What You Should Know About The Ultimate In RTS Gaming


If you’ve been playing PC games for several years, you’ll have come across some genres that define the platform. First-person shooters, point-and-click adventures, role-playing, and real-time strategy games have been a staple on the PC for decades. I’ll focus on the latter genre and give you the lowdown on RTS gaming from past to present.

Whether you’re an enthusiast or have a passing interest in this genre, there’s at least one title that will get you hooked. What makes RTS gaming so compelling is its rich gameplay that involves resource gathering, building up your forces, and attacking the enemy in a strategic manner. If that doesn’t sound exciting, I don’t what is?

The Surprising Roots Of RTS Gaming.

While real-time strategy games may have hit the jackpot on the PC, the genre’s origins may surprise you. A popular 8-bit British computer, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was home to two early examples of the genre. These were Imagine’s Stonkers (1983), and Argus Press Software’s Nether Earth (1987), which laid the foundations of RTS gaming. Later on, Technosoft’s Herzog Zwei (1989) on the Sega Genesis displayed how action-packed a real-time strategy could be.

The Best RTS Games Offer A Rich Tapestry.

As fun as shooting demons and zombies in the face may be, this does get tedious after a while. And most repetitive action and shooting games seldom task a player’s intellect. But RTS gaming brings so much to the table to keep even the most demanding gamers engaged. The best real-time strategy games include a gripping story, control over a variety of units, different strategies for a victorious outcome, and robust multiplayer modes.

StarCraft II Is A Great Entry Point.

With so many great real-time strategy games available, where does someone new to the genre even begin? Frankly, a good starting point is none other than Blizzard’s seminal space-themed series – StarCraft II.

It’s an accessible foray into RTS gaming once a new player learns its basic controls and hotkeys. And its fast-paced gameplay will keep even action game enthusiasts glued to their PCs during those grueling campaigns. Moreover, StarCraft II played a monumental role during the early days of the esports scene and may be making a comeback.

Command And Conquer Provides A Cinematic And Powerful Experience.

Westwood Studios, now defunct was the legendary game developer that brought us the excellent Command & Conquer RTS series. They also worked on several Dungeons & Dragons titles, The Legend of Kyrandia graphic adventure series, and a faithful interpretation of Blade Runner. Their experience in creating cinematic and narrative-rich games certainly affected how their RTS games turned out, particularly Command & Conquer.

In 1999, Westwood Studios released a sequel to their hit series, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. It boasted a bigger budget than its predecessor, which resulted in elaborate cinematic sequences. Furthermore, the in-game maps featured a top-down isometric view with dynamic lighting and day-and-night cycles that enhanced the atmospheric characteristics of the game.

Frostpunk Is A Modern Take On The Genre.

Some gamers and industry insiders feel that RTS gaming has become stagnant lately due to lack of innovation. However, this is simply part of the boom and bust cycle that most genres in gaming undergo at one point or another. As things stand, real-time strategy games are niche and appeal to a smaller audience than they did back in the ‘90s. But they’re not dead since there are developers committed to pushing them forward!

Frostpunk combines the popular survival genre with real-time strategy to offer players a fresh experience. This was a smart choice, as many of the most popular games on Steam focus on survival, thus increasing the potential audience for Frostpunk. Generally, real-time strategy games work well with other popular genres, which bodes well for their continued potential and feasibility.

Final Thoughts.

RTS gaming is one of the most exciting segments of the gaming landscape. It offers gamers a rich and multi-layered experience that they’ll seldom find anywhere else. While it may seem that real-time strategy games are in decline, you’ll still come across titles that reinvigorate the genre in exciting new ways. Contact me to learn about the future of the gaming industry and its impact on business.


Reed Duchscher

President | Night Media

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