Unleashing the Future of RTS: How Stormgate Fills the StarCraft 3 Void

The real-time strategy (RTS) genre has a pantheon of classic games, and perhaps none at the very top of the mountain more than StarCraft. Activision Blizzard has since abandoned the genre, and many wonder what could possibly replace its king. With Stormgate, RTS fans might finally get their answer. Newcomers to the genre might also get a chance to experience its wonders like never before. Stormgate is a game by Frost Giant Studios, founded by ex-Blizzard developers who want ‘to claim the RTS throne and build an experience that inspires both adoration and creates a legacy beyond StarCraft 2’. It’s a bold claim and, well, a bold game.

A True RTS Experience with Stormgate

Stormgate embodies the familiar RTS gameplay that fans love at its core: a dynamic resource-management, base-construction, and unit-control loop, where every player is tasked with conquering the battlefield from scratch. From the evolving singleplayer campaigns to cooperative and competitive modes, Stormgate is set to bring the competitive spirit for old and new RTS players alike.

Approachable Gameplay That Champions Strategy

If you’re a casual RTS player, Stormgate is welcoming and fun while still offering depth. Frost Giant Studios’ focus on making the game accessible involves ensuring that the factions you can play with are interesting, and offer strategic possibilities that make playing them fun. From the Diablo-posessed ‘Infernals’ and the Doom-inspired ‘Celestials’ to the sci-fi-themed ‘Vanguard’, Stormgate brings together an assortment of new and interesting RTS play possibilities.

Intuitive Design: Elevating the RTS Formula

And this is where Stormgate shines. It doesn’t coarsen RTS gameplay down to its simplest form, but rather makes it much more intuitive by enhancing the interface and introducing BuddyBot, an entirely new kind of RTS automated assistant. Yes, you still have to harvest minerals, and construct building and soldier units to have a chance of winning, but Stormgate makes this process far, far more manageable.

Stormgate: Where Newcomers and Veterans UNITE

Its strength of appeal to a wide variety of RTS players is perhaps Stormgate’s most important asset. I think longtime RTS enthusiasts and newcomers alike will appreciate Stormgate’s approachability, especially compared to the complexity of many other RTS games. The unique factions, new mechanics, meaningful additions to core gameplay and foundational RTS components all show a commitment on the part of Frost Giant to deliver the full package of an RTS experience.

The Vision Behind Stormgate: A Testament to Frost Giant's Ambition

Frost Giant Studios, developers of Stormgate, are trying to craft the Elden Ring of RTS games. ‘There is a big void, especially for us StarCraft players out there, and it’d be amazing if there’s a Stormgate to replace StarCraft 3,’ says O’Neill, speaking to the game’s ‘grand vision’ of pushing the genre forward by reimagining the typical unit dynamics of RTS-era games. O’Neill tells me that her team is working with professional RTS players for feedback. They are ‘constantly polishing and refining’, and hoping that their game will emerge, not just to fill that void, but create a new target for what an RTS might be.

Why Stormgate Might Just Be the Next Big Thing in RTS

The RTS genre is at a crossroads. If it is to have a spiritual successor to StarCraft, it could very well be Stormgate. With its emphasis on accessibility, its crowbarring in of features from other genres, and its pledge to adhere to the principles that brought the RTS to the fore in the first place, it is well-positioned to emerge as the game to carry the RTS torch into the next generation. When Stormgate’s release date finally arrives, the RTS world will be watching.

Understanding the MOVE in RTS Games

Having the ability to ‘move’ is incredibly important, and forming fundamental strategies around the positioning of units and buildings can mean the difference between dominating your opponent and falling behind. The ability for different races to move buildings, like the Celestials can do in Stormgate, is a huge example of how Stormgate isn’t simply following in the footsteps of its predecessors. It shows the potential for totally new RTS mixes, which should be a great source of tactical depth as new factions are introduced into the game.

Next up is Stormgate, which is kind of like StarCraft 3 in all but name. It’s the culmination of everything that loyalists have been clamouring to see from an RTS: respectful of the core of what made StarCraft’s mechanics work, but expanding on its limits with clever tweaks and twists, as well as unrelenting tactical depth. Stormgate is not an RTS for the mainstream, but it is one that I foresee revitalising the audience for the genre and drawing in a new one alongside. It’s time for Stormgate to make its MOVE on the RTS kingdom, and it’s a game not to be missed, not only by RTS diehards, but by anyone exploring a new frontier of strategy.

Jun 10, 2024
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