Given the current situation with COVID-19, I decided to dive into a post-apocalyptic game called Corruption 2029. This tactical strategy game was developed by the creators of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden and really got me thinking: how do we prepare for the apocalypse? What do we do when society descends into chaos? In a sort of “art imitates life” fashion, there are quarantines going on around the world, but this game has some differences.
You play as the United Peoples of America (UPA) against the New American Council (NAC) in a struggle against a dictatorial regime. In another twist on drone warfare, units are cybernetically enhanced soldiers that are remotely piloted by drone commanders in what I envisioned as a “work from home” situation. It also has an interesting take on the state of strategy games today, where you are literally playing armchair commanders while being an armchair commander yourself. Sadly, even on the hardest mode, the game takes about half a day to complete, leaving its replay value with a huge question mark.
You only have access to three squad members, Briggs, Tranter, and Wolf. While it would be ideal to sneak around and fulfill objectives, it’s also just as fun to take on teams with guns blazing. You have access to pistols, rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, flamethrowers, and miniguns. Each weapon is determined by its damage and critical damage, attack pattern (single target, cone, area of effect), and its ammo capacity. Want to end things quickly and leave no survivors? You could use miniguns and flamethrowers. Looking to accomplish objectives as quietly as possible? You could go for sniper rifles and silenced weapons. One of my favorite weapons is the RAK 52 Sniper because they can shoot through walls, while silenced weapons can let you take out enemies undetected. If you’re into getting up close and personal with the enemy, shotguns and assault rifles are the way to go.
Like any other strategy game, you can use grenades and explosives as part of your arsenal to take out enemies. Remote charges can allow you to take out entire patrols if you strategically place them. Low on health? Use the Medikit to stay alive and accomplish the mission objectives. There are two distinct phases of combat: picking off enemy forces one by one and then fighting the main NAC forces. The turn-based combat is very XCOM, and that’s what may draw gamers to this game. You’ll need to develop strategies that allow you to both sneak around and have the firepower to meet the NAC head-on. Stealth, for example, is not a long-term solution: you can’t base the entirety of your strategy on stealth, and the same goes for guns blazing
While the concept is great, it is quite repetitive. Having reviewed quite a few games from indie developers, it is possible to create fun and exciting games even with a fraction of the budget that their AAA counterparts have. Where Corruption 2029 falls short is the lack of variety. You’ll probably not notice any difference in levels, have no permanent death, and you’ll spend the majority of time in combat juggling skills between characters. Each individual squad member doesn’t have their own personality or even special abilities. Even the NAC seems to be bland as you’ll face the same enemies in each mission.
Overall, Corruption 2029 seems to have potential, but it seems to be a game that is very much in the beta phase, at least content-wise. Maybe with more variance and replay value through new enemies and players you can place in your squad, it can be a solid addition to any strategy game fan’s arsenal.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE April-May 2020 Issue
Developer: The Bearded Ladies
Publisher: The Bearded Ladies
Words by Jose Alvarez