Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War—Free PC Game Download

The classic RTS is now freeware thanks in part to the U.S. Air Force

Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War - Free PC Game

Midway Games

Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War is a real-time strategy game originally released in 2006. It's set during the first millennium BC and contains a mix of traditional real-time strategy gameplay as well as first and third-person shooter gameplay. It received mostly positive reviews, and two years after its commercial launch it was released by Midway Games as ad-supported freeware sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. Here's what you need to know about downloading and playing the game.

Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War Gameplay

Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War's gameplay is primarily that of a real-time strategy game. Players control one of four ancient civilizations: Egypt, Greece, Persia, and Rome. Each has approximately 20 unique units.

There are four types of resources players can collect to build up their civilizations and based. Wood and gold are used to construct buildings, train units, and develop upgrades. The other two resources, glory and stamina, are earned during gameplay actions. Glory is accumulated as more units/structures are built and stamina is earned from hero units during battle when they kill enemy units.

Military units fall into one of five categories cavalry, infantry, siege, special, and naval, with units having the standard strengths and weaknesses against enemy unit types in a rock, paper, scissors format. Another element to military units and fighting is that each unit type also has a speed, attack, defense, and range rating which can be enhanced by certain upgrades and formations. The inclusion of naval units allows for amphibious and naval warfare in addition to land-based soldier warfare.

Many traditional real-time strategy games use the concept of "ages" to represent the progression or advancement of a civilization. Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War is no different but takes a slightly different approach. Rather than upgrading your primary base building, players advance their civilization and earn access to new technologies, units, advisers, and upgrades, through the leveling of hero units. Also conquering additional outposts allows for larger armies but can easily be taken over by enemies if they're not well defended.

Rise and Fall includes both single and multiplayer game modes. The single-player mode allows for skirmish battles against up to seven computer-controlled opponents as well as two story-based campaigns. Each campaign is divided into acts and chapters, with one campaign following Alexander the Great and his conquest of Asia. It begins with a young Alexander as he begins his rule and takes players through encounters in Greece, the Siege of Tyre, his defeat of Memnon, and more. The second campaign is a fictional story that centers on Cleopatra of Egypt as she tries to repel a Roman invasion by Emperor Octavian.

The feature that makes Rise & Fall somewhat unique from other RTS games of its time period is the hero mode, which allows players to control their hero unit from the third and sometimes first-person perspective. This gives players more direct control over the hero units, which are the primary way they gain stamina used to level up and advance the civilization into the next age.

The length of time a player can spend in hero mode is determined by the amount of stamina earned.

Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War Availability

Midway Games released Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War on June 12, 2006, after a number of delays and the eventual closure of the game's original developer Stainless Steel Studios. In October 2008, shortly before Midway declared bankruptcy, the game launched for free through an ad-supported model sponsored by the United States Air Force. While Midway Games as a company no longer exists and all official websites for the game were taken offline, Rise & Fall can still be found on a number of third-party websites. A few of the better hosting sites for the game are listed below.

While the single-player portion, including both campaigns and single-player skirmishes, is available for download, hosting multiplayer games can be challenging since the multiplayer portion was originally hosted through the now-shuttered GameSpy network, but it's possible to play via LAN or through a LAN emulation service.

Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War Download Links

File Planet
Moddb - Multiplayer

Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War System Requirements

Since it's an older game, Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War should have no trouble running on modern-day PCs.

  Minimum System Requirements
CPU Pentium III 1.4 GHz/AMD Athlon 2000+ or better
RAM 256 MB
OS Windows 2000/XP or newer
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce3 or ATI Radeon 8500 or better w/ 64MB RAM
DirectX version DirectX 9.0b
  Recommended System Requirements
CPU Pentium 4/Athlon XP or better
OS Windows XP or newer
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce FX+ or ATI Radeon 9500+ or better w/ 128MB RAM
DirectX version DirectX 9.0b