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I'd love an RTS alternative to Starcraft

VryheidVryheid Member Posts: 469

It seems like the Starcraft franchise has a monopoly over the entire RTS industry. The only other RTS games with any sort of competitive scene right now are tactics games like Total War: Shogun 2 (which lack real time resource management) and awful dumbed down pseudo-RTS games like Command and Conquer 4. And those games aren't exactly bursting at the seams with players. There used to be legitimate competitive alternatives, like Age of Empires, Supreme Commander and Red Alert 2. Now the entire RTS genre seems centralized around this one game.

It seems like every other genre in video games is giving players some sort of variety (heck, even FPS players have Battlefield as an alternative to Modern Warfare now), but for RTS games I can't find any alternatives at all. Other than the next Command and Conquers Generals game (which will at least be a year before release), does anyone know of any competitive RTS games coming out in the near future which I might be interested in playing?

Suggestions (or comments) would be appreciated).

Comments

  • VirgoThreeVirgoThree Member UncommonPosts: 1,198

    I'd suggest checking out RTS guru the sister site to this place. Anyways here are my suggestions for what is out now if you haven't tried them.

    Supreme Commander Forged Alliance: This game provides massive scale base building, resource management, and armies. I believe each side can have upwards to 500 units each and all of it is controlled in real time just like starcraft. Last I played the game, it had a pretty hardcore community. It may be difficult for a new person to jump in but it is definitely a wonderful RTS.

    Supreme Commander 2: This game is more recent of course, but I felt it was dumbed down in almost every way possible in comparison to Sup Com 1. It's great for shorter skirmishes and a no brainer in terms of economic management but just lacks the grandeur of the first series. This game would probably be easier on a new comer to the series.

    Dawn of War 2: The multiplayer is fast and visceral. More so then most RTS that I've played. The game is not about base building at all, but more about microing your individual squads to maximum effectiveness. Losing a squad can be devasting and you need to really know how to be mobile to control the field.

    Company of Heroes: A bit older and predates Dawn of War 2, but it has solid mechanics and is another Relic gem in the RTS world. As with DoW2 turtling isn't as effective due to battle field control being paramount to your success.

    Those would be my current suggestions, and I have not really kept up with newer releases of RTS outside of total war games. So I'm not certain what is on the horizon. It would be nice to have more diversity with the RTS genre, but I feel this is a difficult genre to pull off well. However, when a dev does it right, damn does it feel good.

    Btw Total War games are probably the best if you want a fully comprehensive single player experience that almost never gets dull.

    Edit: Noticed you mentioned Sup Com so you are fully aware of that game :) Sorry I can't add on the horizon games

  • FlemFlem Member UncommonPosts: 2,867

    Anyone remember Dune 2?  That for me was one of the best RTS games i have played and i'm not usually a fan of this genre.

  • Z3R01Z3R01 Member UncommonPosts: 2,421

    There are a ton of RTS games with active communities. 

    Hell... My uncle plays C&C: Red Alert all day everyday (he's retired) and gets games in under 30 seconds.

    Now if you're talking crazy popular competitive esport type stuff thats going to compete with SC2 twitchTV like viewer numbers then no you wont see one until Blizzard makes a new RTS.

    Playing:

    Waiting on:

  • WarmakerWarmaker Member UncommonPosts: 2,246

    While the RTS genre has been in a slump, there's still a bunch of viably great titles out there.  A few off the top of my head.

    Starcraft 1 - Still a classic, IMO, and the best example of the original vision of old school RTS gaming as we knew it from the 1990s.  Still easily available.

    Dawn of War 1 - DOW has received 3 standalone expansions, new campaigns with each, has boatloads of fleshed out factions, and is larger in combat scope than Dawn of War 2.  Again, very easy to find.

    Company of Heroes - To include its 2 standalone expansions.  The best RTS game, IMO.  4 factions total with distinctly different playstyles and gameplay that's unlike any other.  Capturing points and gaining access to larger supply additions over time, and ways of cutting off supply routes on the map to slash your opponent's ability to get resources for more units.  In addition, units of course level up and improve the more they survive and succeed in a battle.  This title dared to be different and succeeded with the players and reviewers.  Very easy to find also.

    Homeworld 1 - Space based RTS game.  You had to play in a full 3d environment with every map.  Fighters, bombers, destroyers, cruisers, etc.  All moving about in combat.  The 3d aspect is important due to certain unit strengths and weaknesses.  For example, certain cruisers were very, very tough to damage frontally, but were weaker in the ventral portions of their hull (belly).  Naturally the player using those cruisers would have escorts or fighter screens buzzing in that weak zone to protect these heavier cruisers.  Old game though, came out in 1998, but just a tad bit younger than Starcraft 1.  You may have a tougher time finding HW1.  IMO, it is also superior than its sequel, which oversimplified things.

    Also, Relic made a bunch of good RTS games, and they were the leader for a number of years in the genre.  Of the list above, they made 3 of them, with SC1 made by Blizzard.  They also have more RTS titles, but the 3 I listed were their best, IMO.  But I'm not sure with WTH Relic is trying these days.  I mean, they made that godawful WH40K Space Marine FPS game recently.  They got their reputation with good RTS games, and then they laid a goose egg with an awful FPS game.  WTH?!?

    "I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  • TyvolusNextTyvolusNext Member Posts: 192

    Originally posted by Vryheid

    It seems like the Starcraft franchise has a monopoly over the entire RTS industry. The only other RTS games with any sort of competitive scene right now are tactics games like Total War: Shogun 2 (which lack real time resource management) and awful dumbed down pseudo-RTS games like Command and Conquer 4. And those games aren't exactly bursting at the seams with players. There used to be legitimate competitive alternatives, like Age of Empires, Supreme Commander and Red Alert 2. Now the entire RTS genre seems centralized around this one game.

    It seems like every other genre in video games is giving players some sort of variety (heck, even FPS players have Battlefield as an alternative to Modern Warfare now), but for RTS games I can't find any alternatives at all. Other than the next Command and Conquers Generals game (which will at least be a year before release), does anyone know of any competitive RTS games coming out in the near future which I might be interested in playing?

    Suggestions (or comments) would be appreciated).

    I started playing RTS games in '96 with Warcraft II.  Played all Blizz RTS through about 2005.  In 2005/6, I started playing C.O.H.  There is not a better RTS game then COH, IMO.  Give it a try and you wont be able to play any more Blizz RTS.  Also I should note I bought SC2, due to a friend wanting to play.  As I predicted (not to him, just myself) it would suck and he would quit.  Less then 2 months in and I was back to C.O.H.  -- blizz is no longer Blizz.  Also, check out Homeworld, I havent played but it gets great reviews and has its fans.  you just have to look.

  • dakotacruzdakotacruz Member Posts: 4

    I really liked the Empire Earth games although they weren't great thinking back, I really liked them at the time. Right now the only RTS I play is Company of Heroes, although it's WW2 based and not Starcrafty.

     

    http://www.multiplayerreviews.com/gamepage?id=2890&game=Company_of_Heroes&review=1

  • RednecksithRednecksith Member Posts: 1,238

    Dawn of War 1 and 2 are both great alternatives to Starcraft. DoW1 is about larger scale battles, and forces you to play aggressively due to the fact that resources come from capturing and holding objectives, not a bunch of worker drones skittering about. Base building is toned down a bit, but there's still quite a bit of macromanagement.

    DoW2 is more about squad-based tactics, with some roleplaying elements (equippable wargear, skill points, etc.). You'll need to position your troops carefully according to their strengths/abilities, and really pay attention to how the combat is playing out. Scouting is also essential. There is no base building, just a few meager stations along the way to replenish lost troops. The game also offers 'The Last Stand', a hero-based horde mode basically. The second expansion pack also offers a co-op campaign.

    TL;DR DoW1 is closer to regular Starcraft, with base building and all that good stuff. DoW2 is all about the micro, from what equipment your troops are using, to what abilites they have due to skill point allocation. Both are worth playing, and both are quite cheap on Steam.

    Plus you can see what Starcraft copied itself off of :)

  • ReehayReehay Member Posts: 172

    my favorite RTS of all time is Rise of Nations. i still play atleast once a month with friends.... i even wrote my own mod for it.

    others I would recommend:

    Homeworld 1 and 2

    Empire Earth 2

    Rise of Legends

    Ground Control 2

    Sins of a Solar Empire

    all fantastic games. I did enjoy Dawn of War series too.  damn RTS's sure have lasting appeal... and all of those still have comparable fun value to current games. great genre

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