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‘Earthbreakers’ Wants to Put the RTS Back in FPS

  • Can the hybrid FPS/RTS style games make a comeback?
  • A futuristic team-based shooter.
  • Releases 2020


There was a special moment in gaming history when genres were less afraid to blur lines between each other. You may remember some of the bigger names, like Command and Conquer: Renegade and BattleZone are two that come to mind, games that took the favorite elements of both the FPS and RTS genres and attempted to blend them together with a varying degree of success. They emerged at a time before video games truly hit their stride, which may have been a contributor to why they fell off the radar. A niche subgenre, in what was originally a niche hobby. In modern-day gaming, could this hybrid subgenre make a comeback? That’s a question we may soon have answered with the upcoming game Earthbreakers from Petroglyph.

Earthbreakers pits two teams against each other on maps that support up to 64 players. The battles will start out with relatively hit-and-run encounters as each team will largely be focused on farming resources with massive harvesting vehicles while trying to hinder the other team’s progress in doing the same. As teams earn resources, they’ll build up bases, unlock new units and vehicles to deploy, and what starts out as small infantry skirmishes will soon be massive battles.

It’s not just fighting for fighting’s sake either, as the outline for the story behind the gameplay is actually pretty intriguing albeit incredibly familiar:

The year was 2045. In a time of global unrest, riots and civil war, scientists discover a new form of matter, Vilothyte, that can be used both to create any element or used directly as a power source. Considered a cure for the Earth’s resource crisis, a system of satellites was placed in orbit which would scan for the materials needed to create the material and fire conversion bombs. Designated the “Earthbreaker Project”, It was said to be safe and would never target populated or endangered areas.

The first test was highly successful, creating enough Vilothyte to power the eastern seaboard of the USA for a week. The system was placed into full operation. It seemed the world was saved…until the hacker group Devolve removed the safeguards!

It is now 2060. The Earthbreaker system has slowed, but the orbital bombardment never completely stops. Most of the countries of the Earth have devolved into groups of city-states. Each sends out Earthbreaker teams to collect material whenever a bomb strike occurs. Combat over the bomb craters is fierce and never ending!

Wait, are we sure this isn’t a secret Command and Conquer installment? The whole setup reminds me so much of the established lore of the series. I have my fingers crossed that the group Devolve has a bald leader with the most menacing of goatees.

Jokes aside, Earthbreakers looks like a game with some serious potential and hopefully as its to-be-determined release date inches closer next year, Petroglyph will roll out some more stable footage and hopefully even a couple public betas. It’s good to see games like this trying to make a comeback.