Big Huge Games' follow-up to Rise of Nations has been unveiled as Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, the developer revealing that it's ditched the historical backdrop theme of the first game in the 'Rise of' franchise in favour of a steampunk fantasy setting.
President of Big Huge Games Brian Reynolds says of Rise of Legends that it's "in so many ways the spiritual successor to Rise of Nations", explaining that the reason for the setting switch came about because "the story which got us excited is one where the magic of fantasy meets a world of technology".
Despite the step in a different direction in terms of setting, it's said that much of the gameplay established in Rise of Nations will remain however - albeit in expanded form. So, we can expect the likes of the ebb and flow of national borders, cities, tech tracks that are colour-coded, massive armies and so on but in a world where "magic and technology collide, with cataclysmic results!", reveals Reynolds.
Touching on diversity in Rise of Legends, Reynolds has talked briefly about nations Vinci and Alim that are among those present in the game. "...the industrial Vinci" features "Leonardo da Vinci inspired machines and steampunk cities;" and then there's "the desert Alim with their Arabian Nights theme-sandstorms, genies, and tall glass spires," he says.
Although only revealing those two nations at this time, Reynolds teases with: "What I can tell you is there will be another technology nation and another magic nation, and that they will all be as different from one another as the Vinci are from the Alim. There are strong gameplay differences between the nations which go well beyond the differences in appearance."
And as you would expect, Rise of Legends will boast visual improvements over its predecessor: "...we've redesigned our graphics engine from the ground up because we want to make a game that gets our players as excited about our graphics as they have always been about our gameplay."
We've uploaded first screenshots from Rise of Legends for you to pass mince pies over, and should you wish to do so you can visit the game's official website by hitting this link.