PAX East 2023: Tempest Rising Preview

At PAX East 2023, we got an up-close look at Tempest Rising, an upcoming RTS that's reminiscent of old-school Command & Conquer gameplay.

Published: March 29, 2023 10:30 AM /

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Units in Tempest Rising patrolling through a field at night.

RTS is a pretty niche gaming genre. It doesn't get as much attention as an FPS or a third-person adventure game, but it has a very dedicated group of fans who have been following the genre since the Command & Conquer games of the '90s. I'm amongst this group, and I couldn't wait to check out this new RTS for our Tempest Rising preview while at PAX East 2023.

What I saw was surprising and got me even more hyped for what this game has to offer for those who have been awaiting for the next great installment in the RTS lineup. 

The player defends their base in Tempest Rising using flamethrowers and their combat units.

Tempest Rising Is a Very Satisfying Real-Time Strategy Game 

The premise of Tempest Rising is simple enough: nuclear war broke out shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and when the nukes fell and radiation spread out across the globe, a plant called Tempest began to grow. Though this plant was the result of a world-ending apocalypse, it does have a silver lining: it's a near-limitless source of energy. Decades later, three factions fight for control of land and resources, culminating in two single-player campaigns and countless opportunity for online co-op and PVP. 

In speaking with the development team, one thing was made perfectly clear: Tempest Rising was designed to be a love letter to classic RTS games. If you grew up playing Red Alert 2 or have fond memories of StarCraft, you'll definitely want to check out what Tempest Rising is all about. 

Build times are fast and responsive: There's no waiting around to grow a massive army. The population cap is set at a respectable 300, and Tempest Rising's gameplay was designed to be as fluid as possible. Otherwise, it just wouldn't work as an RTS. 

The game design is equally as impressive -- not only does Tempest Rising display sharp textures and detailed buildings and units, but it also runs at an impressively stable framerate. During my 30 minutes with Tempest Rising, I never noticed any frame drops, and the audio of tanks blasting their cannons and soldiers firing up flamethrowers was a welcome auditory feast. This game wasn't just well-made: It was damn fun. 

The player controls their units in Tempest Rising.

Tempest Rising offers three factions to play as, each with unique units. I played as the Global Defense Force during my Tempest Rising preview. The GDF is a well-funded army that can move formidable battle tanks and infantry across each level. Training units from your base is a very quick process, and the Tempest plants that can be harvested for resources regrow very quickly. This means that players can spend more time building up their armies and enjoying the game instead of waiting around for builds to be completed. 

Real-time strategy can always be a hit or miss, but Tempest Rising feels like a definite hit, and I'm really excited for the Tempest Rising release date to arrive so I can take a closer look at what the campaign and online co-op has in store. If you're a fan of classic RTS and want to check out what Tempest Rising is like, be sure to keep an eye out for when it'll be available to play!

Tempest Rising was previewed at PAX East 2023.

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| Staff Writer

Dan is a Boston-based writer who has been with TechRaptor since the end of 2020. He has been working in the online writing, editing and SEO space for nearly… More about Dan