Space Wars Are Go: Sci-Fi RTS Etherium Out Today

While some folks clamour for real-time strategy games, I’d quite fancy a spot of real time strategy, divorced from the laughable human ‘linear’ time. Show me everything, all of it, all at once, forever unfolding and forking down infinite paths. Show me how even one single move – or no moves! – will end in countless tragedies, let me become paralysed with indecision, realise only one moral move exists, and so let me stop the entire universe from even starting.

If you’re one of those real-time strategy lot, though, hey, look: Etherium [official site] is out today.

Etherium sees three different factions going to war over the eponymous exotic resource in ye olde RTS way, harvesting it and building warthings to kill the other warthings. It does have a few tricks up its sleeve, with special ‘command skills’ (or superpowers, or whatever your ’90s RTS of choice called them), and weather like sandstorms and blizzards which affect battles and can be controlled in some ways.

That’s the brief feature list roundup, and I’m told we’ll have someone telling us Wot They Think about Etherium at some point.

Etherium is made by Tindalos Interactive, and will cost £24.99 on Steam when it arrives some time today. Here’s the launch trailer:

18 Comments

  1. Ahkey says:

    From the gameplay trailer, it looks to be a good mix of Supreme Commander (graphics, colossal units) and Dawn of War (control points, unit requisition).

    The weather system across different planet types might offer some diversity of tactics alongside the usual RPS unit strategy.

    • dahools says:

      I would agree the weather effects could add a new aspect to the game but having also just watched the gameplay trailer they need to work on unit animations significantly..

      Every time a group of units moved its like watching drill practice on a North Korean parade square. I cant get it out of my mind. Watching the four aircaft rock side to side doing the exact same animation on a 2 second cycle but on different rotations was making me nauseous.

      I liked the planetary scale for the campaign taking your armies over in a sort of grand strategy view before deploying on to the battlefield that seemed a good idea adding the extra level of depth not normally seen with these sorts of games.

  2. jeeger says:

    I was part of the Etherium beta test, and it didn’t seem half bad. Multiplayer-focused, of course, which is why I didn’t really get into it. Don’t know how it’s changed in the meantime though.

    Re: real time strategy: So you basically want to play Achron then?

    • SpinalJack says:

      When I read that part I thought this was another Achron much to my disappointment when the trailer showed no time hopping.

    • Arathain says:

      Alice, the above posters are quite right. The game you describe exists. It’s called Achron. You deserve it to yourself to watch some matches on Youtube. It’s so gloriously confusing and delightful all at once.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      No. I know about Achron. I want to see everything at once and realise how futile it all is.

  3. joansam says:

    Hey-does anybody know if RPS is going to do a Total War: Attila review? The last thing I’ve seen from them is the Hands-On, and I don’t want to buy in after the…betrayal is a good word…I felt with Rome 2.

  4. SupahSpankeh says:

    Ugh, more spam than comments.

    Is this game any good?

  5. aircool says:

    Is this one of those fun RTS games, or one of those action-per-second pieces of crap?

    • EhexT says:

      From the videos I’ve seen it looked sort of Kohany in that units are generally really hard to kill and you’re encouraged to fight, retreat before anything on your side dies and reinforce to preserve XP and gain ground. At least that’s the theory – the pathfinding, UI and combat system depth didn’t look like it was up to the job of making it any fun to play.

      • jeeger says:

        Yeah, missing depth was what I took away from the beta. It’s got a sort of metagame, but I don’t think it’ll be able to make up for the rather simple RTS part.

  6. Smashington. says:

    As someone who bought Stellar Impact from Tindalos and seeing the way they handled that so poorly I’ll be waiting to see a fair few good reviews before i even touch this.

  7. Neutrino says:

    Does anyone know whether Etherium models accurate projectile collision physics in the way that Supreme Commander, or does it just fudge like most other games do with generic graphics effects portraying underlying probability modelling?

    From the video it looks like the latter, which considering that this is made almost a decade later would be hugely regressive and a red line crossed for me.

    • Reefpirate says:

      People seem to have a funny idea about progress in video games. ‘Real’ projectiles with physics modelling isn’t a question of progress, it’s a question of a design decision. Personally I never liked the idea that you should have to worry about the trajectory of your units’ projectiles in an RTS. I’d rather worry about other things.

      The same goes for the graphics. ‘Lol durr 10 year old graphics anyone?’ I don’t care if the graphics look 20 years old if the game is any good.

      Just the other day there was a comment thread on RPS wailing and whining about how ‘Blizzard killed the RTS’ or how the ‘RTS is dead how come there’s no RTS?’ Well here’s your friggin’ RTS… Try to look past whatever personal genre squabbles you have for 5 minutes and see if there’s a good game.

      • Neutrino says:

        If you don’t want to care how you position units with respect to terrain or other units in an RTS because you just want everything to fire straight through hills, other units or whatever else is in the way to magically hit your targets anyway, well good for you.

        Personally I like my RTS games to actually use some of the power of my PC to give me a decent simulation of what one might reasonably expect the fictitious combat to be, because I like my RTS games to be not just candy for my eyes but candy for my brain too.

        Not sure why my preference in this should constitute more of a ‘funny idea’ than yours though.

        • Reefpirate says:

          It’s a ‘funny idea’ because you called it a regression… Not just a comment about your preferences.

  8. Mezmorki says:

    So like, what if instead of fighting over these fixed pools of resources … we all agreed to split it up equally and not bother building the warthings. So many resources go into warthings. Everyone would probably have more resources, including the winner of the warthings battle, if we just skipped the warthings … :)