Rise and Fall - My Criticisms
Not every game is perfect and although Rise and Fall is a spectacular game it does have a few issues that need to resolved before the game goes gold. While I was playing the game and watching others play I did notice some lag, particularly in hero mode. Considering that I only noticed lag two or three times, and the game is still going through its optimizing process I don't think lag will be a problem with the retail version. One of the computers we were using to play Rise and Fall at the event was also having some issues which probably contributed to the few instances of lag.
When I was playing the game I also noticed a few path finding issues that need to be addressed. Some military units seemed to have difficulty ascending and descending ladders. Villagers also seemed to be getting stuck occasionally when chopping lumber. Hopefully both of these issues will be addressed. I also noticed an issue with construction of ladders on walls; it seemed to be entirely possible to construct a ladder that was on top of impassible terrain. This meant that units trying to descend or ascend the ladder would be unable to.
Rise and Fall is very strong game graphically, there was only one graphical glitch that I saw during my time with the game. When the catapults on ships were bombarding an outpost tower there was no impact effect. When catapult projectiles hit other buildings there was a nice explosion of rock chunks, this explosion didn't occur when catapult projectiles hit outpost towers.
Finally the last concern I had about Rise and Fall has to do with the games advisor system. The system itself really didn't feel particularly satisfying to use, as opposed to actually choosing advisors I felt as if I was simply researching upgrades or bonuses. However, considering how the game functions it seems logical that advisors would only work in this capacity.
What I saw at Gamers' Day was a highly polished and extremely enjoyable RTS game that looks as if it can be enjoyed by both veterans and new players alike. Rise and Fall adds just enough innovation that the game feels new and exciting, without changing any of the RTS basics that we have become accustomed to. I don't know about the rest of you, but I will be counting the days until the game is released in June.
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