Will your hero be called on during battle to perform more than just mass-murdering of the enemy? Can you give us some examples?
Your hero can use its special abilities to heal, snipe, command troops and various other abilities rather than just damage to the enemy, but your hero is definitely at its best while dealing damage.
Is it possible to progress through the game only playing as the hero, or only using the RTS style approach?
Definitely. However, I think you'll quickly find each has its purpose and you'll be jumping in and out of Hero mode as needed without even thinking about it.
How will you enhance and improve your hero's abilities and strength as you progress through the campaigns?
Heroes and civilisations will benefit from your hero's abilities. By exploring and defeating enemies you will gain glory, which you can spend on training your hero and upgrading your civilisation.
What are the plans for multiplayer action? Can you play in teams, or only in opposition?
We have an extensive multiplayer mode, which includes team play and head-to-head, as well as various victory conditions.
Will you be able to use your single-player hero in multiplayer battles against your friends?
No. We find that, while it's nice to have role playing elements of a persistent hero, most people want to start from a level playing field and a world free of player hacks which just cause frustration.
Finally, tell us why we should all be looking forward to Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War.
In Rise & Fall, players assume the role of one of history's greatest heroes and build a civilisation from the ground up. Amass enough glory, and Rise & Fall lets the player fight alongside his troops in Hero Command mode, laying waste to carefully prepared enemy plans, formations and fortifications with an almost supernatural combination of leadership and martial skill. And don't forget eight-player team battles!