Rise of Nations Extended Edition is the renewed version of a well-received, originally released in 2003, real-time strategy created by Big Huge Games. The re-mastered edition was created by developers from SkyBox Labs. The new version of the game features better, high definition graphics, Steamworks and Twitch Integration, and multiplayer ranked mode.
Even though the new version of the game was enriched with new features, the gameplay elements are the same as in the original. The gameplay is visibly inspired by famous franchises like the Age of Empires and Civilization. The player takes on the role of the leader of a nation, starting from the prehistoric times.
Players' role is to guide their people through the next eight ages covering the period of over 50 thousand years. As the leader, players must take care of many different aspects of their society, including military, economy, technology, diplomacy, or science. Players may undertake many different strategies, depending on their preferences. Focusing on developing the military aspect of the society will help us to dominate our neighbors with the use of brute force while focusing on diplomatic solutions will allow us to create important and valuable alliances, treaties, and trade routes. The game features a complex economy, based on six main resources: Food, Timber, Metal, Oil, Wealth, and Knowledge. The resources are incredibly important for our national development. In addition to that, the developers prepared advanced Technology Tree consisting of few dozens of different inventions, characteristics for a certain time period. Just like any other RTS, the key to success lies in finding the balance between offense, defense, and economy. In order to be victorious in battles, players must think strategically the true strength is not only in numbers. Different units are more effective in different fields and it is crucial to know their strengths and weaknesses. There are five tactical formations in the game and every one of them has a different role. Choosing the right formation in a certain scenario is very important and it can often change the final result of the battle. Every move should be well-thought as the slightest commanding mistake can be very costly.
It is worth mentioning that the title includes both, the base game and the expansion pack known as Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots. Players get access to 18 different nations, with unique characteristics, units, and technologies. The game features hundreds of different units starting from ancient warriors and knights, ending on modern vehicles like helicopters or battleships.
The game has met with extremely positive reviews. Many fans praised the developers for adjusting the game for today's standards without making changes to the original gameplay. According to Metacritic, the game received 89/100 points making it a very solid position among RTS games. In addition to that, over 97% of the reviews on the Steam platform are positive. A huge number of favorable opinions prove that the developers from SkyBox Lab successfully gave the original Rise of Nations the second life.