We all know the developer The Bearded Ladies from their previous release Mutant Year Zero and its equally amazing expansion Seeds of Evil. Their brand new project Corruption 2029 is a brand new IP by the developer which takes its core formula from the original Mutant Year Zero but improves upon it massively and delivers another solid turn-based combat experience. This is our review of Corruption 2029 and since the game is currently only available on Epic Games Store, we reviewed the Epic Games Store release.
Corruption 2029 is set in a dystopian future where the United States of America came under the influence of another civil war however this time around, the government collapsed and formed two brand new factions that are now fighting each other for the domination of the country. The two factions are NAC or the New America Council and UPA or United Peoples of America. Both factions are hell-bent on taking control of the country and thus the battle has led to the current condition of the country.
You take control of a squad of three heavily augmented soldiers of UPA who must infiltrate the enemy lines in order to find the reason behind the corruption that has led America to such a poor state. The story sounds very clichéd and traditional however it is certainly not the best aspect of the game. Most of the mission range from eliminating enemies, securing areas to disabling enemy equipment to make the passage easier for your own troops waiting on your mission success. I really liked playing the missions when I started the game but later some mission started to feel a little repetitive.
The soldiers in the world of Corruption 2029 are not humans anymore. They have very little humanity left in them. These machine soldiers are controlled for battle from outside the battle and this is where you come in. Your squad of three soldiers is also three machine soldiers who have forgotten all about their human life and are now just machines destined to fight for their cause UPA. Since your soldiers are not humans, this opens up a brand new aspect when it comes to choosing custom loadouts.
New to Corruption 2029 are active and passive implants that allow your soldiers to have great passive and active abilities. You unlock these implants after completing missions and bonus objectives in missions. Each mission comes with a main objective and some bonus objectives which give you an additional opportunity to get some more rewards from the same mission. These are not too difficult and most of the time I did not even have to work for them in particular. Some of them are completed by just wiping out the entire enemy force on the map and exploring each and everything present on the map.
Back to Implants, each of your soldiers has a total of three slots and you can equip any implant to their slots. All of them are compatible with each other so there are no restrictions about what you can equip on a soldier or not. These implant slots allow you to create your own soldier builds along with the weapons of your desire. Your squad members do not have any particular roles in the game as well such as Sniper, Assault or Support. It is up to your own preferences to make them however you like.
By combining different implants and weapons, you can create heavy builds by equipping the flamethrower or the minigun or you can equip movement enhancing implants to make them nimbler and able to take out enemies by simply jumping through a structure. I had my main squad unit as an assault since I prefer playing the Assault class in any shooter. Then I had a heavy with a minigun and finally, I had a long-ranged sniper which was my main unit if I had to take out those pesky enemies sitting on rooftops. My sniper also had an Augmented Leap that allowed him to jump up and take out enemies sitting in high places. These implants really allow you to completely change the outcome of a battle.
The gameplay features two different modes. One is the free-roam mode during which you can freely move around the map with no restrictions. You can pick up items during the free-roam mode as well and interact with enemy laptops and devices. If you have wiped out all of the enemies from the map, you have nothing to worry about but if there are enemies in the vicinity when you get close to the enemies, you will find a detection circle around the enemies. If you enter this circle, the enemies will detect you and you will enter the combat mode. To make this circle shorter, you can click the mouse which causes your units to go into stealth mode hiding them from enemy sight but the movement is much slower during this phase.
Combat is one of the most important mechanics of Corruption 2029 and you will be spending most of your time either sniping enemies or taking down groups of enemies. Enemies come in all shapes and sizes. The game starts easy on you but then later you will come face to face with Liquidators, Screamers and other heavy enemy units which will be shielded apart from having much bigger health pools. Lucky for you, your implants and abilities will help you take care of all these enemies easily if you understand the basics of the combat.
If you have played Mutant Year Zero, you will be pretty much acquainted with the unique turn-based combat The Bearded Ladies deliver. The same core formula sits in the heart of Corruption 2029’s combat system but there are plenty of tweaks as well. Such as your units will not always hit the enemies and even if the attack result shows a completely dead enemy after the shot, your unit will misfire and completely miss the shot even when enemies are standing right in front of them. Combat is one of the most unexpected aspects of the game.
I noticed that missing shots is more common with our own units rather than the enemy units. Even during Overwatch, the enemy units will easily hit your units from great distances while your own units will miss shots when the enemy is standing right in front of them. This becomes extremely frustrating when you are fighting with your last remaining unit and he is unable to hit anything in front of him. Even more frustrating are missed sniper shots which are about to finish off a fairly difficult enemy. Still, the combat is pretty satisfying and the kill shots slow down the time making kills more dramatic when your units hit the enemies.
During combat, you will also find plenty of useful items scattered around such as grenades and medkits. Once picked, they will remain in your inventory forever even if the current mission ends. You will carry them forward to the next mission and until you use them, you will have them in your inventory. These items are not locked to any particular unit as well. Once in your inventory, you can have any unit in your squad use them. The respective icons start appearing in the command panel during combat scenarios allowing you to heal or revive units on the go or use grenades. Movement is normally allowed within a white circle but sometimes you can push the movement a little further by spending both Action Points and ending the move if you have to run for cover or out of harm’s way.
Your weapons also play a vital role in the success rate of your missions. When you start the game, you only have access to a limited amount of weapons which are pretty basic but as you progress in the game, you will continue to unlock better and more types of weapons which can completely change the tide of the battles. Some of the weapons will allow you to take down enemies quite easily such as the flamethrower and the minigun. Even shotguns can take out multiple enemies in the same shot and knock them back as well. For winning battles, you will have to utilize the full potential of your weapons along with the implants that you choose for the battles.
The level design is pretty good and the visuals are amazing. It certainly looks like the same engine as that used in Mutant Year Zero but Corruption 2029 is definitely prettier to look at. Some of the levels where you start in forests and have a lot of foliage around your location are a real eye-candy to look at. The lightning and special effects are extremely well made and is one of the reasons why you would want to explore the levels and not just bee-line straight towards the main objective and leave the area. Each location offers plenty of entry points, buildings, cover and opportunities to hide and take out your enemies from safety. A convenient save system also helps to save before each combat encounter and if somethings goes back, quickly reload and try the scenario again with a different approach.
Corruption 2029 features a decent story and delivers an excellent turn-based combat experience. The gameplay is satisfying and taking out a whole area of enemies while staying in stealth really feels good at the end of the level. I will agree that sometimes it feels like a refreshed and reskinned Mutant Year Zero but it brings its own unique mechanics into play quite often making it a completely different title than the previous release. The Bearded Ladies say that it is a completely different IP and it surely feels like it even if the gameplay looks like their previous release a lot. The mission areas are large and offer plenty of opportunities for you to find your own approach for tackling each mission. You will have complete freedom of completing the mission in stealth or jump in the action with all guns blazing. It is definitely a must-play title if you are a fan of turn-based combat games or liked playing Mutant Year Zero. For just $20, this game is a bargain however the Epic Games Store exclusivity might be off-putting for some players.
Final Score: 8.5/10
Content courtesy of GamesHedge.com published on , original article here.