What qualifies as a “next-gen” RTS game? Is it shinier graphics? More in-depth tactical choices? Well, Ghostrunner and Graven devs Slipgate Ironworks hope to provide an answer with their latest real-time tactics base-building game, Tempest Rising. Revealed earlier this evening during THQ Nordic’s summer showcase, Tempest Rising is a retro-inspired strategy game where you’ll take control of three factions fighting for a rare mineral. And yep, that mineral is called ‘Tempest’. Here’s the reveal trailer.
Set in a sci-fi modern day alternate history of Earth, the main opposing factions here are known as the Global Defence Forces and the Tempest Dynasty, the later of whom are a mishmash of European and Asian nations united against the GDF. Each faction will have their own single-player campaign to dig into when Tempest Rising launches in 2023, but you’ll only come across the game’s third faction in multiplayer, the devs told me during a presentation earlier this week.
In that presentation, they showed off a glimpse of the GDF’s first campaign mission, which has a more traditional boots on the ground-style tanks and infantry vibe. Like the Tempest Dynasty, they’re fighting ot get hold of the game’s titular mineral, which has been discovered on sites of nuclear fallout across the globe. Slipgate Ironworks promise these campaigns won’t simply be a case of good vs bad guys, though, although we’ll have to wait until it launches to see just how grey these faction edges really are.
The mission begins on a snowy plain, with a squad of four troops parachuting in and dashing toward enemy forces. All of them are armed with rifles, allowing them to pick off lone Dynasty soldiers from afar. It’s not long before they’re joined by some drone operators, though, whose airborne bots can deal with more heavily-armoured foes, such as the rapidly incoming tank. The developers say there’s a rock-paper-scissors battle system at work here, and you’ll need to deploy the most effective units to deal with the threats in front of you. Alternatively, you can always target some handy explosive barrels, which can explode and cause larger chain-reactions with other bits of the environment nearby.
The growing squad quickly stumbles upon the Dynasty’s barracks and power plant next, both of which need taking down before they move on. Later on in the mission, you’ll be doing your own bit of base-building as you prepare to take down the Dynasty’s much more imposing HQ, but in the mean time, one of our own hunter tanks has just been airdropped into the fray, whose anti-armour cannon makes short work of the remaining buildings.
The mission also showed off some of the secondary abilities each unit has in the campaign, which the devs promise will be easy to use and not require too much micro-managing. The Riot Medic, for example, is a specialist who can both heal other units and slow down incoming enemy infantry with his riot suppression gun. Specialist units like this will open up bonus objectives during missions as well, letting you take advantage of them in later levels.
It certainly looks like it will scratch that Command & Conquer itch if you’ve played the recent C&C Remastered Collection into the ground, but I’m mostly here for the very Duke Nukem-esque voice in the sky who chimes in every now again with phrases like “Unit Lost” and “Secondary Objective Accomplished”. Not surprising, really, given Slipgate’s history with the series, but an interesting touch nonetheless.
We’ll have to wait a little longer before sinking our teeth into it, though. Tempest Rising is due out next year, and you can find out more over on Steam.