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Greedcorp

Intro
Conventional hex-based strategy with a clever deteriorating landscape twist, ‘Greed Corp.’ makes it leap from XBOX Live Arcade to the PlayStation Network (PSN).  With every resource grab, the battlefield diminishes, making the race for supremacy one against time. W! Games’ latest entry if yours for $10, and features both campaign and multiplayer modes.

Game
Perhaps it the allure of its board gaming brethren, but I’ve always possessed a mild fascination with the turn-based, strategy game genre. Classics like ‘Command and Conquer’ plus its successor ‘Dune’ only served to whet my appetite, real-time, combat-infused examples of the merits of combining resourcing, infrastructure and firepower. Oh, the beloved days of 486 computing yore.

Over the years, however, consoles became forgotten brethren to the slew of excellent turn-based strategy titles gracing the PC landscape. With ‘Advance Wars’ and ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’ arguably came a heightened interest in this genre among the controller masses…and for good reason. Combined, they served as excellent examples of infusing personality into a stodgy – in attention to detail – gaming category.

‘Greed Corp’ is a very polished attempt at turn-based strategy, one bursting with tender loving care plus high attention to detail. W! Games’ clever downloadable tells the tale of a futuristic world with an endless pursuit toward resources among four warring clans. Possessing a retro-hip ‘Fallout’ flair (in presentation, music), Greed Corp both looks and sounds next-gen console.

Gameplay is your usual turn-based strategy fare. Start out with a core infantry-type unit. Build armories to create more units and/or infrastructure. Cannons are stocked to fire at enemies. Mobile transport enables crossing of non-connected terrain.

The twist, however, is in the harvesters that – unlike Dune – permanently destroy the terrain and surrounding environs. With each turn, harvesters both mine for gold credits, yet simultaneously lower the terrain upon which they reside…plus those in adjacent hexes. When these hexes reach their last level, crack they go into the abyss. These fissures can be chained, meaning a string of last level platforms will fall in unison if hammered at any point by a nearby harvester.

In essence, Greed Corp. is a mad dash of resource mining – to buy enough goodies to take out your enemies – versus surviving an ever-collapsing terrain and resulting clock.  Cleverness abounds in sticking harvesters of yours next to enemy, last level hexes. Harvest the hell out of them straight into oblivion!
 
On paper - and in principle – all of this sounds fantastic. The one catch, however, is substantial: Greed Corp. is friggin’ impossible. As a gamer of 25+ years, I’m yet to encounter a single game with as much a learning curve as this seemingly accessible strategy title.

Let me explain.

Imagine playing your first games of chess, over and over again, against Gary Kasparov. While attempting to discern the intricacies of simple knight and bishop use, Kasparov is in algorithm land, always several steps ahead of you. One false pawn diversion, Kasparov annihilates you six times over. You attempt to study Kasparov’s dismantling of your foolishness, only to watch him destroy you in a different fashion. Dozens of games later, all you know is that Kasparov will beat you silly…regardless of what you do. Learning becomes near impossible since every move follows with a different defeat style.

Five hours in, I’m literally yet to defeat the first damn campaign level of Greed Corp. The tutorial confused the hell out of me, resulting in a dull headache from information overload. It was reassuring to know I’m not alone, as message boards quietly echoed these same doubts about entry points to what appears a great game. The online community is almost non-existent, perhaps due to this difficulty malady.

In the interest of being a fair review, I consorted with Downtown Jimmy – a self-confessed strategy game aficionado. We’ve requested another review copy to see how a hardier veteran of this genre fares. Fingers crossed.

I leave this review with a fairly solvable constructive criticism for W! Games: Patch this sucker via selectable difficulty levels. There’s a great game here; it simply needs a better front door.

Lowdown
‘Greed Corp.’ is a very polished, affordable strategy title sporting a clever environment gameplay aspect. Still, its unforgiving difficulty creates a learning curve that will scare even the hardiest away.


Reviewed by Paul Stuart | 03.12.10

+
  • clever approach to the strategy genre
  • excellent production quality
  • attractive price
  • excruciatingly difficult
  • poor tutorial
  • frustrating AI

EDITOR’S NOTE:

While we try to get it right, every now and then a review strikes a chord among readers who agree to disagree with our sentiments on a title. ExtremeGamer reader Kendon L. took umbrage with Greed Corp.’s lower score due to barrier of entry and difficulty.

“The review of this game is unfair (from a points standpoint)...I've played against several random people online, and they also pretty much got it…He's obviously missed a key point about this game that keeps him from winning.  Maybe he should try playing it with a few friends around to see if they can pick up on what he's missing.” READER, KENDON L.

A fair sentiment Kendon, one that resulted in Paul asking me (before posting the review, after his 6+ hours of gameplay time) to give it a secondary whirl. Unfortunately I too – akin to several others in forums/message boards dedicated to this title – described similar struggles. This is not to say that our experiences are a universal trend; clearly yourself and its sparse – but dedicated – online community feels differently, difficulty level be damned. 

Unfortunately, however, barrier of entry must factor into a title’s overall score, even more so on PSN downloads espousing quick play. While an objective review doesn’t always win us brownie points, we hope it produces credibility instead.

Review score aside – and noting Kendon’s prowess with Greed Corp.’s nuances – we strongly encourage a Greed Corp. veteran to provide tips/strategies for new users to get a better grasp on a title its community clearly feels strongly about. Perhaps a better tutorial covering the first couple of campaign levels, with emphasis on strategies for success. It would be our pleasure to both post this content as an edited guide, likewise re-visit the review at that stage.

Thank you again for writing in!

-DowntownJimmy

Box

Greed Corp

Publisher
W! Games

Developer
Mistbound

Genre
Strategy

US Release
February '10

ESRB
"E"

Platform
PSN, XBLA

Details
Player 1-4
Online 2-4
720p HD
Dolby 5.1
Leaderboards



Links

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GreedCorp