GDC 2018: Atari’s Tempest 4000 Hands-On Impression

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

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Tempest 4000 | Logo

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Steam (PC)
Publisher(s): Atari
Release Date: Spring 2018
Atari Website / Twitter / Facebook / YouTube

Chris Melchin, another writer for Operation Rainfall, also demoed Tempest 4000 at PAX West in 2017. You can check out his thoughts of demoing Tempest 4000 here.

The ‘trippiest’ game I played during my entire time at GDC was when I demoed Tempest 4000 during my meeting with Atari. The gameplay is simple and is a direct port of the original 1981 game Tempest: shoot the advancing enemies dead as you slide around the edge of a 3-D geometric track, and try not to get shot yourself or let an enemy get to your side. There are three different game modes available to play in Tempest 4000 – Pure, which is a port of the original game mode; Standard – which adds power-ups and was the mode I played in the demo; and Endurance, where you have to get as far as you can on just a single life. There are a total of one-hundred unique levels to complete, with upgrades, weapons, and enemies galore to find and encounter as you try to go higher and higher on the online leaderboards that will also be available.

Tempest 4000 | Enemies

Tempest 4000 | Enemies

The levels all look different, there are power-ups to collect, and you have to kill the enemies in Tempest 4000. (Images courtesy of Atari).

This all sounds incredibly simple, and it was – at first. But as I gradually got further and further into the level I tried in Tempest 4000, I couldn’t keep up with the gameplay and I eventually died. But the crazy thing was that my death felt fair, and I wanted to give it another shot. And another. And another. And even though I could not keep up with the intensity, the gameplay started to feel rather addictive and that is a good thing for Tempest 4000. It made me want to go back and try to get even further in the level and see if I could score more points before dying off completely again.

Tempest 4000 | Stages

There are seriously a lot of stages in this game to complete. (Image courtesy of Atari).

However, it also didn’t help my survival in this game that each level is set against some of the most mesmerizing, gorgeous, and colorful graphics that I have seen since I played Child of Eden on the Xbox 360 Kinect. The graphics of Tempest 4000 were honestly amazing enough that I wanted to somehow just watch the game play itself so I could enjoy the abstract graphics of the gameplay as they are set to a thumping 90’s-inspired techno soundtrack.

Tempest 4000 | Graphics Tempest 4000 | Graphics

Tempest 4000 | Graphics

This is truly a gorgeous game to behold, and the music fits in perfectly in the world of Tempest 4000. (Images courtesy of Atari).

Tempest 4000 was simply fun to play, and a game that I really wish will eventually come to the PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift/Vive. It is currently scheduled to be released in Spring 2018 on PlayStation 4 and Steam.



Did you play the original Tempest? Are you excited for Tempest 4000?

Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at interviews@oprainfall.com