Tempest Rising devs say they hope to, let’s say, inspire EA to make a new Command & Conquer game after a decade of waiting. There are some clear Tempest Rising-Command and Conquer parallels that can be drawn, with the upcoming RTS game taking some obvious inspiration from the classic series first developed by Westwood and now owned by EA. Speaking to PCGamesN during Gamescom, Slipgate talked about its love for C&C as well as how it hopes to join games like Age of Empires 4 at the vanguard of an RTS revival.
Multiple members of the Tempest Rising development team have a long history with Command and Conquer – between them, there are credits on the likes of C&C fansite CNCNZ.com, one of the biggest C&C community sites since the late ’90s, along with the C&C wiki and in-depth RTS blog Wayward Strategy (run by Tempest Rising’s lead designer Brandon Casteel). Safe to say, then, that they’re fans of the series – but they’ve been left wanting after a decade without any new C&C releases save for mobile spin-off Command and Conquer: Rivals.
Asked about the similarities to EA’s series, the response is one of hope: “To be honest, if this means that EA will – forgive my French – get off its ass and make a new Command & Conquer game as it should be made, I’m down for it.” Tempest Rising’s closer camera angles give the game a more personal feel, however, perhaps more Warcraft 3 than C&C. Given how closely a lot of the game hews to EA’s classic series, this feels like a deliberate choice. There’s even a population cap – although developer Mateo Vekovic assures us that you’ll never need to hit it.
The team hopes to bring its history with the genre to bear – noting that the years of integration many of them have had within the C&C community means it “knows what skirmish players expect from a game.” In particular, the team mentions having lots of maps, the ability to play against AI or with their friends in co-operative comp stomps, and multiplayer matches “that can drag on for many hours.” There’s also plenty of nods to the competitive side, saying that positive feedback has come from veterans of the competitive RTS scene who are scheduled to take part in show matches.
Vekovic says that Slipgate hopes to be “at the forefront of the RTS revival, just like [the game’s publisher] 3D Realms has been at the forefront of the boomer shooter revival. So, for the second time in a row, we are pioneers of something.” Asked how the team feels about what Microsoft achieved in the genre with 2021’s Age of Empires 4, Vekovic notes that “I haven’t really played much of AoE IV, but I did play their prior titles with the definitive edition – they’ve reinvigorated old titles with quality-of-life improvements that have really put RTS back into the mainstream a little bit.”
Slipgate doesn’t see this as a threat to their audience, though; rather it looks at the success of Age of Empires IV as proof that “RTS is not only wanted, but also commercially viable – so we won’t have only 20 people playing it, hopefully!” Once again, the team emphasises that it is composed of fans of the genre first and foremost. “As RTS gamers ourselves, we are so happy that there’s something we can play again, instead of just going to dust off the old CDs and trying to make them work with Windows 10.”
Tempest Rising is available on Steam, with a rough release window of 2023. In the meantime, check out the best strategy games on PC for other games to keep your management brain ticking over.
Additional reporting by Richard Scott-Jones.