Choosing from eight different civilizations, including Korea, Japan, Britain, and Spain, you have to govern and grow your city while holding your own in a game world teeming with threats from AI and real players alike.
You can play in a way that suits your style, whether that be reckless military adventurism and dreams of global dominance, or quiet and unobtrusive statecraft and dreams of a happy populace.
However you play, you’ll be doing so on a vast, zoomable world map filled with natural features such as rivers and mountains, other human players, AI enemies, cities, settlements, shrines, and a plenty more.
The world in Rise of Civilizations is totally dynamic, meaning you can position troops wherever you like for as long as you like, and send them into battle whenever it takes your fancy.
Your troops are led by commanders — characters based on historical figures like Julius Caesar and Sun Tzu — and you can have multiple commanders waging war either together or apart.
These commanders each have their own skill tree, and you can level them up according to your own style of play. At last, you can have that custom Julius Caesar you always wanted.
As you progress through historical time you’ll open passageways through mountain ranges to new regions, and you can send out your scouts at any time to disperse the dreaded fog of war and discover caves, new villages, enemy secrets, and more.
Of course, Rise of Civilizations isn’t all about warfare. You’ll spend a lot of your time tending to your city, leveling it up so that you can unlock new building types and get involved in more types of economic and civic activity, such as training archers, building siege weapons, healing soldiers, and growing crops.
On top of all that there’s a highly active alliance system, letting you join up with other players’ alliances for rewards and innumerable invitations to fight. Alliances occupy and control territory, engaging in wars over land. There are even mountain passes that you can hold strategically – allowing you to cut off links between two regions.