If you sat around this weekend and watched EVO—the largest fighting game tournament of the year—you might’ve seen one Seth Killian doing commentary. Killian’s a familiar face in the fighting game community, thanks both to years in the scene and a stint working at Capcom on Street Fighter IV.
And now he’s working on a PC-only fighting game, Rising Thunder.
Rising Thunder is built for PC and for keyboard inputs. It’s aimed specifically at online multiplayer. It’s free-to-play (supported by cosmetic items). It’s got huge robots fighting other robots.
But most importantly, it sounds like Killian and crew are focused on making fighting games more accessible by simplifying inputs. Instead of lengthy, complicated lists of maneuvers—a mainstay of fighting games—you’ll be able to pull off devastating moves with a single button press.
That makes the game more about when to use certain moves than inputting the correct commands. In other words, it’s more about the psychological metagame than your finger dexterity.
It shares that idea with my favorite fighting game of recent years, Divekick—a two-button fighter where one button made you jump and one button made you execute the titular divekick maneuver. Like Rising Thunder, Divekick was great because it kept the best parts of fighting games (mindgames, positioning) but ditched the barrier to entry.
Rising Thunder sounds a bit more complex, seeing as there’s more than one move per character. But it comes from the same place—acknowledging that Down Left B isn’t necessarily the most interesting part of a fighting game.
Or, as Killian put it to PCGamer: “I don’t know if Counter-Strike would be better if, you know, to throw a grenade you had to do a 360 motion with the mouse. You could make that game, and it would change the game, and that would have impact on gameplay, but does it make it a better game? Not that I can tell.”
I’d recommend checking out that PCGamer article for more hands-on details, or you can sign up for next week’s closed alpha here.