The Digest: A unique turn-based strategy game that will either thrill you to the core or make you want to jam freshly-sharpened pencils in your eyes. To put it right out there – Greed Corp is not a game for those new to the strategy genre. While the premise of the game is rather simple, it has many elements that will drive an unseasoned TPS player to madness without a lot of hesitation.
THE FACT SHEET
RELEASE DATE: February 24, 2010
PUBLISHER: Xbox LIVE Arcade
DEVELOPER: Valcon Games LLC / W!Games
ESRB RATING: “E” for Everyone
GENRE: Strategy & Simulation
PRICE: 800 MS Points ($10)
Turn-based strategy games are nothing new. We’ve played hundreds of them over the years and often find new titles that bring little new to the table. Greed Corp is a turn-based strategy game that presents an entertaining, fresh element to its gameplay – the element of destruction. While the game focuses on players building bases and working to defeat one another, they must do so in a world where everything is crumbling around them – including the ground beneath their own structures.
- Innovative land collapsing mechanic, creating intense strategic battles
- Earn Trophies and titles, playing as one of four factions in bite-sized matches of around 20 minutes
- 10+ hours single player campaign consisting of a tutorial and 24 unique maps
- Friendly and ranked 2, 3, and 4-player battles spread across 36 unlockable maps, supporting optional voice chat
- Further customize matches with any combination of local, online, and computer players (three difficulty levels)
The game opens with a little backstory that you quickly find out has no real relevance to gameplay. A poor tutorial shows you the ropes of the controls without really explaining what you’re doing, then quickly tosses you into the game without much of an idea of how to succeed. That is somewhat bothersome, but this game prefers you learn how to play by failing miserably at first, then improving on your mistakes. It’s just a shame the control structure is stupid in some regards, because you’ll end up choosing the wrong thing frequently until you remember what you’re supposed to push when.
Greed Corp is a land grab game. The story can be stuffed in a nutshell by saying there’s not a lot of usable land left in the world, and a few big companies are fighting for what remains. Players build bases on towering hexagonal squares that float in the sky on huge pillars and make up the game board. To build more bases and create more personnel, you have to harvest resources from the land underneath using harvesters. But there’s no dice-rolling or tiberium to be found here. Each time you harvest, the hexagons under and around your harvesters move a little farther down towards a crumbly destruction. Harvest too little, and you’ll never have the tools to take out your enemy. Harvest too much, and you’ll end up swiftly destroying the earth and earn yourself a quick loss. By the end of a game, the board will be down to just a few meager hexagons and a cutthroat fight to stay alive. The bulk of the game’s strategy requirements come in the form of your land management, as you strive to make sure you don’t screw yourself over. But you will.
The game is definitely fun, albeit in a wall-punching way at times. As has already been said, it has a steep learning curve. That begins partly as a result of the poor tutorial, and partly a result of the nature of the game. A third big factor is the graphics. While they’re pretty and complex, that’s also their problem. Your pieces of land are pretty small and you often have to have a whole bunch of different things on a single hexagon – say, a harvester, a cannon and some walkers. With four different “corporations” all boasting very unique icons for their individual items, it can be terribly hard to see what’s what, and even harder to learn and remember what each thing is for each team. I often found myself getting shot by things I didn’t know were canons, saw land being harvested by things I didn’t know were harvesters, and otherwise was left frustrated by the presentation.
The goal of each round is simply to outlast the other team – like many strategy games. It doesn’t matter if you have a ton of stuff left or just one lowly body. But the real enemy in Greed Corp isn’t the other team – it’s the land. Everything comes down to managing the destruction of your platform. I’ll admit – I am terrible at strategy games, and have been failing miserably at this one. I actually have yet to win a single match, and I played it all morning. It’s hard to ever tell who’s winning because of the nature of the game. I found myself thinking “you’re going to get this one!” during several matches, only to end up totally screwed on the last few moves. The play is basic, but extremely strategic.
Each turn is also limited by a fairly short clock and by your money, which comes from harvesting. These things keep each player’s moves per turn in check and keeps the pace of the game going. Combine that with the fact the board is continually deteriorating and you’ve got a strategy game where matches rarely last longer than 15 minutes. While some may scoff at the idea of a strategy game being limited by a timer, I found the pressured nature of its existence in line with the theme of the game.
The single player is fun, but being a strategy game, its heart really beats for multiplayer play. You’ll likely find much more enjoyment playing with your friends than the computer. At least your friends will suck as bad as you do at first.
Conclusion: Overall, it’s a strong title that puts a unique spin on an often tiresome genre. A strategy game for the impatient man, Greed Corp has a lot of unique elements that make for an inventive game. Though the instruction and control structure can be lacking and the graphics are too detailed for their own good, overcoming these problems can lead to lots of fun. It’s a game that uses its extreme simplicity to create something very complicated, and that’s a worthy effort in itself.
|- Innovative idea, interesting world
- A solid take on the genre
|- Weird controls for some movements
- Graphics are very difficult to look at and identify things
Single Player: 6/10 | Multi-Player: 8/10
Special thanks to Reverb Communications for providing us with a copy of the game for review.