The double-edged sword of success must have weighed heavily on the minds of Brian Reynolds and his creative team at Big Huge Games. In developing Rise of Legends, they were faced with the challenging, yet unenviable task of following up the game's hit predecessor, Rise of Nations.
So what do you do for an encore? First, retain Nations' user-friendly interface, and then overcompensate for some poor audio choices by introducing three oddly original, and exceptionally balanced races. Those looking for a unique twist on traditional RTS civilizations will appreciate Legends' blend of classic fantasy, myth, and technology, as well as the visual quality Big Huge has become known for.
- 1UP (90/100) gives kudos for balance and diversity among the Vinci, Alin, and Coutl races: "Whereas Rise of Nations had a bunch of historic civilizations with relatively minor distinctions in their units and technology, Rise of Legends throws only three races into the fury, but they're both unique and incredibly well balanced."
- IGN (82/100) likes a good fight in campaign mode: "The AI is generally very good. The enemy knows how to use its hero units and, though it still suffers from the trickle tactics of most RTS' AI, it can still manage to put together a sizable enough force to make you break a sweat. If the challenge level isn't just right, you can actually adjust the game's difficultly at any point during the campaign."
- Gamespot (76/100) warns of a potentially difficult transition from standard RTS fare: "Each of the civilizations is so offbeat that there are no reference points, no similarities to RTS conventions that you can latch onto and use to dip a toe into the weirdness. The story in the campaign is decidedly convoluted, as well."