Let’s talk about them vidyagames.
Rise of Nations was a great RTS, I thought - if you were to flip through a few screenshots you wouldn’t be able to tell what distinguished it from its contemporaries. It’s almost enough to say that its contemporaries weren’t designed by Brian Reynolds, one of the men who devoured your youth with his insidious Civilization 2 and Alpha Centauri. But certainly diverse victory conditions and and almost tabletop sense of “territory” helped to separate it from the pack.
What they’re doing with the “sequel,” more of a spiritual successor I’d suppose, is ... Well, here’s a long article on what. Honestly, the moment I began looking at screens for it I could no longer parse language. The one thing that penetrated my stupor was how dense and organic the cities look - that must be due to their “district” oriented city-building they refer to in the portion of the article I dimly remember.
Rise Of Legends (what they’re calling the sequel, I forgot to mention that) and Age of Empires 3 both show what modern hardware is capable of when it is not immediately turned to the rendering of a dark hallway or dilapidated prison. It’s kind of nice to see.