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Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance | Hands-Off Preview

Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance is a gritty RTS by Slitherine that puts you in the middle of the Future Wars between humanity and Legion’s synthetic intelligent machine network. Set for release later this year, you will take command and lead your army to foil Legion’s plan to destroy humanity or play as one of three factions in skirmish and multiplayer.

Slitherine has provided us with some gameplay footage of one mission from the game where forces in New Mexico are under threat from a number of Legion convoys that attack from different directions. Working with resistance fighters, Alpha squads must coordinate with air support to take out the convoys. Anti-aircraft cannons are discovered, shooting down a plane and the pilot needs to be rescued.

Various tanks, Humvees, and squads of infantry move over open terrain, with infantry laying low and using dips in terrain as cover from overhead fire. Other soldiers take position inside and on top of buildings for better angles to attack the convoys. The firing range from both sides is huge so you need to plan your troop and tank placement well. As you take out components of enemy tanks such as their targeting computer or side rails, you will slow their progress.

When vehicles on both sides get to critical status, their crews jump out to seek cover. Your tank crews will attempt to repair the vehicle if they are not under heavy fire. While the machines will pile out the back of their destroyed craft and lay devasting fire down on our troops. Meanwhile convoys keep coming, as do other types of enemy craft such as drones and mech vehicles.

I noticed some heavy mortar fire coming from the distance, and a red radar icon was pinging on the map. I wasn’t controlling the action, just watching the playback so I couldn’t intervene, but it was interesting to see how differently I would have played if I was in control, possibly prioritising other defensive manouvres much earlier, or setting up with different attack squads.

Successfully retrieving a downed pilot in the area gives critical air support in later missions, while the appearance of a new human group – the Integrators – means either additional soldiers to be folded into the Founders ranks or another foe to be battled. With the mission’s success lies the possibility to re-establish radio contact with Founders’ command center – a newfound connection that might be less fortunate than the player thinks.

I really enjoyed the gameplay I saw with this video and am excited both to see more but also to get hands-on myself and jump into this excellent looking RTS game. Slitherine also recently shared some live action ‘Reports from the Frontlines’ which can be viewed on Slitherine’s YouTube channel and linked below.


A beta test for the game will be available in the coming months and players interested in participating can sign up through the Slitherine website. Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance will be available on PC in Winter 2023 (our Aussie Summer).


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