Hot on the heels of news that we’ll be getting an HD re-release of Age of Empires 2 comes this mysterious sighting (via Reddit) of Rise of Nations in the Steam database. That would bring a true RTS classic out of obscurity and make it widely available to modern audiences once again, and provide a much-needed reminder of just how much creativity and depth this genre boasted toward the end of its golden age.
2003’s Rise of Nations, like the Kohan series, bucked RTS conventions by bringing 4X and wargame concepts like territory control and supply lines over into RTS, and placing less emphasis on unit-micromanagement. It’s the kind of RTS you might have expected Brian Reynolds, the designer of Civilization II and Alpha Centauri, to make. For a great explanation of what makes it so special, you should check out what my Three Moves Ahead colleague Troy Goodfellow said about it.
Like a lot of games from that era, however, Rise of Nations sort of fell into a gap where it never made its way to modern digital services, but was still too recent to have nostalgic fans clamoring for its reappearance on a service like GOG. Nowadays, you have to hunt down a physical copy from resellers in order to play it, but a Steam release would put it right into more player’s hands.
Fingers crossed that the Steam database isn’t leading us astray (it does happen), and that soon everyone will be able to buy and enjoy this classic.
(h/t Ryan Letourneau)