Stormgate lifts the lid on its second faction, the Infernal Host. This race of demonic aliens makes an initial impression that brings to mind the infamous Zerg of StarCraft, but once again the team at Frost Giant Studios, which consists of former Warcraft and StarCraft developers, has ensured that Stormgate brings a fresh spin on the RTS game formula while paying loving homage to its roots.
Shown as part of Opening Night Live, we finally get our first proper look at some of the Infernal Host in action. They’re a little more demonic in design than the more bug-like Zerg, although the way their smaller units run around certainly calls to mind the iconic Zergling swarms. Much like the Creep spread by StarCraft’s alien horde, the Infernal Host use a mechanic called Shroud – a dark, swirling field of magical energy produced by certain structures that empowers nearby units and allows for the use of powerful Rituals.
We also get a look at three of the basic Infernal Host units. The first of these are the workers, the cute but deadly Imps. Much like the B.O.B. drones of the Human Resistance, they’ll spend most of their time gathering resources and building your structures. However, they have an explosive secret up their sleeves when needed – the ability to set themselves ablaze in a pinch and detonate in a devastating Imp-losion.
Next, we see the Brutes. These hefty, two-headed melee units stomp around the battlefield with a massive cleaver, able to soak up damage as they close down enemy forces to deliver crushing thwacks. If they’re too slow for the job, however, they too carry a chaotic last resort – their two halves bursting from the outer shell as a pair of fast-moving Fiends that can chase down and swarm enemies, Zergling-style, as their remaining body parts fall to the ground in a bloody mess.
The announcement video also reveals some of the storied partners Frost Giant Studios is working with on the Stormgate soundtrack, including EDM DJs the Chainsmokers, who join audio director Alexander Brandon (Unreal and Deus Ex) and composers Tracy W Bush (StarCraft and Warcraft 3) and Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer and Dune 2). There’s even a tease of some of the acting talent, with the video closing on a familiar-sounding voice from Blizzard’s past.
Stormgate will be free-to-play at launch but is currently still in early development – you can wishlist it on Steam to keep track of its progress, or head over to the Stormgate website to sign up for a chance to enter future beta tests. I’m certainly very eager to see more extended gameplay of the Infernal Host in action as we get closer to the Stormgate release date.