We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends

£34 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Microsoft

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Fans of Rise of Nations will find plenty to sink their teeth into here. But if you're new to the series, or to the real-time strategy genre, getting acquainted with the game will take a while.

The newest addition to the RTS (real-time strategy) genre is the anticipated sequel Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends. Spreading itself across four discs and demanding 4.5GB of hard disk space, fans of the series will find plenty to sink their teeth into. But if you're new to the series, or to RTS, getting acquainted with the game will take a while.

Thankfully, provision has been made to try and ease the learning curve, including a gentle start to the main campaign, and plenty of tool tips and reminders. But even with this additional guidance things can easily descend into chaos as you battle with the interface in the midst of battles.

The main development is in the game world. Gone are the historical settings, ditched in favour of a sci-fi/fantasy world where lumbering steam powered robots and gyrocopters fight alongside foot soldiers.

But that's just the start - the early levels do little to prepare you for the additions of dragons and men straddling giant scorpions. There's no two ways about it, Legends' concept art and graphics are wonderful.

Utilising a nifty game engine, Legends looks glorious on a high-end PC, although the frame rate can take a tumble when there's lots going on. For those with less exotic hardware, the good news is that Legends is scalable. Unfortunately, to get access to all of the eye candy you're going to need a reasonable 256Mb graphics card.

Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends Expert Verdict »

1.4GHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor (2.5GHz is better)
Windows XP
4.5GB hard disk space
64MB video card with T&L (transform and lighting)
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Legends is a good RTS, but we're not convinced it makes a major leap forward. Loyal fans will love it, but newcomers may find it too much like hard work. This is a shame because the game play is immensely satisfying.

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 review

    Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

    Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 represents one small step for the real-time strategy (RTS) genre, one giant leap for furthering its console appeal.

  • Brütal Legend review

    Brütal Legend

    When metal giants rocked the Earth

  • Sid Meiers Ace Patrol review: strategic dogfighting app for iOS

    Sid Meiers Ace Patrol: strategic dogfighting app for iOS

    Sid Meier's Ace Patrol is a clever and fun strategy game for iOS. Read our Sid Meier's Ace Patrol iOS app review to find out more.

  • World in Conflict real-time strategy game

    World in Conflict real-time strategy game

    The most imaginative RTS (Real Time Strategy) game since last year's Company of Heroes, World in Conflict arrives with one hell of a bang, offering up some of the most explosive real-time experiences we've ever seen.

  • R.U.S.E. review

    R.U.S.E.

    R.U.S.E. is a game based on an exciting idea: a real-time strategy game played on a virtual tabletop with realistic landscapes, infantry, tanks and airplanes, coupled with special espionage abilities called 'Ruses'. It sounds like the kind of concept that strategy fanatics would kill for.


IDG UK Sites

Microsoft smartwatch release date, price and specs rumours: Launching within a few weeks

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Halloween Photoshop tutorials: 13 masterclasses for horrifying art, designs and type

IDG UK Sites

Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite? What you need to know before updating to...