Skip to main content

The Rising Thunder technical alpha is now open to all

Audio player loading…

Rt Screenshot 04b

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab).

Aside from now being open to all, a new balance patch is coming soon, according to the official Twitter account (opens in new tab).

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.