Upcoming RTS games for 2014 and beyond

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You're a tactical military genius. You're not all about jumping into the fray, brandishing swords, and getting yourself killed. That's for your low-life minions. You are the master and commander--the brain behind the vicious horde. You like to prove yourself through careful flanking maneuvers, smart resource management, and unbeatable hotkey skills. You're an RTS gamer, and maybe you're looking for something new to stretch your real-time strategy muscle.

Yes, there are more RTS games out there than StarCraft 2, but sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of the upcoming releases in the genre. That's why we've put together this list (which well continually update), so you can stay on top of the everchanging release calendar. Check out all of the newly revealed and upcoming RTS titles that are coming in the near future, starting with...

Etherium

Release date: 2014

Looking for an old-school RTS that's just about classic tactics and strategy? Well, you might not have to look much farther. Etherium is set in the distant future, putting you in command of units like futuristic tanks, space-age aircrafts, and giant walking colossi. You'll have the typical skill-tree upgrades available to beef up your units and create more advanced killing technology, but that's not all Etherium has up its sleeve.

One thing that differentiates Etherium from other RTS titles is its focus on dynamic weather effects. Instead of always fighting battles on a bright, sunshiny day, storms and the varying geographic temperatures can play a part in your battle strategy. Sandstorms can be used to cover your advance on an enemy base, and freezing temperatures can make impassable rivers crossable.

Stonehearth

Release date: September 2014

Take Minecraft's visuals, have unlimited modability, and give players the foundation to build their own civilization. Then, put it all in a RTS. What you'll get is Stonehearth. All of the expected real-time strategy gameplay is here; it's all just mixed in with extreme customizability. Players will be able to farm resources, build up cities from nothing, and battle enemies from the tactical isometric perspective.

The goal is to have your population flourish in the randomly generated world. You'll use your minions to grow your settlement from a small farming village to a bustling city. As you explore the environment, you will encounter random quests, gain experience, and develop stronger troops to defend your kingdom. There's much more to this RTS than being a Minecraft offshoot, making it definitely worth a closer look.

Blitzkrieg 3

Release date: August 2014

Russian developer Nivel is working on another entry in its WWII RTS series Blitzkrieg. The series takes a refreshingly nontraditional approach to RTS gameplay. Instead of the focus being on base-building and resource management, Blitzkrieg 3 will focus on unit management, battle strategy, and blowing the opposing army to bits. Victory lies not only in how you position your squads, but also your heavy armor tactics. Do it right, and you'll successfully overwhelming your enemies with the troops available.

Like its predecessors, Blitzkrieg 3 is said to have a full single-player campaign. But in the sequel, players will be able to access the online multiplayer for free. There haven't been many details revealed on how the multiplayer system will actually work, but the game is being called an MMO and there might be some kind of subscription involved. We'll just have to wait to find out more information.

Planetary Annihilation

Release date: Sept. 23 2014 Pre-order now on Amazon

Most RTS titles have you fighting the opposing faction over a pitiful spot of turf on a single world. In Planetary Annihilation, you'll be fighting over and destroying entire planets. Instead of sending minors over a hill to collect gold, you'll collect resources from mineral rich space rocks. Rather than attack enemy bases, you'll attack enemy solar systems. You won't launch nuclear missiles to scorch the planet, you'll strap rocket boosters to an asteroid and fly it into an enemy world to destroy it.

Everything about Planetary Annihilation is about providing immense, epic battles. Alongside the hundreds of accessible planets in the procedurally generated maps, there's no unit cap. So, potentially, you can have thousands of units--spanning an entire galaxy--at your command. Having thousands of units, building bases that span solar systems, and destroying heavenly bodies at will sounds like the recipe for an amazing RTS.

Universum: War Front

Release date: TBA 2014

Universum: War Front is a bit different from the other games on this list. It's still an RTS, but with a bit of a twist. See, you'll build up your bases, add defenses, and train troops. You'll then command your army to destroy your enemies like any other RTS out there. The difference is, you're not just going to be the eye-in-the-sky general commanding troops; you also get to jump into your soldier's boots and experience the carnage on the ground from a third-person perspective.

Sounds cool right? You can take direct control of any unit at any time and wade into battle. There are also upgradeable heroes that you can rank up and earn cash with to purchase new weapons and abilities. The standard units are also extremely customizable. You can attach a jetpack to a hero to give you additional mobility, swap out more powerful cannons on your armored tanks, and give high-rank units morphing abilities to make them more versatile in combat.

StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void

Release date: TBA 2014

Blizzard has been known to take its time with releases. The core StarCraft 2 game was no exception, and apparently neither is the upcoming Legacy of the Void expansion. After Heart of the Swarm, the developer continues the story of the Terran-Zerg-Protoss conflict, bringing with it new units, more maps, and a full storyline to play through. But as it stands now, the details are still largely under wraps.

If you're a StarCraft fan, you already know what to expect--and that is, to wait. Blizzard is once again going to take its time crafting the latest expansion. After the Terran and Zerg the focus of the last two StarCraft games, the Protoss are stepping up to the plate, with faction leader Zeratul taking lead as the main character. Considering this will be the last announced entry in the StarCraft 2 story, you can expect it to end with a bang.

Stronghold: Crusader 2

Release date: Summer 2014

Look, maybe you aren't all about the futuristic, space-age RTSs coming on the horizon. That's okay. We've got you covered. How about we take the setting to the Crusades? Stronghold: Crusader 2 will have you handcrafting your own castle, building up defences, establishing an economy, and creating a massive army to defend your homeland from the invading Christian hordes--or conquering the Holy Land as the crusading templars.

In addition to the castle sim elements, Crusader 2 gives you a chance to test your tactical skills against some of the greatest warlords of the time. Leaders like Saladin have fully simulated behaviors and strategic play styles. When you jump into battle with these AI opponents, it's more like competing with an actual commander rather than some random computer move set. Or, that's the hope at least.

Castle Story

Release date: Available on Steam Early Access

If you've been interested in playing around with voxels (Minecraft-style environments made out of tiny building blocks), the upcoming RTS/castle builder Castle Story is using the new tech as a foundation for its gameplay. You'll use your chubby, yellow minions, called Bricktrons, to build your fort piece by piece, mine in underground tunnels, and defend your castle from hostile forces. And alongside the typical tactical gameplay of a RTS, the world and everything you create is completely destructible--which makes the strategy elements of defending your keep all the more interesting.

As you craft your fort, you'll need to lay out defenses and build up your troops because opposing forces will encroach on your base. The real interesting thing about Castle Story is how the enemy sieges play out. Because the entire world is voxel-based, everything is destructible, and the enemy can chip away at your defenses, brick by brick. So, it's important to pay close attention to your base's architecture as you build. Are there any weak points in your walls? Will that tower come crashing down if you enemies make a hole in it? These aren't the typical concerns you have in an RTS, which is why Castle Story has our attention.

What are you looking forward to?

Those are all the notable, upcoming RTS titles for now. But well be updating this article with even more games in the near future, so be sure to check back. Are there any RTS games that you're excited for? Let us know in the comments below.

If you want to see other new games on the horizon, check out our Upcoming strategy games and Upcoming fighting games lists.

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