Daedalic Entertainment has just released their latest title in Steam Early-Access, A Year of Rain. The game is a real-time strategy that can be played solo, or cooperatively and competitively with others. Every aspect of the game has actually been built with teams of two players in mind, whether those are two human players, or just one and an AI player. In each match, players choose between three different roles, which have a number of synergies that will affect the army they ultimately amass. Check out the trailer for the game below, and read on for more.
As you can see, A Year of Rain varies very little from traditional RTS gameplay. Players start with a main building and a few workers, and must build up defences, as well as other important structures, whilst growing an army that will be able to take down the enemy’s base. Thankfully there’s a great built-in guide system to help out new players who may not be familiar with RTS tropes such as building and unit upgrades, affinities, or even how to properly organise your army (which is very important!).
The developer has created a brand new fantasy universe for players to inhabit with A Year of Rain, and the campaign takes place across its continents and regions. Whilst nothing big has been given away, it looks like there will be a big focus on nature vs machines, or fantastical machines at least, and how the world is affected centuries after a war has ended.
The other big focus of RTS games, and part of the reason I love them so much, is the multiplayer, or Skirmish mode as it’s known. Teams can challenge other teams to a Skirmish match, again whether they’re human or AI, and take what they’ve learned from the campaign to really rip into another army in a totally unique setting. Part of what makes Skirmish matches so good is the way they’re like nothing from the core game, and players can tweak the environment or rules to make the match different enough to feel fresh even after hundreds of hours of game time.
A Year of Rain does bring an entirely new aspect to the genre that I’ve not seen in an RTS with single player before, roles. Players can pick between Tank, Support, or Damage. Those with the Tank role will have more health and be able to take more damage, pulling focus away from allies. Anyone with the Support role will be able to provide healing to allies. Finally, those with the Damage role will be able to deal more damage, and inflict debuffs on enemies that will increase the damage they take. Each of these roles can be levelled up within a match, much in the same way as you level up in MOBAs, so it seems as though there is an advantage to the player getting stuck in with their character in the fighting.
There are three unique factions to choose from in A Year of Rain. The Outcasts represent nature, and seem to be made up of the rejected creates of the world who aren’t sided with either of the other factions. The Restless Regiment of Undead soldiers is made up of the undead, and they sound as though they just want everything to be dead. The Aristocratic House Rupa look to be the heroes of the world, though I imagine that is questionable depending on which faction you play as.
Hero characters are an important part of any RTS, they’re the most powerful fighters on the field, or they have an ability that helps the army overall. Either way, they are invaluable in any player’s strategy, and can often turn the tide of war. There will be a hero for each faction in A Year of Rain, though these are still a mystery right now.
A Year of Rain will offer online progression for each match you complete. If you win, you earn more experience, and if you mentor another player, you earn another little boost. Through this experience you can earn titles and face cards, and climb through the ranks to become one of the best players in the game. You may have noticed that the trailer boasts an eSports scene, but it’s nothing to be joked about. RTS games are extremely replayable, and once mastered can make a player seem like a strategic genius.
This really does look like a game that has a lot of potential, especially since it’s still only early-access, and has years of development ahead of it.