Published on October 15th, 2013 | by Mat Lezama0
Review: Bionic Dues
Bionic Dues takes a turn-based strategy games to a faster, shoot-em-up context featuring Mech suits that are controlled by brash youngsters fighting to save their hometown from the robotic uprising. The heroes’ friendly Robot Mechs, known as Exos, are their weapons to sabotaging the enemies’ plans and surviving the impending wave of robots marching towards invasion.
The game plays in a top-down perspective inside the futuristic facilities only Exos dare to enter.
When selecting a character at the start of the campaign, players have an opportunity to select which four Exos they wish to use for their battles. Each one with their own available weapons and special abilities. The Ninja Exo can cloak itself for a longer period of time making impromptu escapes less stressful. While the Siege Exo has missiles that can clear rooms with ease and even attack enemies still unseen by the fog or war that cloaks each level.
Bionic Dues takes a branching level selection that allows the player to take on specific missions at their own pace.The player has a 50 day allowance to prepare for the game’s final encounter. Each blip on the world Map represents a theme to that mission. When invading a weapons locker you can expect a lot of fully armed enemy Exos, but there will be more docile, and even more clumsy robots that guard the roadblocks and laboratories For the success of each mission a day will pass and your Exos will level up.
The later introduced, “Outrun” and “Overcharge” missions show a unique mastery to the fast paced combat while still utilizing a turn-based game structure that forces the player to consider precise movement and strategy.
Depending on they type of mission, a variety rewards may occur too: Hindering the amount of reinforcements at the enemies disposal during the final battle; Receiving large amounts of loot and upgrade parts to customize the players’ Exos weapon and propulsion capabilities.
However if the player’s four Exos are defeated during a mission, one day will pass and no progress will be made, additionally the health of the main character’s home base will be depleted by 1. Fail 5 times and its Game Over. A quick way to remedy this is to save often.
The most alluring catch to Bionic Dues is the somewhat large empty maps filled with sleeping robots the player must creep in order to fully complete any mission, While most of the levels do look the same when traveling from venue to venue, the consistency of large crowds and narrow hallways makes for a more slow-paced game than it may appear to be.
Hints and tricks about the game are very tongue-and-cheek like many rougelikes appearing today; informing the players sometimes satirically; not out of place as many mechanics are re-used an d anything new is explained well enough.
The game’s difficulty is evenly paced as you scour the city going from checkpoint to checkpoint. After the first ten days or Exo’s will be able to place traps like mines and sentry guns, and the whistle ability will work well to draw attention of nearby enemies. The consequences for head on attacks become more severe, and spending hacking and/or stealth points become more justified options when navigating the dark box mazes for proper combat initiation.
Bionic Dues Alpha 1.0 released last week, and still to come are the in-game music tracks and comics strips. The game does have its own title theme and voice acting. The clamor of the enemy robots help keep the game’s interesting and fresh.
I suspect more characters and available Exos may be released with more updates. As a small suggestion, Sentry turrets should be easier to remove off the map, sometimes narrow hallways are blockaded by friendly sentries that need to be destroyed in order to proceed, which is easier said than done.
Summary: Bionic Dues takes the best from action shooter and turn based RPG's and allows the players to remotely control Mech suits slated against overwhelming an enormous Exo army.