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New Steam RTS is basically a surprise Command and Conquer sequel

Command and Conquer may be missing in action, but a new Steam RTS serves as the spiritual return of Red Alert, Tiberian Dawn, and the other ‘90s classics.

Tempest Rising Steam: A military commander in uniform makes a speech in Steam RTS game Tempest Rising

Command and Conquer, oh, how we miss thee. With 2010’s Tiberian Twilight still the most recent, mainline entry in the RTS game series – if you don’t count the excellent remasters of Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn – it feels like the Westwood classic could be missing in action forever. But don’t worry: Tempest Rising, from THQ, 3D Realms, and Slipgate has just launched its first playable test on Steam, and it feels like the spiritual return of every great Command and Conquer game ever.

Set in the aftermath of a nuclear war, Tempest Rising puts you in command of one of three factions, each with their own distinct units, playstyles, and economies. The Global Defense Force (or GDF, which feels like a shout-out to Command and Conquer’s GDI) is the designated ‘good guy’ versus the sinister, NOD-inspired Tempest Dynasty. The third faction is yet to be revealed, but already, Tempest Rising feels like the Command and Conquer successor for which we’ve all been eagerly waiting.

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There are two campaigns announced so far, each with 15 missions. As well as building your base and your armies, you also contest for neutral structures and populations – convert a nearby town or village to your empire, and you can use its resources to further perpetuate your plans. Skirmish mode and custom games are also on the way, as well as competitive multiplayer.

Tempest Rising has just launched its first playable preview, which includes the first mission from the GDF campaign. Available until Monday, August 28, you can now apply to join the Tempest Rising test over on Steam. If you like classic RTS, and long for the return of Kane, Yuri, and all the rest, you need to give this a go.

Alternatively, try some of the other best strategy games. Or perhaps you want to think even bigger with the best grand strategy games available on PC.