Greed Corps – Review

Title   Greed Corps
Developer  W!Games
Publisher  Vanguard Entertainment Group
Platform  PC (Steam), XBLA, PSN
Genre  Turn based strategy
Release Date  10th December, 2010 (PC)

You don’t come across a game like Greed Corps very often; if I were to quickly try and describe this turn based strategy title from W! Games then I’d have to say it is a cross between Final Fantasy Tactics and Advanced Wars. A bit of a weird combination I agree but, strangely enough, it works.  The premise of Greed Corps is very simple: use the resources you have at your disposal to defeat your enemies and be the last man standing.  The more land you control, the more resources you potentially have access to.  The main feature of the game, however, is that the hexagonal based terrain you fight for is destructible, and any units or structures that happen to be caught on a tile as it is destroyed fall into the mist below and are eliminated from the game.  This destructible terrain means that players need to think constantly about where they are positioning their troops in order to try and stay on the high ground.

At the start of each turn you are allocated resources to spend on one of five things:

  • Walkers,  which are basically AT-ST knock offs from Star Wars; these are the only unit you can buy and are your main weapon during the game. Walkers are evenly matched, therefore if you move one Walker onto an enemy tile it will destroy one of the enemy’s Walkers and vice versa. So, basically, in order to take a tile from the enemy you’re going to need more Walkers than him. It’s simple maths, however, each tile can only support a maximum of 16 Walkers on it at any given time.
  • Cannons: a devastating fixed artillery unit with a massive range, which does damage to the tile it is fired at and can destroy up to five Walkers placed on it. The trade off, however, is that you are required to purchase expensive ammunition in order to fire it.
  • Armouries: a building from which you can produce more Walkers. Each armoury can build up to eight Walkers per turn, so naturally the more armouries you have built, the more Walkers you can potentially build per turn. Any Walkers built in one turn cannot be used until the next one.
  • Transports: a very expensive single use unit that allows you to move your walkers to any point on the map.  These become crucial once the map has been destroyed to the point where it is impossible to move your Walkers anywhere else.
  • Last, but by no means least, Harvesters, which allow you to gain additional resources each turn at the cost of damaging the tile upon which they are placed, along with all adjacent ones up until that tile is destroyed.

Once you’ve spent up, you can move your Walkers or fire your cannons until you’ve run out of moves or time, at which point it’s your opponent’s turn. It all sounds deceptively simple and to be perfectly honest it is yet, at the same time, Greed Corps is one of the few games that has reduced me to actually screaming “YOU BASTARD!!!” at my monitor at regular intervals, but don’t worry, this is actually a good thing.

The gameplay comes in one of two flavours: Campaign and, naturally, Multiplayer. The campaign in Greed Corps is split into four sections, one for each faction in the game. Each faction has its own little plot, which attempts to explain why everyone is kicking each other’s heads in. The story is, of course, complete nonsense, but it’s nice that W! Games have tried to link the missions up with a bit of background story. Interestingly,  you can undertake any mission you want, in any order, providing that you have unlocked enough skill points for any particular mission. Each mission gives up to a maximum of six skill points, depending upon what position you finished in, and if you don’t win the first time you can just reselect it and play it again.  I found this refreshing because if you can’t immediately beat a particular level then you are not necessarily stuck, as more often than not, you already have enough skill points to be able to proceed. Annoyingly though there is no save option, therefore once you start a mission you have to either complete it or start it again next time you play. There have been a few times where I’ve had to leave the computer mid-game and not been able to save it. This is not a game breaker, as most missions only take about 10-15 minutes to do, but it will cause some frustration.

As you would expect, the A.I ramps up as you progress in the campaign; the first few levels are beyond easy with the enemy making a complete hash of things by leaving their troops on tiles that are about to be destroyed on a regular basis. This is quickly rectified, however, and the A.I soon becomes more than a match for you without the need for extra resources, which is often the case with other strategy games at harder difficulties. If you sat down and stuck with it, I reckon the single player could be done in five to six hours, depending on how good you are. However with no two games ever playing out the same, even on the same map, re-playability is extremely high.

It’s a good thing the single-player campaign is so good because you are going to struggle to find any real people to play with. I can only speak for the Steam version, but there seem to be precious few other players around, which is very unfortunate. If you are lucky enough to have a friend who owns the game then you’re still going to have to contend with the awful match-making system. There is no option to invite a friend to a private game; instead you are forced to create a new game which puts you in a queue type system that waits for new players to join. This is ok if you want to go off and play the campaign while you wait for another player, but if not you’ll have to co-ordinate with your friends and tell them to click the join game button in the hope that the random person who just joined you  is one of your friends. To make matters slightly worse, there is no way of telling who you are playing against until the map loads up.

It’s a bit of a strange design decision, which has the potential to make playing with your friends very difficult, but the fact that there are so few other players online means that it has yet to cause me a problem. There is an option to play locally with people on the same machine, however, I never got to try this out due to not having anyone at home to play with.  Once you do find someone else to play with though, Greed Corps is a lot of fun. You can never be certain what your opponent is going to do and it’s difficult to tell who is winning at any one point, which adds to the excitement. This is especially true in games with more than two players. I’ve snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on a number of occasions and, just as often, I’ve had the reverse happen too.

Graphically, Greed Corps isn’t anything special, but on the other hand it doesn’t need to be. Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice. Each faction is easily recognisable from the other and there is never any mistaking which faction owns which piece of land. The animations and the like are quite simple, but effective; it just feels right. I get a strange satisfaction from watching my cannons firing on a tile to destroy it, and watching the tile crumble away and fall, taking with it any units foolish enough to  be on it.  There is also actually a day/night cycle, however, you hardly notice it while you’re playing so it serves little purpose. Additionally the music is a bit of a letdown; there only seems to be one long song on a loop with a moment of silence in between each play-through.  It’s catchy at first, but after a while you’ll probably end up muting the sound and playing some music over the top instead which is a shame.  Overall,  I would highly recommend this game; it’s fun to play, both in single player mode and multiplayer  – if you can find someone to play with.

  • Extremely simple to learn yet difficult to master
  • Nice single player campaign that provides a decent challenge
  • Amazing amount of re-playability
  • The games style and feel are great
  • Horrible matchmaking system with no option to invite friends
  • The music will most probably get on your nerves after a while

I would highly recommend Greed Corps. The gameplay is simple, yet provides a decent enough challenge to make you come back for more. It is a fun title, and the added bonus that no two games will play out the same means you'll easily be able to come back to this game again and again. The only real down points of Greed Corps are the matchmaking system and the music, however, the music is a minor gripe and the matchmaking can be worked around if you try hard enough.

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  1. Lorna Lorna says:

    The game looks very sexy and surprisingly bright and colourful. I was actually quite interested when it came out for Steam and now more so that it has been released for XBLA. I htought that there would more more unit types perhaps to stop things getting stale, but it sounds pretty good overall! Nice review.

  2. FC360 says:

    This looks like a downgraded civilization game, I might try the demo but won’t buy it looks good though

  3. Joeydale13 says:

    Great review, It’s been one of those things that I like the look of but can’t bring myself to pay for…Will have to give it a go now :-)

  4. Edward Edward says:

    Sounds like an interesting premise to a game and I reckon it’d be a lot of fun; but I’m taking a break from games that reduce me to regularly screaming at them. It hurt my throat and my feelings after a while.

    Good review, Ste :D

  5. Ste says:

    Thanks for the comments guys. I really enjoyed this game I’m glad I brought it. The problem with the matchmaking isn’t exactly a deal breaker. I’m not even sure if it exists on the console versions as I reviewed the steam version. Well worth the money.

  6. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    I quite fancy this… it pushes my old C&C and XCom buttons but there’s just something more quirky about it. I admit that I’ve never heard of it until now though, but my head has been planted firmly in the RPG sand for the last 12-15 months so it’s not surprising.

    I’m going to have to give Steam a shot on my laptop to see if I get on better with it there than on my PC. Looks like I’ll be adding this one to my “whenever the hell you can get around to it” list!

  7. Ste says:

    @MarkuzR Well I do hope you get around to as I think this is right up your street. If you ever do get around to it let me know. Hopefully they’ll have fixed the matchmaking by then too. :)

  8. Samuel Samuel says:

    I downloaded the demo of this on the 360, and you’d think it’d be exactly my kind of game, but I just could not get into it for some reason. Left me entirely cold, and I wound up deleting the demo and not bothering with it again. It could just be I was in an odd mood or something, or distracted. I might give it a second try, perhaps on the PC this time.

    Good first review all the same Ste, look forwards to seeing you do more!

  9. Lee says:

    Sounds like a perfect Sunday game – I’ll give it a look, it must of skipped past be when it came out last year

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