Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy computer game, developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft on May 20, 2003. The development of the game was led by veteran Brian Reynolds, of Civilization II and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Concepts taken from turn-based strategy games have been added into the game—including territories and attrition warfare. Rise of Nations features 18 civilizations, playable through 8 ages of world history.
On April 28, 2004, Big Huge Games released Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots, an expansion pack. Later that year, a Gold edition of Rise of Nations was released, which included both the original and the expansion.
In May 2006, Big Huge Games released Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, a fantasy-themed spin-off with similar mechanics and style.
Rise of Nations employs the concept of "territory", as employed in the Civilization long series of games; the area near the player's settlements is considered their territory, and players may only construct buildings within their territory or that of an ally. A nation's borders can be expanded by the creation and expansion of cities and forts, a technology tree, and obtaining access to certain rare resources. Other technologies and resources cause enemy units to suffer attrition over time, which can eventually destroy an unsupported invasion force.
Cities are centrally important to gameplay; most buildings can only be built within a certain distance of a city, borders are most easily expanded by building and expanding cities, and cities are the only source of the resource-collecting Citizen unit. Only a limited number of cities can be built, and a city can only be destroyed by its owner. Conquered cities join the conqueror's faction.
Our version includes press / beta versions of the expansion packs which is why there are 4 discs in total.