Today, we are going to be be looking at They Are Billions by Numantian Games and ported by Blitworks for the PS4.
They Are Billions is a real time strategy game set in a post apocalyptic steampunk zombie environment. The game itself has been in early access since late 2017 with it launching June this year and July for Xbox one and PS4.
Releasing as a full game apart from the newly launched campaign (which is coming) I was eager to get right in to this as a massive fan of command and conquer and age of empires and yes on console too not PC, although speaking of which, I did play with controller but you can still have mouse and keyboard on console too.
So, the aim of the game is simple build a town/army bigger enough to survive the massive horde of zombies coming your way in X amount of days (days are determined by your difficulty, less days harder game) you do this by building houses for workers-get resources-build defences and troops-survive is the general flow of a game. But just by building this is where They are billions brings strategy in to it early as you have to think about is that in danger there? Can my city walls go round it? Do I have enough room to expand? All of this while small hordes come your way basically beta testing your defenses ready for the big horde (up to 20k in real time, god damn)
You are probably thinking to yourself, jeez that sounds intense I can’t think and play that fast with a RTS on a console BUT They Are Billions has got you covered with a simple pause button with unlimited use. Just like say, The Sims, you can use it as much as you want to think what you have just done, going to do or plan for the future which proved extremely useful in They Are Billions. Not only does it mean you can do all the mentioned above but also you can treat the first few times you play it like a tutorial, pausing and learning different aspects, take it at your own pace. This didn’t take away from the fact my first few games ended very fast due to not knowing much and being a complete noob.
The maps are the next thing which I became very interested in, with campaign coming at a later date I was curious to check some maps out and see the difference and variety in multiple play through. This is when I leant that they are procedural maps. Meaning each map has its own layout, weather, number of zombies and points of interest. This goes hand in hand again with the ability to pause because you can’t learn the maps and know your choke points, every single time you have to explore and learn your map.
With most RTS games you tend to be overloaded with either long winded tutorials or alot of information at once. And this happens a little bit in They are billions, as it doesn’t have a massive tutorial and you finding yourself constantly learn and failing for the first few attempts at playing. Yet again the ability to pause goes a long way especially with learning the game and mechanics. It has all the ingredients of a traditional RTS like fog of war, gather your resources, build an army and defences all while expanding and surviving each day that comes leading to the big horde coming your way.
Graphics, audio and Narrative
The graphical side to they are billions is very pleasing to the eye. It has a very murky look to what you’d expected in a post apocalyptic world but on the other hand the steampunk element to the game comes through all that nicely. With buildings and units looking the part and standing out to their own and still remain easily recognisable and no two buildings or units look the same.
When it comes to how the game sounds it ties well in with the genre giving background music to fit mood but at the same time keeps enough in the background to not distract you and keep playing. All the zombies have a particular sound so you can pinpoint when they are close as for units they all have an attack sound which varies from unit to unit giving variety and again helps with identifying who may be attacking and where.
Narrative at the time of writing was not currently in the PS4 version unfortunately but is on the way which I will be very eager to try once launched.
They Are Billions
They Are Billions by Numantian Games for the PS4 has been once of the best RTS experiences I have had on a console for a very long time if not ever. Providing comfortable playing with a controller while maintaining its full play experience of the PC version. Not to forget if you aren't a fan of controller you can hook up keyboard and mouse.
- Traditional RTS on Console
- Ability to play with keyboard and mouse still
- Very enjoyable and challenging Gameplay
- Drops you in the deep end with learning
- No story mode/Campaign (Yet!)