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Tempest Rising captures classic C&C vibes in full multiplayer match

Command and Conquer inspired RTS game Tempest Rising shows a multiplayer match between two lead devs, showing just how good the real-time strategy game looks.

Tempest Rising multiplayer match - a bearded man with circular glasses winces, a battle taking place behind him

If you’re desperate for a new Command and Conquer, or are just a fan of RTS games in general, then Tempest Rising should be high on your priority list. The project, which comes from developer Slipgate Ironworks, is the brainchild of several developers who have a long history with C&C and the genre in general. In a new update, the team shows off what a Tempest Rising multiplayer match looks like right now in a gorgeous 1-on-1 showdown video.

3D Realms CEO Frederik Schreiber takes on lead designer Brandon Casteel in a show match aimed at giving a better look at how a multiplayer game of Tempest Rising plays out. Schreiber takes charge of the Global Defence Force, while Casteel helms the Tempest Dynasty. Schreiber is quick to note that Casteel is the much more competent player, but that he’s going easy on him to help show how things work.

From the very start, the influences are clear, but the polish is modern – I could imagine a parallel world where this is the years-absent next game in the long-standing C&C series. But, while the Slipgate Ironworks team doesn’t shy away from such comparisons and there are glimpses of Warcraft 3 and StarCraft 2 in here as well, Tempest Rising is definitely aiming to bring its own distinct style and ideas to the table.

Out the gate, Casteel notes that there’s currently an option to start with a small force that can be used for early scouting while you begin building your base, although he says the team is wary of potential rush strategies and open to changing the way this works if needed. Also under consideration are resource crates, which can currently be found tucked away in various nooks and crannies around the map for an early boost if grabbed by your units.

Most of your resource gathering is going to be done by classic-style harvester vehicles, though. Gathering the Tempest resource leaves vines on the ground, which (like C&C’s Tiberium Blossom before it) can potentially regrow Tempest over time if they are near enough to a living pod. Leaving Tempest to grow for longer will cause it to mature, making it more valuable when harvested – an interesting twist on how you approach resource economy.

Tempest Rising multiplayer - two harvester vehicles gather up the glowing red 'Tempest' resource from vines sprawling across the ground near a base

Casteel lets the gameplay – which you can watch below – speak for itself, but steps in on occasion to point out the occasional moment, such as when Schreiber’s initial scouting infantry force is comfortably held back by his early Pillager Flame Tank. In response, the GDF builds a fleet of Hunter Tanks, a high-tech, long-range unit. They’re backed up by a Drone Mauler, a heavy infantry unit with two drones that can go into stealth while immobile.

Unfortunately for Schreiber, he accidentally overdraws on power right as the Tempest Dynasty forces roll up to his base, leaving his defences open to attack while he scrambles to build more power plants. Nevertheless, he holds the attack off and responds in kind, but has to face off against the Dynasty’s Sensor Array – a tall, potent defensive structure that detects stealth and builds up Tempest charge on nearby vehicles as it attacks.

Throughout the match I’m impressed by the style. The art design is gorgeous, the soundtrack gleefully pumping and pounding, and the sound effects on the various unit attacks have a real punch while managing to stay pretty distinctive – which should help you differentiate quickly between units to recognise what you’re hearing. Perhaps my favourite part of all, though, is the unit barks. They’ve always been a highlight of the best strategy games, and Tempest Rising’s brash, confident marines absolutely deliver.

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It’s all looking very promising so far, and there’s plenty more to come. Schreiber says more such videos are planned to be released in the future, with the likes of intel and doctrines among the features the team wants to dig more deeply into in upcoming coverage. He also emphasises that this is still a beta build, meaning anything and everything is open to change before Tempest Rising arrives on Steam.

Until then, take a look at more of the best multiplayer games on PC if you can’t get enough of some friendly competition. Alternatively, new FPS/RTS hybrid Silica might be right up your street.