Because World War was already taken.
You may be like me, familiar with InnoGames from commercials for Grepolis on TV. Or you could be one of the 110 million players who love playing their five currently available titles. Because of the latter more-likely fact, you may also be excited to hear they’re coming out with a new game, Rising Generals for your mobile devices and web browser. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll also be impressed with their efforts to change up the Free-2-Play formula.
Developed using Adobe Air, InnoGames hope Rising Generals players will be able to enjoy transitioning between tablets and desktop browsers as they try to capture entire lands. Your general is placed on what I can only describe as a fucking huge map. Each country is divided into many regions, districts, and sites, and you start with just one under your command. By clicking or tapping on your base or outpost, you can begin building up resources to spend on battle units, research, and many other features.
Unlike many other F2P games, you can see the results of your actions immediately with a cooldown following any move. This makes the game easier to pick up and play on commutes to work or after arriving at home.
Once generals have plenty of resources and units, they can start trying to dominate the surrounding territories, though they’re not restricted to adjacent sites. By tapping on buildings, players can raid (steal resources), capture, or reinforce them, moving troops to protect them. When war breaks out, miniature units arrive and perform in battles for you, so it’s not just a game of stats and dialogue boxes. These actions are governed by how much fuel you have, another resource players can synthesize. One way to manage these materials is to join Battle Groups with your friends. You can’t join armies, but you can progressively take over a map and trade resources when necessary.
Of course, all things expendable, one would assume that the ‘P’ in ‘F2P’ has to rear its ugly head at some point. It’s true that players can pay to reduce action cooldowns or purchase items, costing as little as $0.99, but producer Christoph Schmidt warns that “Pay to win is a failure from the beginning.” “Whales” as they are called in the business must be nice, but InnoGames very audibly shunned the idea of cracking their games using money alone. They’d rather have players enjoy a level playing field.
If the idea of building up your army and uniting the world under one militaristic umbrella isn’t enough, you may be intrigued to know former AIAS co-director and Civilization assistant designer, Bruce Shelley, is also at the helm of Rising Generals. He’s as passionate as the developer about the game and even helped explain some of the mechanics to me. Knowing little about strategy games, it helps to have this guy take the tablet and demo for you when you get stuck. Hopefully, players more familiar with the genre will be having fun instead of asking for his number.