The real-time strategy, or RTS, genre has a long and storied history. Gaming scholars are divided on where it truly begins; some say that the first true RTS is the 1981 strategy title Utopia, while others point to later iterations like Herzog Zwei or even Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty as the first true real-time strategy games. Whatever you personally believe, the fact is that in the 90s, RTS games exploded in popularity, leading to luminaries like Warcraft, Starcraft, and Age of Empires emerging.
Today, your options for playing RTS games are numerous, but if you want to play a modern game that truly evokes the spirit of classic RTS, you’re going to be searching for a long time. That’s where Slipgate Ironworks’ Tempest Rising comes in. It pledges to provide a “classic RTS” in the vein of the true icons of the genre, only with modern sensibilities and design improvements. If you’re an RTS fan, you’re probably salivating about now, so here’s everything we know about THQ Nordic’s upcoming title.
Tempest Rising release date – when is it coming out?
Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact Tempest Rising release date right now. When THQ Nordic released the announcement trailer that revealed the game back in August last year, the studio set a broad release window of “2023”, so it looks like we can expect the game to arrive sometime this year. However, that might be subject to change, as the Tempest Rising Steam listing has the game coming out “soon”. It looks like it might be a little while until we get more information about Tempest Rising’s release date.
Tempest Rising platforms – what is the game coming out for?
As you might expect from a truly classic RTS experience, Tempest Rising is coming out on PC only at the moment. We don’t have any news on whether or not it’s going to come out for consoles, but honestly, it’s not likely; games like Warcraft and Starcraft often require much more complex controls than consoles are capable of providing.
Still, with Age of Empires console ports very much on the way and some RTS games being designed from the ground up for consoles, it’s too early to state definitively whether or not a console release is on the cards for Tempest Rising. Here’s hoping that THQ Nordic and Slipgate Ironworks reveal PS5 and Xbox Series ports for the game at the very least!
Tempest Rising features – what will the game play like?
As Slipgate Ironworks and THQ Nordic have stated, Tempest Rising will call back to classic RTS games from the 90s and 2000s while still retaining an identity of its own thanks to modernised features and design. As such, here are some of the features you can expect from Tempest Rising.
- Classic RTS gameplay. Tempest Rising will focus heavily on RTS base-building, which you’ll be familiar with if you’ve played classics like Starcraft. It’ll involve building up your base and making sure all of your troops are upgraded and outfitted before you march them into battle, so you’d better make sure you’re up on resource gathering and you know where your build trees are located!
- Three factions. You can look forward to three different factions in Tempest Rising, each of which will have its own characteristics. Slipgate Ironworks is making a big deal of the asymmetry of the factions; like Starcraft, each one will have a different strategy, meaning you’ll have to play differently if you want to succeed. We’re likely to get more information about Tempest Rising’s factions as we get through the year.
- Unique units for each faction. Again, like Starcraft, or perhaps like Age of Empires’ different nations, each faction will offer different units for you to play with. This will significantly alter your strategy as you consider how to use each unit to its fullest and how to incorporate them into your combat plans.
- Two single-player campaigns. According to the developers, Tempest Rising will boast not one, but two single-player campaigns, and each of them will have a story told through between-mission cutscenes. You’ll be familiar with this method of storytelling if you’re an RTS aficionado; it’s how games like Starcraft and Command and Conquer told their stories. Each campaign will consist of fifteen missions, with the first casting you as the Commander of the Global Defence Forces and the other placing you in the role of the Tempest Dynasty.
- Extensive multiplayer. What would an RTS be without extensive multiplayer modes? Luckily, Tempest Rising looks like it’ll have a robust suite of multiplayer modes and gameplay options. You can play skirmish games against your friends or random people online, as well as custom games. If you’re feeling particularly hardcore, you can head into ranked games to test your mettle against the best of the best. Hopefully, THQ Nordic and Slipgate Ironworks are good at keeping the meta feeling fresh and ever-changing in the game so that players don’t settle on a single strategy too easily.
- Neutral populations and buildings. Many RTS games don’t feature neutral populations or buildings, which can make maps feel a little staid and static. Tempest Rising will have both, so when you’re duking it out over resources and map control with your opponent, you’ll also have to worry about what the neutral populations are doing and whether you can contest the neutral structures that could give you a tactical advantage.