In the future, the Earth has become nigh-inhospitable thanks to a experiment with a force-field that was supposed to improve air quality and stop global warming Gone Horribly Wrong, unleashing a massive storm that engulfed the entire earth. A few thousand privileged people avoided destruction by hiding underground and spending hundreds of years in suspended animation, while the people who had to remain on the surface were forced to adapt to the harsh conditions, eventually turning into a race of mutants referring to themselves as the Sai. When the people who chose to hide from the storm underground—now known as the Echelon—return to the surface they find a world that has changed. While initially the two factions manage to uphold peace, eventually lack of trust and divided loyalties lead to a civil war between the Sai and the Echelon. And you are right in the middle...
Stormrise is a real-time strategy game developed by Creative Assembly, creators of the Total War series. It picks up the popular post-apocalyptic theme, presenting a civilization that has begun to once again emerge after a catastrophic atmospheric event. Two warring factions arise from the rubble: the Echelon, a technologically advanced race that endured the planet's fallout by way of self-induced hibernation, and the Sai, a tribal society that adapted to the new environment and evolved.
Rather than Total War's detached, general's-armchair view of battlefields, players assume control of a commander unit. The game also takes place in a fully 3D environment, with action taking place across multiple levels in buildings, caves, etc.
Unfortunately, it was very poorly received due to being released in an essentially half-finished state, absolutely loaded with bugs to the point of making some missions unplayable. Its most-touted feature, intended to allow the player to easily take command of their troops, regardless of the location, was also found to be very difficult and annoying to use.
Due to its very poor sales, the game was abandoned soon after release.
This game provides examples of:
- After the End
- Attack Drone: Geist, one of the Sai commanders is usually accompanied by six Sai energy-controlled drones that most likely serve as his main means of attack.
- Catchphrase: "Only one shall rise." and "A change is coming, to RTS."
- Giant Enemy Crab: The sai Matriarch is a Giant Enemy Crab that can create smaller crabs to protect it and shoot acid from it's back. Oh, and it has mouths on it's pincers.
- Grey and Grey Morality
- Half-Human Hybrid: It's hinted that the main character may be part-sai
- Invisibility Cloak: The main ability of the Sai Spectre, although it's a psychic power rather than a technological gadget that allows it to bend light around it at will.
- Killsat: The Eclipse "The most powerful vessel ever created" has a main weapon called the polaris rift that, when fired creates a "super rift" which causes a powerful explosion. It also seems to nullify any sai abilities underneath it thanks to it's anti-storm shields.
- Mind Control: One of the abilities of the Sai Spectre allows it to control enemy units (with the exception of enemy commanders)and, for example, make them attack their allies
- Mutants: The sai have changed quite a bit during all those years.
- Psychic Powers: "Sai energy" is the main source of the sai units' abilities, manifesting itself in ways ranging from projected energy tentacles and arm blades to teleportation and the abilty to create a vortex of energy.
- Real-Time Strategy
- What Could Have Been: The game does some pretty interesting things with the RTS genre, especially in the case of the multi-leveled, massive environments. Unfortunately, the sheer number of bugs and painfully obtuse interface prevent it from really being fun to play.