Ok, so I’m a little behind on this but things happen slowly around this neck of the woods.
I’m not a huge fan of the RTS genre (I think a part of me believes that every RTS since Dune 2 is redundant.) but I liked the whole Steam Punk meats Quest For Glory 2 meats Star Gate theme (Ok, mostly the Steam Punk theme.) so I purchased Rise Of Legends.
I’m a little disappointed. For some reason the game feels a little sterile in an IL 2 kind of way. The Vinci campaign which had the most potential seems a little generic and uninspired. The Alin campaign which I have almost finished is not too bad, bit it still doesn’t have that special something that grabs me by the wobbly bits and twists. (I haven’t played as the Cuotl (sp?) yet so I’m not giving up on the game yet.)
The story is extremely disappointing. Very few games can carry 30 hours of monotony by virtue of game play alone. The rest need engaging storylines and story development before and after a 15 mission campaign just doesn’t do it for me.
I’m going to don my wannabe designer hat and say that whoever was responsible for making sure Rise Of Legends had that fun factor should be given a stern talking to.
Warhammer : Dawn Of War didn’t have the greatest story but at least the developers took the time and effort to have the story progress after each mission. I’m not asking for Stephen Erikson style storytelling, just give me something.
The campaign isn’t very good. The Conquer the World missions in the Thrones and Patriots expansion to RoN were a much better use of the mechanic. There is too little variety in the RoL scenarios to keep your attention.
Don’t mistake the campaign for the whole thing, though. There is a lot of neat stuff to see and do in the skirmish game.
If you mean a story based campaign, I liked the ones in Age of Mythology and Act of War. But I much prefer the scenario based campaigns in Rise of Nations" Throne and Patriots - real good mix in mission types there.
Is it even possible to come up with a campaign for an RTS that isn’t a giagantic 'Hunt the Evil Lord Foozle"? (semi-rhetorical question…)
You should probably look more for cool scenario elements than for a good story. I remember a lot of fan created scenarios for EE having really cool… thingies. A Spanish Civil War scenario (limited as it was by bad ai) comes to mind.
I personally cannot stand RTS storylines. The writing usually makes me feel ill, and the cutscenes are usually not worth watching. Dawn of “Plot? Where?!” War manages to do just about what I’m looking for in that (and most other) departments.
I think the mistake in RTS games is to focus on the story, while ignoring the characters, even though it’s them that you control from mission to mission and therefore them, rather than the story, that you care about.
Watching the evolution of Arthus in Warcraft III as I controlled him from mission to mission was what drove me forward. It was the lack of a similarly strong character in the other campaigns that made the first one, the human one, the highlight for me.
And how many people still talk about some of the events in Starcraft? Events that happened to characters, rather than the destinies of planets and so on…
Writing a story for a strategy game is like making a ballet for architecture… er, or something like that.
At any rate, I actually really enjoyed the campaign in RoL. Not because of the story - which I ignored - but because the gameplay unlocked itself as you stepped through the different missions. Having only 4 unit choices right off the bat, as well as not having to research techs and upgrades in-the-game (you buy them permanently during the turn-based section…) really eased the stress on my mind of learning a new game so I could just having fun. If only the turn-based mode was randomized/dynamic and had no story…
I really enjoyed the campaign in Rise of Legends. I really don’t understand the negative comments. It’s an RTS and you can only do so much. I feel bad for the dev’s to have such good work tanked on. In fact I thought the story stuff and campaign in RoL was better than Warcraft III.
I liked the general feel of each side, from a gameplay and art perspective. The campaign was alright but too many of maps had the same objective of build a base kill the comps base. It’s a real shame that the multiplayer never worked out, I remember having all kinds of problems getting it to barely work.