Greed is good. If that tag line hadn’t be spouted by Michael Douglas all those years ago, it would almost be the perfect motto for W!Games new release, Greed Corp.
With their world crumbling and the once plentiful supplies dwindling, the inhabitants of Mistbound find themselves in the middle of a harsh power struggle. With four rival factions attempting to establish their dominance, they’re literally crumbling the remains of their planet into pieces as they mine it dry in a bid to survive. As well as a metaphor about the way in which we live today, it’s this idea which also forms one of the key mechanics in Greed Corp.
A turn based strategy title, the play area is split up into a varying number of hexagonal tiles. Control of each tile is initially given to whoever gets there first, and the winner is the person left standing when no other enemy units remain on any titles. Greed Corp requires the player to perform a major balancing act in the same way that any good strategy title does. Resources are essential to construct robot units to invade tiles, defences to keep enemies from doing the same to you, and even to build towers to harvest even more resources . However it’s this harvesting that actually destroys the titles they are placed on after a number of turns. In fact the impact of mining for these essential resources is so severe, it will even undermine the stability of surrounding titles. When a tile sinks low enough and cracks appear in the surface, you know it’s about to disappear into oblivion, taking with it anything that happens to be placed on it at the time.
It’s an interesting dynamic which sets it apart from other, similar titles. Players need to take care when placing Harvesters if they are to avoid falling foul of undermining their own units and structures, all the while pressing on with a policy of aggressive expansion. Alternatively they can even detonate their own Harvesters to undermine enemy held titles. The gameplay twist of the crumbling map certainly works, but it can be unforgiving when first starting the game. The tutorial doesn’t really do a thorough job of explaining things but it will all quickly fall into place when the game takes the safety reigns off (along with the eventual realisation that they’ve done an excellent job of mapping the controls to make them as straightforward as possible). Sadly this initial frustration will put some people off.
Capturing already occupied titles is essentially a game of rock, paper, scissors, with those holding the biggest number of units winning out and taking control. Again this makes spending resources on troop units utterly essential and, combined with the frantic land grab which constantly requires you to press forward instead of just hanging back, all gives the game a constant feeling of maintaining pressure on the player. It’s certainly not one for those who just want a more sedentary playing pace.
Greed Corp is one for fans of the genre as it does little to entice in, or soothe the patience, of those who don’t enjoy this type of game. It’s a solid package and interesting enough to warrant its place on the gaming landscape. The included multiplayer mode will ensure those who stick with it should still have plenty of opposition to play against when the single player campaign is done with.