Friday, 15 December 2017 18:12

Genetic Disaster Review

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Great maps. From the Get Go.

With Genetic Disaster you need not grind the early levels to reach end-game levels that are “more” challenging. In fact, even the first few levels are entertaining. Warming up to the game, you’ll die often and think it’s because you’re getting used to mechanics. It took me a few tries to realize: these maps are designed with difficulty in mind. And it’s welcomed: fast-paced titles as such are almost always fun, but it’s the addition of strategic choices that make them great.

Battling the ever-spawning monsters is a fun burst of adrenaline. There are different enemies to destroy and stages come with random threats, ranging between straightforward bomb attacks to elemental ones such as ice and fire. These stages or modes can be tracked in the upper right hand corner, and they’ll change as you kill and progress. Keep an eye on these indicators, if only to prioritize which threats to eliminate. The bomb feature, for example, gives monsters a timer by which they are doomed to explode. Killing them first is the smart choice here.

In addition to the thrill, Genetic Disaster benefits from fun graphics and entertaining music. The package altogether makes it enjoyable to play, even if the controls may at times frustrate you.

Ammo management?

Another layer of strategy added to gameplay. That’s because you need a lot of firepower to survive and while on single player, that isn’t much of a problem, with friends on the map you’re competing for resources and must be much more reactive to ammo spawns.

To complicate the matter, you need to use specific types of ammo for your gun. Some use regular bullets, but others need energy (the green stuff you pick up). Thankfully, carrying different types of guns and swapping is your solution, and your arsenal will grow as you progress through levels.

Single player vs multiplayer

Genetic Disaster is meant to be played in cooperative mode, but it can also be enjoyed as a single player. It’s an easier play but isn’t nearly as fun, as part of the entertainment comes from playing with your buddies and dealing with friendly fire.

It also seems that difficulty increases the more players you add to a game, with the surge of additional mobs and, consequently, chaos. Online multiplayer is available, as is local. You can have up to four players on the same copy of Genetic Disaster, playing simultaneously.

Will you take on the role of Tank or DPS?

There are several characters to pick from, and their different powers work great together as you play with friends. You’ll strategize on what role to take, and the upgrades you obtain upon completing levels you’ll find influence what type of roles you want to play.

There are no multiple lives in Genetic Disaster.  If you die, you die. If you die on multiplayer, you become a ghost and can follow teammates around. If you’re lucky, one of your teammates will have the option to select an end of level upgrade that lets them trade in a heart to resurrect you, but the drop is random. Plus, the characters only start off with 3 or 4 hearts, so there aren’t many to spare as each hit empties a half. Some of the guns have friendly fire too, so don’t stand in the way of your teammates and be careful!

Between levels, you and your teammates can spend coins collected at the store. However, options are limited. Firstly, not everything is on display at a single point in time. You canyou’re your luck and spend to pull a lever: that will randomly remove an item from the shop to add another, which can be great for the wealthy. Yet the road to financial wealth is an arduous one as few monsters drop coins, and collection can often be slim.

Controls vary depending on if you use a keyboard or a controller.

Genetic Disaster is designed to work with both the keyboard and controller, although the Steam store page only says “partial controller support.” However, in-game controller support is evident through the controls menu where it shows a diagram for both options. Plus, when you pick up items it suggests the action for the controller instead of the keyboard. However, there are a few playability differences between keyboard and controller, and I’m not sure the discrepancy was meant to be.

The keyboard, while clunky at first, has the easier controls for survivability. It’s easier to aim at the enemies, but WASD movement feels more limited. If you want to go diagonally you have to press multiple buttons. Picking up items, which text bubbles indicate happen with pressing “A,” is either “A” or “E” on the keyboard depending if you are in the menu or in-game. On the bright side, reloading and switching weapons is easy, as is using your power ability.

In contrast, the controller makes moving easier, but more difficult to aim and fire. You’ll want to pick the handling tool that works best for your gameplay. If aiming and shooting is too difficult, stick with the keyboard. If you’re frustrated with movement, go for the controller.

An option to improve controls would be to allow custom bindings. I experience the game in Early Access, exactly one week before its official release and the time, you could not customize or change controls.


The Verdict

Genetic Disaster is a great action-packed multiplayer that generates enough maps and monsters to keep you and your friends entertained as you accidentally kill each other. You can play as single player, but with its strategic depth the real fun comes from players battling it out.

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Cherise Papa

Cherise Papa is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for writing novels and playing games. With a thirst for lore and massive damage, she heals raids, conquers civilizations, smashes things with two-handed weapons, tames dinosaurs, and eats other snakes. Accompanied by her husband and gamer toddlers, she explores new worlds and logs too many hours on Steam. Her gaming drink of choice is rich hot chocolate with peppermint candy canes, mint chocolate chip ice cream, or handfuls of marshmallows. 


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