We saw the new Terminator game, and it’s out this year

Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance arrives in winter 2023, and promises an RTS game with "far-reaching consequences" and plenty of T-800s to fight.

Human soldiers appear next to a Terminator skull and Legion troops.

After radio silence for the past 18 months, developer Slitherine has gone loud about its upcoming sci-fi RTS game, Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance. Due to release in winter 2023, the strategy game is based on 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate.

Set roughly ten years in the future, Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance occurs in between the present day and future segments of the movie it’s based on. Mark Hardisty, the game’s Senior Producer, told me this is a deliberate choice. The developers want to tell their own story without relying on established characters like John and Sarah Connor. That said, don’t worry, Terminator fans! There will be plenty of recognizable elements from the series, including the iconic T-800 and T-101 made famous by Arnie.

Legion tech fires a pink laser in a screenshot from Terminator: Dark Fate - Defiance

Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance puts you in the shoes of Lieutenant Alex Church, a member of a faction called The Founders. This ragtag band of soldiers represents the final vestiges of the US military, nearly wiped out by Terminators. You’ll fight alongside The Movement, the civilian militia who go on to become The Resistance, as you take on the forces of Legion (Dark Fate’s equivalent of Skynet).

In a move that’ll please some strategy game fans and dismay others, there’s no base building in this RTS. Instead, you travel around a map of the US, recruiting new units and replacing the ones you’ve lost in battle. Units can also be acquired in missions, by completing particular side objectives. Hardisty was keen to emphasize that in-mission decisions have far-reaching consequences.

Founders troops swarm the screen with a dialogue box in a screenshot from Terminator: Dark Fate - Defiance

The Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance release date is set for winter 2023. I got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at a mission from the game a few days ago, so keep an eye out for a preview with my full thoughts later this week. If you’re keen to see the game for yourself, Slitherine is hosting a Twitch livestream later today (17:00 GMT / 10:00 PST / 13:00 EDT).