Confused on Steam Play and Proton? Be sure to check out our guide.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

Anyone else remember Dark Reign: The Future of War? Released back in 1997, it's a real classic and at the time it had some pretty favourable reviews too. The good news is that it's being rebuilt by fans using OpenRA.

OpenRA is the same game engine that revived classic Westwood RTS games like Command & Conquer,  Dune 2000 and Red Alert. It's highly versatile and open source, making it a good base to use to revive other classics too and this makes me happy.

Dark Reign is easily one of my all-time favourite RTS games, next to Total Annihilation. Both managed to spice things up nicely that other RTS games around the time weren't doing. Heck, I even wrote about Dark Reign here back in 2016 when trying it out in Wine (wow — has my opinion on Wine changed or what?). Just look at how gorgeous it was:


Click pictures to enlarge.

A colossal war between the Imperium and Freedom Guard is annihilating your world. To save your civilization, you must enter the heart of an empire at war. Command over 35 units with specific orders and deploy suicide bombers, hostage takers, saboteurs and more. Use precisely calculated battlegrounds to your strategic advantage and play against a highly responsive and unpredictable AI that detects and adjusts intelligently to your tactics. Vanquish the military powers to alter the destiny of a galaxy.

The official blurb

I had this OpenRA "mod" on my watch-list for a long time, hoping for the best but I wasn't aware that it was being actively developed. To the point that you can download an AppImage from the GitHub, download the demo content inside it and then get playing and it's really coming along nicely, although far from complete.

What do I hope with this article? Perhaps there's a few fellow Dark Reigns fans lurking that might like it, and perhaps some might help give it a push along with code so we can see another classic truly revived for modern audiences.

Pictured - Dark Reign in OpenRA.

Find the project on GitHub. It works with the demo assets but you'll likely need a full copy from GOG at some point.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
11 Likes
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
16 comments
Page: 1/2»
  Go to:

BlooAlien 27 Oct
I still have my original "Dark Reign" physical discs, bought back when PC games actually came on disc.
slaapliedje 27 Oct
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Sweet! This has always been my favorite RTS. Warwind is probably the second, though I need to play that more.
View PC info
  • Supporter
Quoting: slaapliedjeSweet! This has always been my favorite RTS. Warwind is probably the second, though I need to play that more.

I have seen you post often on these kind of news and was curious (no joke) about what would be your RTS poison of choice.
Good pick, this is from the "golden era", really the other ones on the race could be Total Annihilation and some C&C.

Between OpenRA and 0AD, they are doing an amazing work here. OpenRA engine offers potential long term survival on a game like this, especially if we consider multiplayer.

Some links:
(Community): https://www.darkreignws.com/
Some 2v2 game from recently: https://youtu.be/8sB3EHNH1y0
slaapliedje 27 Oct
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: ElamanOpiskelija
Quoting: slaapliedjeSweet! This has always been my favorite RTS. Warwind is probably the second, though I need to play that more.

I have seen you post often on these kind of news and was curious (no joke) about what would be your RTS poison of choice.
Good pick, this is from the "golden era", really the other ones on the race could be Total Annihilation and some C&C.

Between OpenRA and 0AD, they are doing an amazing work here. OpenRA engine offers potential long term survival on a game like this, especially if we consider multiplayer.

Some links:
(Community): https://www.darkreignws.com/
Some 2v2 game from recently: https://youtu.be/8sB3EHNH1y0
Command and Conquer series is also good. Myth is an amazing series. Generally I like ones that break the mold of the typical Warcraft II / Star Craft clones.

Like I prefer the games where your units have a bit more personality (as in they can get better over time, and you want to make sure they live through a battle, Myth captures that in an amazing way, as does Warwind.)
anewson 27 Oct
my eyes, my precious EYES! the openRA engine is an improvement, to put it kindly
denyasis 27 Oct
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: ElamanOpiskelija
Quoting: slaapliedjeSweet! This has always been my favorite RTS. Warwind is probably the second, though I need to play that more.

I have seen you post often on these kind of news and was curious (no joke) about what would be your RTS poison of choice.
Good pick, this is from the "golden era", really the other ones on the race could be Total Annihilation and some C&C.

Between OpenRA and 0AD, they are doing an amazing work here. OpenRA engine offers potential long term survival on a game like this, especially if we consider multiplayer.

Some links:
(Community): https://www.darkreignws.com/
Some 2v2 game from recently: https://youtu.be/8sB3EHNH1y0
Command and Conquer series is also good. Myth is an amazing series. Generally I like ones that break the mold of the typical Warcraft II / Star Craft clones.

Like I prefer the games where your units have a bit more personality (as in they can get better over time, and you want to make sure they live through a battle, Myth captures that in an amazing way, as does Warwind.)

I really liked Myth. I need to finish it. Moving to more 3d world, really liked Sacrifice as well. I think at that point, I had burnt out on Red Alert and Warcraft 2 and similar ones that revolved around base building, having played them... A lot.
TenSuns 28 Oct
What a blast from the past. Played the heck out Red Alert and Dark Reign in LAN parties. Still listen to OSTs now and then.
Lightkey 28 Oct
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: ElamanOpiskelija
Quoting: slaapliedjeSweet! This has always been my favorite RTS. Warwind is probably the second, though I need to play that more.

I have seen you post often on these kind of news and was curious (no joke) about what would be your RTS poison of choice.
Good pick, this is from the "golden era", really the other ones on the race could be Total Annihilation and some C&C.

Between OpenRA and 0AD, they are doing an amazing work here. OpenRA engine offers potential long term survival on a game like this, especially if we consider multiplayer.

Some links:
(Community): https://www.darkreignws.com/
Some 2v2 game from recently: https://youtu.be/8sB3EHNH1y0
Command and Conquer series is also good. Myth is an amazing series. Generally I like ones that break the mold of the typical Warcraft II / Star Craft clones.

Like I prefer the games where your units have a bit more personality (as in they can get better over time, and you want to make sure they live through a battle, Myth captures that in an amazing way, as does Warwind.)
Soo.. WarCraft III?
Good news love open ra to replay the dune 2000 without spending ages fighting my os was great times they need to make more rts games with b movie cutscenes so funny and so good gameplay wise. Off topic but F**k micro transactions that killed command and conquer generals 2 but also really stupid concept i played the closed beta seeing an option to buy a tank for 1.99 on an infantry mission thereby removing any challenge or instantly upgrade my soldiers to elite for 99pence. Just f**k of EA and bring back westwood studios
slaapliedje 28 Oct
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Lightkey
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: ElamanOpiskelija
Quoting: slaapliedjeSweet! This has always been my favorite RTS. Warwind is probably the second, though I need to play that more.

I have seen you post often on these kind of news and was curious (no joke) about what would be your RTS poison of choice.
Good pick, this is from the "golden era", really the other ones on the race could be Total Annihilation and some C&C.

Between OpenRA and 0AD, they are doing an amazing work here. OpenRA engine offers potential long term survival on a game like this, especially if we consider multiplayer.

Some links:
(Community): https://www.darkreignws.com/
Some 2v2 game from recently: https://youtu.be/8sB3EHNH1y0
Command and Conquer series is also good. Myth is an amazing series. Generally I like ones that break the mold of the typical Warcraft II / Star Craft clones.

Like I prefer the games where your units have a bit more personality (as in they can get better over time, and you want to make sure they live through a battle, Myth captures that in an amazing way, as does Warwind.)
Soo.. WarCraft III?
Blizzard had already pissed me off so I never bothered with WCIII :P
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.