Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends

I like Brian Reynolds. A lot.

The first time I heard of Brian Reynolds, he was doing support for Civ II. Man, was he doing support--the guy was just amazing. What sold me on Civ II, as much as the game, was the developer's commitment to the game, and Brian Reynolds was the person making that commitment.

Years later, when Brian started Big Huge Games, I was hoping he'd be tremendously successful. When I saw Rise of Nations at E3 in 2003, I was completely dismayed. For whatever reason, it made an absolutely terrible impression on me. When the game was released, though, I was happy to discover that my impression had been completely wrong. It was a terrific, fun game. Every game Brian Reynolds has ever been involved with has been fun.

So to me, Brian Reynolds is a guy with an impeccable track record. And the release of Rise of Nation: Rise of Legends is a big deal. It was killing me to be in California when my copy arrived at home, and I couldn't wait to get home to play.

That's why the odor I'm smelling is so strange.

I thought this was a premier, AAA title, but there is almost zero buzz less than a week after release. There are only two reviews that I've seen. I can't even find the freaking "official" forums, and I looked for half an hour earlier today. I can't imagine that a game from Brian Reynolds would slip under the radar screen, but that appears to be exactly what happened.

Something's not right here.

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