5 Reasons to Dive Into A Year of Rain
There has been an explosive surge in first-person shooters and sprawling epic third-person adventures as of late, but what has happened to the once glorious genre of real-time strategy experiences? With the occasional release or remaster here and there, it really isn’t enough to keep fans of the classic style of PC gaming appeased. Daedalic Entertainment has stepped up to answer the call with a brand new IP that takes RTS games into entirely new territory while remaining familiar, and a dream to play. The game is currently in early access, however, there are already plenty of reasons to jump into Daedalic’s A Year of Rain, but here are our top 5.
5. Fresh but Familiar HUD
I first got my hands on A Year of Rain at E3 2019. Sitting down with the developers to dive into a skirmish map, I looked at the screen and smiled. Experienced RTS players will instantly recognize that the tech tree system and general HUD is based off of StarCraft 2, and with that experience in hand I excitedly jumped into the game and was preparing my forces before the developers could even tell me what to do. Mechanically there are plenty of small, nuanced changes to streamline the game – as it is intended to be played in smaller skirmishes – but the entire UI is easy to use and instantly recognizable, making it very user-friendly.
4. You and a Friend Against the World
A Year of Rain is also unique in its approach to gameplay. Instead of having up to eight-player deathmatches or absolute carnage, the game opts for a more intimate experience with each map built specifically for 2v2 gameplay. Whether with friends or NPCs, you’ll always be pitted as a team against a team. Daedalic Entertainment built this game with 2v2 in mind and the depths to which this runs is much greater than merely making all maps four player. Teams will have to select roles at the beginning of the game with each role offering unique buffs and strengths. A well-practiced team will be able to rely on each other and utilize these skills together. Of course, to reinforce the need for teamwork, if one player is eliminated than the game is over, so tactics are incredibly important to victory.
3. Subverting Faction Expectations
There are three factions in A Year of Rain: House Rupah, The Wild Banners, and the Restless Regiment. At first glance, House Rupah is merely the “human” race, but it’s more a combination of your typical high-fantasy species: humans, dwarves, elves, etc. The Wild Banners are an incredible blend of playable beast races you would not expect such as lizardfolk, gnolls, kobolds, and all manner of “savage” races that excel at surviving in the harsh wilds. The Restless Regiment is, of course, the undead, but instead of a typical army of skeletons, zombies, and vampires you’ll have flaming skulls, undead nagas, and skeletal minotaurs. Each of these races – while consisting of typical fantasy creatures – completely shake up the typical formula for video game factions. Each unit is viable for specific tactics and their finer animations and details are just amazing to behold.
2. Just a Pinch of Spicy RPG Elements
A Year of Rain is about focusing on the tactics of smaller-scale battles rather than full on war, and to lead this army you’ll have a commander who is able to level up and unlock new abilities and attacks with the more experience they earn. What good is a commander who is ill-equipped for battle? While exploring the map and wild NPC bands, you’ll have a chance to find treasure and equip armor, weapons, and consumable items. These will drastically alter your stats and abilities, which in turn will buff the army under your command. It isn’t so complex as to feature a marketplace or crafting, but it’s a nice bonus for putting in the extra effort in dominating the map. It’s an excellent bonus to an already greatly enjoyable game and makes you care just that much more about your commander.
1. Welcome to RTS Gaming
Daedalic Entertainment has crafted A Year of Rain to set you up for success. It might take a few tries to get used to the 2v2 support system or the way the commander levels up, but the game does everything in its power to help you learn to be the best you can be at it. Upon choosing which role your take at the beginning of the game it will even offer you an incredibly useful suggested build list on how to maximize your gameplay and when to build what. These are of course simply on-screen guidelines but following them is your best option if you are new to the genre. A Year of Rain offers you a more focused, nuanced, bite-sized version of big epic RTS games and puts all the tools you need to master the genre in your hands right from the start. If you want to get into RTS games and feel intimidated by experienced players, this is where you should start.