Rising Thunder, the free-to-play fighting game from Seth Killian and Radiant Entertainment, is now in open technical alpha. Whereas access was previously limited to those who received codes, you can head to the official site now, sign up, and download the client.
Though Rising Thunder is free-to-play, there's currently no store, so nothing will cost you anything just yet. When I spoke to Killian a few weeks ago, he told me that RT will eventually make money selling cosmetic items, but that it isn't there yet. For now, the design and netcode are the priorities.
One of the most interesting things about Rising Thunder—aside from it being a rare free-to-play, PC-only fighting game—is that it doesn't include the complex inputs typical of fighting games. Every character's special attacks are triggered with single key-presses and have cooldown timers. This both makes it possible to play RT with a keyboard and, in my experience, has successfully made it easier for a player to go from flailing, drunk brawler to semi-competent fighter. But it's still hard. Good fighting game players kick my ass in fighting games, whether or not I can input the same moves they can—but at least in RT we both start with a base-level competency that isn't dependent on perfect half- and quarter-circles.
Which isn't to say input complexity is inherently bad, but it's nice to try a different take on the genre. You can read more on Killian's reasoning for Rising Thunder's design in my original preview.
Aside from now being open to all, a new balance patch is coming soon, according to the official Twitter account.