We’ve got a fresh look at Stormgate, the upcoming free-to-play RTS from a team of ex-StarCraft 2 veterans, as developer Frost Giant has released its first update on the game.
First revealed during the main Summer Game Fest 2022 showcase, Stormgate received a follow-up preview during the PC Gaming Show (opens in new tab). In a short video, Frost Giant walks through the ins and outs of the upcoming RTS, picking out some of its more novel aspects and showing a – very, very brief – snippet of gameplay.
Billed as the “next evolution” of the RTS genre, Stormgate looks to draw heavily from StarCraft 2. It will see a technologically advanced human race square off against an invasive alien species, feature three playable factions at launch, lean heavily into competitive multiplayer, be free to play, and give you an in-game editor to create custom levels and game modes. All of those features will be familiar to anyone who’s tried their hand at Blizzard’s classic sci-fi RTS.
Set in a post-apocalyptic far future in which humanity must defend Earth from demonic aliens – the Infernals – Frost Giant says Stormgate mixes fantasy with science fiction. The story seems to be central to the game, and will be told through an ongoing series of campaign missions that expand its plot. That sounds something akin to a live-service model, in which seasonal updates are used to extend a game’s content and lore through ever-growing DLC.
New story chapters will release “regularly”, bringing new maps to skirmish across, additional units to command, and modes to compete in. You’ll be able to play the entire campaign solo or co-operatively, while an additional three-player co-op mode will let you command customizable hero units against AI opponents.
Check out the video update below.
Frost Giant is hoping those co-op elements will make Stormgate a “social RTS”, spawning dedicated communities like those surrounding the most popular MOBAs. It’s also likely hoping to ape the eSports success that StarCraft 2 achieved, with amateur and professional multiplayer tournaments baked into Stormgate at launch. They’ll span several leagues for varying experience levels.
Stormgate will be entirely free to play but, as the video emphasizes, is keen to present itself as not pay-to-win. Beta testing kicks off in the middle of next year, and you can sign up for access on the Stormgate website (opens in new tab).