the place is loaded with details from waving vegetation to shimmering water, all while hundreds of units are gathering resources, building things, fighting each other, or traveling in ships or conducting a siege on a nearby outpost or city. There's a LOT of activity going on in this game, and the fact that it's all happening simultaneously speaks volumes about the strength of the already solid looking engine."
You can read the full review here.
3 New Campaign Videos @ Gamespot
Posted on 6/14/2006 at 1:10 PM by Lysimachus

Gamespot has recently submitted 3 new videos demonstrating Hero Command. These videos give you a good idea of what you will be experiencing in the Cleopatra and Alexander campaigns. You can download them here.
ImpulseGamer Review - 9.5!
Posted on 6/12/2006 at 9:02 PM by Lysimachus
Impulse Gamer recently gave Rise & Fall an impressive score of 9.5, stating that it is probably the most unique and entertaining real-time strategy game since the early days of Red alert and Warcraft.
"The developers of Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War, Stainless Steel Studios have really rewritten the genre in what promises gamers one of the most thrilling and realistic strategy games of the year which takes the gamer to antiquity with four powerful nations that include Rome, Egypt, Persia and Greece...."

"Stainless Steel Studios with the assistance of Midway have released what is destined to be the game of 2006 with its new take on real-time strategies that now immerses the gamer into the worlds of ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece and Persia. With first class graphics, enriching, exciting and addictive gameplay and the sounds of these ancient battles, Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War comes highly recommended and if there is only one strategy game you buy each year, then this title is it!"
Thanks to Wisler for pointing this out. You can read the full review here. Definitely a big kudos to SSSi and Midway for making it happen!

Feel free to discuss your opinion of this review in this thread here.
Rise and Fall: Out Tomorrow
Posted on 6/11/2006 at 10:58 PM by Intrepid
If youíre a Rise and Fall enthusiast, then you know what tomorrow (June 12, 2006) means.

Tomorrow is the day that Rise and Fall will ship to stores in North America. If youíre in Europe the game will ship June 16, 2006. Various other locals will receive the game at various times throughout the summer.

If youíre still looking to see what Rise and Fall has to offer I urge you to check out the following previews on this site:
Heroes
Units and Buildings
Maps
Multiplayer
Resources

So tomorrow prepare to cross the Rubicon and Let the Die be Cast!
More Eye Candy
Posted on 6/9/2006 at 4:01 PM by Intrepid
For the last few days I have been working diligently at putting together a comprehensive look at the Rise and Fall Editor. Unfortunately, I have been finding myself readily distracted by the editor itself.

That being said, here are a few new Eye Candy screenshots that I just made.

For those of you who do not want to wait to learn more about the editor, or are tired of my procrastination, I uploaded a whole series of screenshots from the editor here.
Third Exclusive Video @ Yahoo!
Posted on 6/9/2006 at 1:53 PM by Lysimachus

Yahoo! Games has posted its third and final exclusive Rise & Fall preview video. This one focuses on advanced concepts that include some impressive footage that are sure to help you get a head-start once you get your hands on the game.
"Victory can only be achieved through advanced techniques, including engaging and disbanding formations, control groups, attack mode, building walls, and many others."
You can download the video here.
Rise and Fall: Multiplayer Interface
Posted on 6/9/2006 at 10:57 AM by Intrepid
As promised we have a new section on the Multiplayer Interface available for your reading pleasure.

The Rise and Fall Multiplayer Interface is very similar to the one that shipped with Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. Anyone who has played that game will be instantly familiar with the interface.
Naval Gameplay Video @ Gamevideos
Posted on 6/8/2006 at 12:09 AM by Intrepid
A new naval gameplay video has just been posted at Gamevideos.com. The video follows the format of the civilization previews that were shown recently at Gamespot. Mark Caldwell and Matt Vella talk about the aspects of naval combat and what makes naval combat in Rise and Fall stand out in the RTS genre.

The video is ubber cool, perhaps the best one that Midway has released yet. You can check the video out here.

Too much news...
IGN Hero Preview
Posted on 6/7/2006 at 11:49 PM by Intrepid
IGN just posted hero profile today on Ramses II, Alexander the Great and Germanicus Caesar. Here is an excerpt:
Each hero is also imbued with a special ability which is granted after leveling up appropriately, which increases their power even further. For example, Ramses can heal his wounded troops that are close by. His healing power increases with each level advanced. Cleopatra has the power to pull soldiers from opposing armies to her side, and again her power increases with each level advanced.

The article can be read it in itís entirety here.
The Romans @ Gamespot
Posted on 6/7/2006 at 12:23 PM by Lysimachus
Gamespot has recently submitted their 4th and final profile preview of Rise & Fall's civilizations - The Romans. The preview covers the basics on Rome's units, heroes, advisors, and contains a plethora of new screenshots.

Of the Roman Advisors listed, we have:
Ambassador: The player receives an allotment of gold once every minute.
Rat Catcher: The player's army gains a morale bonus.
As in the previous civilization previews, the preview expounds on the history of some of the various units possessed by the Roman Civilization - including their strengths and weaknesses.

Additionally, there is a gameplay movie entitled Official Movie 4.

Matt Vella points out in the movie that the great strength in the Romans does not necessarily lie in numbers but more so in their strong formation system. He also points out that the Roman Civilization is not one you would want to contend with after they've built up, and that a good strategy to employ would be to try and impede their ability to build early on in the game. From the looks of it, the Roman Civilization will be a great force to be reckoned with once Rise & Fall hits the shelves the 12th of this June.
Second Exclusive Video @ Yahoo!
Posted on 6/7/2006 at 2:45 AM by Wok
Yahoo! Games has posted its second exclusive Rise and Fall preview video. This one focuses on naval combat, and includes some great footage of boats being rammed and grappled. I suggest you check this out, as these are some of Rise and Fall's coolest features.

"Knowledge of the sea is essential when waging fierce battles against your enemies. Learn about the three available ships in Episode 2: Naval."

Download the video here. Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode, entitled "Advanced Concepts"!
Interview With Matt Vella
Posted on 6/6/2006 at 9:19 PM by Intrepid
Matt Vella, the associate producer of Rise and Fall recently took the time to answer a few our questions. Here is an excerpt from our interview:
Q. Through the demo we have seen Egyptís Advisors, what kind of Advisors do the other civilizations have?

Matt: Each civilization has a nice variety of advisors that make sense for that particular society. For instance, the Royal Armorer of Persia gives your hero extra defense. Or the seemingly lowly Rat Catcher of Rome, which boosts the morale of your troops. Whatís nice is that you can choose advisors based on your style of play, and also utilize them to shore up any potential weak spots that your civ. might have.

You can read the entire interview here.
PC Gamer UK - 91%!
Posted on 6/6/2006 at 8:58 PM by Lysimachus
PC Gamer UK hit the streets with their review of Rise & Fall today and gave it their Must-Buy award, a 91% score (the highest score for any game this month,) and a few quotes like these:
"Real-time strategy re-energized."

"Pure 24-carat gaming gold!"

"With a relatively simple innovation, the weary RTS genre is made to seem fresh and exciting again."

Thanks to Sean for the heads up on this. What an incredible relief it is for those of us who have for so long anticipated this masterpiece where antiquity comes to life!
Exclusive Video Series @ Yahoo!
Posted on 6/6/2006 at 2:41 AM by Wok
Yahoo! Games is hosting a series of exclusive Rise and Fall videos in the run up to the game's release.

"Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War is a real-time strategy game that gives the user a new perspective on ancient war. There are four playable empires, including Greece, Rome, Eygpt, and Persia. It's your responsibility to lead your men into battle, using ocean warfare, hand-to-hand combat, and many advanced techniques. This exclusive video series will give you detailed insight on different types of concepts to succeed in battle."

The first video, which focuses on Hero Command, is available here, and the next videos will be released in the following days. We'll keep you posted!
Rise and Fall: Maps
Posted on 6/5/2006 at 7:57 PM by Intrepid
As promised we have a detailed preview of the skirmish maps present in Rise and Fall. You can check out our preview here.

Rise and Fall contains twenty-four pre made maps that feature various locations, both fictional and historical. These maps are static, which means that they remain the same each time you play them. The nature of each map requires that players apply different strategies in order to defeat your opponent.

[Edit] Midway has just provided us with some information, which shows that multiplayer maps are indeed possible.
New Preview @ NLGaming
Posted on 6/5/2006 at 6:10 PM by Wok
A few days late, I realise, but I just noticed a new preview of Rise and Fall on Next Level Gaming.

The preview offers little more than a run-through of the game's key features, but nevertheless adds to the growing list of positive Rise and Fall previews.

"When you think of ancient leaders what names come to mind? Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Alexander are probably a few of names that jump to the forefront. How would you like to command some of the greatest leaders of the ancient world into combat? Not only that, but what if you also got the chance to command their legendary armies, would you jump at the chance? Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War will let you do just that."
Coming Soon...
Posted on 6/2/2006 at 7:21 PM by Intrepid
Rise and Fall Heaven has recently received several copies of the Rise and Fall preview code. From today until the game is released on June 12th we will be bringing you exclusive Rise and Fall content.

The exclusive content we plan to bring you will include, but is not restricted to the following information:
The Editor
Multiplayer Maps
The Multiplayer Interface

To start things rolling here are a few eye-candy shots that I cooked up in a matter of minutes in the editor. Enjoy!
On The First Day of June...
Posted on 6/1/2006 at 11:50 PM by Jaime Medrano
With only twelve days left until the much anticipated release of Rise and Fall: Civillizations at War, it's time to countdown to the things we love about the game!
Help us add to the new original hit, The Twelve Days Of June in our Community Forums!
Rise and Fall Preview @ WorthPlaying
Posted on 6/1/2006 at 1:28 PM by Wok
WorthPlaying.com is host to a new preview of Rise and Fall. The author, although "not a fan of real-time strategy", seems very positive about the game's key features, mentioning hero command and naval combat in particular.

Though there is little in the way of new information, it is always good to see such promising previews of the game we're all looking forward to.

"You must understand, to elicit my approval, an RTS must truly conquer the problems of the genre. It must not be boring, and any sort of rock-paper-scissors strategy must be easy to understand. It must have more than pretty visuals and exciting sounds. It must have depth, and it absolutely must be fun. In all of these categories, Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War excels, even in its pre-ship status. Who knows, perhaps come early June, when the game reaches shelves, my fevered dreams will include this new title."

Only a few days to go!
Rise & Fall Feature Article on Heroes @ IGN
Posted on 6/1/2006 at 1:39 AM by Lysimachus
IGN has recently submitted a feature article divulging into the history and abilities of Rise & Fall's heroes. Although there is nothing new regarding the abilities and game mechanics of hero command, the article does touch on some good historical points regarding the heroes, and adds a sense of feeling to what it must be like to take command of your hero in an RTS.
"A real time strategy game allows you to direct the action like a general would push pieces around his battle planning board. But - what if a real time strategy game allowed you to get down into the action, experience the clash of arms first hand, to see arrows streaming across the sky, and to fight side by side with your men in epic battle? What if that game allowed you to assume the role of a mighty hero from history like Achilles or Nebuchadnezzar?"
In addition, IGN has submitted 2 new exclusive videos revealing some great new footage on Hero Command along with 16 new screenshots. You can read the full article here.
The Persians @ Gamespot
Posted on 6/1/2006 at 1:24 AM by Intrepid
Gamespot just posted a new a preview of the Persian Civilization in Rise and Fall. The preview skims the surface of some of the units, heroes and advisors that the mighty Persians possess. Here is a list of the advisors shown and the bonuses that they provide:
Persian Advisors
Royal Armorer: Increases the strength of your heroís armor.
Trainer: Increases troop speed.

The preview also examines the history of some of the units that the Persian Civilization possesses. Also included is the strength and weaknesses of these units in game.

As with the Greek Preview, in addition to the written preview there is a gameplay movie that talks about the strengths and weaknesses of the Persian Civilization.

Matt Vella notes in the movie the Persians are quick builders and one of the civilizations that can amass an army the fastest. With this information it seems that the Persians may be the favourite civilization of players who like to rush their opponents and catch them off guard. Vella also notes that the Persian heroes are most effectively used outside of the fray, picking units off with their powerful bows.

Next up, the Romans!