Turtling in a real-time strategy game, much like camping in a first-person shooter, is an under-appreciated artform. If you’re tired of the multi-player centric, fast-paced, APM-obsessed RTS games that have dominated the last decade, They Are Billions is an appealing prospect. Sure, you can build and command a myriad of infantry or mechanised units and send them around the map to clear out pockets of infected, but their primary purpose is to be garrisoned away in stone towers, tucked behind several layers of walls and wire traps, backed up by a line of Executor cannons, holding a chokepoint against hordes of infected.
Numantian Games first released They Are Billions as an early access title in late 2017, slowly iterating and improving the game until it was ready for launch on PC this June, alongside a new campaign mode. This month, console players get their hands on a port from BlitWorks, featuring the excellent Survival mode and “Weekly Challenges” (with an online leaderboard to post your score). Unfortunately, the campaign is currently AWOL, but the price is also lower than on PC. I suspect it’ll be introduced as DLC down the line.
Without the campaign, there’s not much in the way of a narrative, but the addictive gameplay loop – that always has you wanting to build one more structure, purge one more corner of the map, or try to survive one more wave of infected – makes up for this deficit.
Unfortunately, an RTS designed with mouse-and-keyboard in mind, coupled with the premise of rendering thousands of infected on-screen, has not made the transition to console unscathed.
Enjoys games with awesome stories and characters, along with new and interesting hardware. Dislikes day-one patches and driver updates.
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PS4, Xbox One
3 July 2019
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