Remasterisé Command & Conquer, refait Le Seigneur des Anneaux : La bataille pour la Terre du Milieu et le rajeunissement de Age of Empires peuvent donner vie au genre RTS qui arrive à expiration
Il fut un temps où les jeux de stratégie en temps réel étaient les monstres du monde du jeu : Populous, Dune II, Warcraft : Orcs & Humans, The Settlers, et Command & Conquer annonçaient une période de jeu dominée par des titres qui encourageaient les joueurs à construire des bases, à collecter des ressources, à faire des progrès technologiques et à déjouer leurs rivaux. Age of Empires et Total Annihilation ont rejoint la liste en 1997, et il n'a pas fallu attendre longtemps avant que des titres de renom tels que StarCraft, Empire Earth et Le Seigneur des Anneaux ne fassent leur apparition : The Battle for Middle-Earth, qui sont venus s'ajouter à l'abondance des délices proposés aux fans de la RTS.
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The rise of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) titles seems to have shifted a lot of the focus in game development away from pure RTS to these popular games that have taken the esports sector by storm, such as League of Legends. The RTS genre is not completely dead, but it can be argued that it has grown close to expiration at times. When a giant franchise like Command & Conquer struggles in this area, you know things are not looking good: 2010’s Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight was met with a lukewarm reception and Command & Conquer (Generals 2) was cancelled in 2013. The popular multiplayer RTS game Age of Empires Online was shut down a year later, in 2014, meaning big name publishers like Electronic Arts and Microsoft were far from content with their RTS-related IPs.
However, there was something of an excited rumble in the RTS community when plans to remaster (“Definitive Edition”) the first three games in the Age of Empires series were revealed, and then Age of Empires IV was announced in 2017 with a potential release date in 2021. The rejuvenated franchise is one of the cornerstones of the RTS genre, and the 2019 gameplay footage for the fourth installment looks mouth-wateringly good. The Command & Conquer series has also helped breathe new life into the moribund genre thanks to the art of remastering. 2020’s Command & Conquer Remastered Collection has already received over 13,000 customer reviews on Steam and has maintained a “very positive” response as gamers get to choose between a legacy view and remastered view of the genre-defining classic during play.
It is RTS fans themselves that are also keeping the genre alive. For instance, Project Celeste has managed to get Age of Empires Online back up and running, and the team behind the project is even close to finishing the long-awaited Roman civilization - and the game is completely free to play. A non-commercial development of the RTS classic Battle for Middle-earth is being worked on by the devoted fans at BFME: Reforged who recently released a gameplay reveal video to show how much effort they have put in to make this much-loved 2004 title look better than ever. With a new big-budget Dune film also on the horizon, perhaps developers and publishers might be tempted to revisit the IP that arguably breathed life into the genre in the first place.