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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reus PC Review - 8/10

Reus is a new game that popped up on Steam a while ago. I had a few bucks and so I thought I'd give it a whirl.
This is a game where apparently the world has become barren. Life is gone (so to speak) and you as the world apparently must raise it back to life. You have four giants with you (Forest, Ocean, Rock and Swamp) to help you create life and prosperity. Each with their own unique abilities.

The Good:
You ever had that friend who never really got Civilization? That person who just felt it was a waste of time? This is a game you'd give to them or to a child you want to be a huge Civ fan. This can be best described as 'Baby's First Civilization', and that's not bad. For an introduction into the genre it's very easy. Not too hard and there's plenty of help pop ups. Rather than controlling one state or in Civ 5's sense a whole nation spread across the map, you control these four giants. These giants have their own unique abilities and looks. The ocean giant raises oceans (duh) and the others do exactly what they sound they would do. The land is barren so you must raise oceans to make it fertile. I'll pick up on that later.
There's not much to say in graphics wise. Though it is very pretty. Something that if I had a kid I wouldn't mind them playing. It's just the right amount of cartoony.
Your main goal is going to be to raise food and animals as well as minerals and herbs to bolster these randomly popping up communities. Humans populate where it is plentiful and where they can survive. Over the course, you will be able to upgrade them as you gain Ambassadors. This is where the game does something new. Ambassadors spring up in their own select biomes (swamp ambassador, forest etc). These guys will ride on top of the giants and give them new abilities. Its different, and I like it. Rather than focusing on one or a multitude, you're really going to be making sure everyone is happy and well fed. The people scavenge themselves and pretty much are self reliant. The way you get ambassadors is by having plants and minerals for science. They in turn, make special buildings. It gets progressively harder to obtain ambassadors and certain ones based on their biome will give you certain abilities.
There's not much in the music department but where it shines is in the biomes. You are on a 2D view point and can zoom in from a planet size view to looking at the people themselves. When you're in a specific biome, you can hear sounds that would be in there. Its a nice touch and I'm glad I noticed.

The Bad:
This game is very linear and straight forward. As a guy who does play Civ, that's really boring. There's not much to do other than bolster what you already have. Making for a game that doesn't end and has no end goals. I'm sure there's something after you collect all the abilities for your giants, but that could take hours. And this game cannot hold my attention that long.
You need to create oceans in order to create the other three biomes. That's right, three. Wastelands do nothing, can grow nothing and have nothing. An ocean takes up about 10 spaces while the other three take up about 10-15 spaces each. You are on this tiny planet and have to conserve your space, while at the same time making it so people can actually live in these spaces. I'm sure there's a mathematical equation which fixes this, but I am playing a game. I use games to get away from math. Anyways, oceans are practically useless in the terms of helping people after their built. Sure they can have food but then again, I have food on land and the water is too big for them to get all of the food as well as make it useful enough to even justify having it in the long run. I don't know why, but it appears simulation game creators have a problem with their civilizations being on all three planes (earth, water and sky). It would be nice to see them have on the water or even under the water homes which would be cool and useful.
There's not much endgame anything. In fact, it's pretty non linear. You're finished and... that's it! Nothing more to do I guess. I hope they add some new content to justify my 9 dollars spent.

The Meh:
The game also adds greed to the situation... which sounds awesome but fails. When you give one place a bit too much wealth, they get greedy and start warring (I know it doesn't make any sense to me either). You are then encouraged to smite them. While this is interesting, it fails on the moral endgame implications. I literally picked up an ambassador from a city, never moved another step, and crushed said city. Yet the ambassador just did not care at all. I also haven't seen them do anything with the warring thing. They don't get boats to go over land and attack others as far as I've seen. It could have been better used is what I'm saying.
9 bucks is a bit expensive for a game like this. Would have wanted a bit more content, but its not infuriating considering that's like the cost of a sandwhich. I really hope new content is added. Maybe even a bigger world or maybe the civilizations could advance with the age and explore the stars. Sounds cool but it probably won't be done.

I suppose I could have spent my money better but whatever. The game wasn't terrible, but it's just a meh experience to me in the end. It just reminds me of all the qualms I have with modern and past sim games and hope I can make one myself in the future the way I want it. Pick it up for that friend you want to get into civilization games or just a kid who likes this kind of stuff. It's on a deal right now till May 23rd if you really want it.

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