Stardock Entertainment and Oxide Games have revealed an almost overwhelming new take on the RTS genre in the form of Ashes of the Singularity. The new game is currently being shown off at their booth at this year’s Game Developers Conference, and I got a chance to see it in action and talk with Tim Kipp from Oxide, and Brad Wardell from Stardock.
While I don’t have any footage right now – the game was running in 4K, a locked 30 FPS, and DirectX 12. The key thing here is that not only is Ashes of the Singularity a technical marvel, it’s also a really damn impressive real time strategy game. The game is essentially Sins of a Solar Empire but on land, and with major, major improvements under the hood.
Ashes of the Singularity is running in Oxide Games’ brand new Nitrous engine, and I’ve got to say, the game has already blown me away. My first impression was that I was simply watching a trailer of canned footage, but when Brad paused the game and began panning the camera around, I started to get a sense of how insane and meticulous the attention to detail Singularity has.
Each individual turret on each unit will target and shoot in the direction of its enemy, each projectile has its own particle effects (and not simply a 2D image or animation), thousands of units can be on screen at the same time with complete movement of the camera, and finally – are you ready for this? The game has true line of sight. Did that make you scratch your head a bit?
Yes, Ashes of the Singularity has true line of sight, meaning the fog of war is no longer a static 2D plane, it morphs and changes depending the height of terrain. The same conditions apply for wherever you put radar scans out, your scanning effectiveness is going to be hindered if you’re trying to see over mountains. This definitely changes up gameplay with units as well, as they must now pathfind and scale to wherever their enemy is.
In the game, humanity has evolved beyond their mortal flesh into beings of pure consciousness. Despite the Singularity being something in humanity’s past, the future of the human race is in question. Haalee, the sentient AI, becomes hell-bent on ridding both the Milky Way galaxy, as well as the rest of the stars from post-human subjugation.
“In Ashes of the Singularity, players can take command of the forces of either the post-humans or those of Haalee,” said Brad Wardell, president & CEO of Stardock in a press release. “This is a galaxy-wide struggle in which each ‘battle’ wages across the surface of an entire planet. The scope of the conflict is unlike anything players have seen before.”
“The scale of Ashes required us to create a new type of 3D engine,” said Dan Baker, graphics architect at Oxide Games. “We wanted to make a game that didn’t just depict a battle but an entire war in real time, with thousands of independent units acting simultaneously.”
Ashes of the Singularity is coming with a deep and rewarding multiplayer component to its robust single-player campaign. In the single player story, you’ll experience the Singularity and the ramifications from humanity evolving biologically, out of their flesh and bone.
Leaderboards, stats, league structures, and more are getting detailed later, each of which being powered by Stardock’s new cloud-based Project Tachyon metagaming services (which is being led by lead architect Adrian Luff, who helped construct Blizzard’s Battle.net).
Oxide Games and Stardock Entertainment are looking to release Ashes of the Singularity into Steam Early Access soon, but for now, you can pre-order the game over on its official website. I’ll be getting a hands on preview of the game this Friday, so please be on the look out for that!