Grey Goo. This is the idea that self-replicating nanomachines will one day take over the world and destroy it through their replication. It’s also the name of a new RTS for PC.
The story of Grey Goo starts out with the player controlling the Beta. The Beta are a group of aliens attempting to leave the planet known as Ecosystem 09 and are constantly fleeing from a threat known as “The Silent Ones.” The Beta and Humans end up in conflict with each other, but that changes when a mysterious goo appears on the planet and starts taking it over. After this, the two team up to destroy the Goo.
Grey Goo marks the return of the RTS in a gaming world that has become much more focused on spinoffs of the genre, such as DOTA 2 or League of Legends. Sure, I did recently review the RTS Boid as a Time Waster, but it wasn’t as fleshed out as this.
The gameplay of Grey Goo is great. It’s a return to 90’s RTS games and has a feel much like the Commmand & Conquer games from that era. This makes sense as the game has some of the same developers working on it as those games did. There even a few subtle nods to those games via some of the dialogue.
The main purpose of Grey Goo is to collect resources. The more resources the player has coming in, the faster they can build up their army. There’s a lot of strategy to the game as players have to think of the best ways to outmaneuver their opponents and keep the pressure on while still building up their own forces.
Grey Goo features three distinct races for players to use and each one works differently from the others. The Beta have a main headquarters and are able to build small, medium and large hubs around them to extend their reach. These hubs can be placed anywhere on the map that the Beta has vision of, which allows them a lot of freedom.
The Humans are a bit more restricted in their building. They also have a headquarters, but everything must be connected to it directly, or to something else that is connected to the headquarters, before it can work. The use of power conduits, which work like power lines, allow humans to stretch out their presence on the map, but not as easily or as far as the Beta. Humans do have the advantage of several different types of turrets that can be placed to protect their buildings and they can also teleport completed structures to new areas.
The Goo is easily the weirdest of the three to play as. Rather than having one main base, the Goo is much more decentralized. Players start a match with a Mother Goo. This acts as their base and needs to be put directly over a resource point. This allows the Mother Goo to grow in size. After growing enough, the Mother Goo can split off parts of itself to create units and other Mother Goos. The Mother Goo can also move around and climb up cliffs, making it difficult to pin down and kill. However, they have a much slower rate of production than the Humans or Beta.
Each of the three races also have their own Epic units that can be created to give them a huge advantage in battle. Each of these units have prerequisites that must be fulfilled before construction on them can be started.
The Beta’s Epic unit is called the Hand of Ruk. This massive unit requires the sacrificing of a large factory with the four different types of unit creation attachments (Tank, Stealth, Air and Artillery) connected to it. It features a large cannon and players can place six units in it to give it extra firepower. It also acts as a mobile factory.
The Human’s Epic unit is called the Alpha. It’s essentially a giant version of Iron Man that hovers around the map dispensing lasers on the enemy. It deals increased damage based on how much damage is being dealt to it. It also requires a large factory with the four different types of unit creation attachments on it, but it doesn’t require the sacrifice of the factory to be made.
The Goo’s Epic unit is the Purger. The Purger is a large mass of Goo that is created via the transformation of a full-sized Mother Goo. It’s attacks are devastating and it can roll over enemies and structures to damage them with its corrosive body. It also has the ability to climb cliffs and can use this avoid enemy harm while still dealing damage with long-range attacks.
Outside of these three Epic units, the races in the game have the same basic units. Each has their own set of light and heavy land units as well as air units, but they all act the same basic way. It’s really the building of bases and the construction of Epic units that set the three apart.
While the Campaign of Grey Goo is easily worth playing all the way through, I think every RTS player can agree that Skirmishes are the main appeal of the genre. This is the same in Grey Goo and it offers several different maps. These maps can be used in matches between other players or can also be used to fight against the computer.
The graphics in Grey Goo are absolutely amazing. The cutscenes offer high-end graphics that aid in telling the game’s story and each mission includes a briefing with similar quality. The world and those that inhabit it are also beautiful. A lot of detail can be seen in the game even with the typical top-down view that RTS games use.
The audio in Grey Goo is great. All of the characters are well voiced and it really helps bring them to life. The sound effects are spot on and there’s an extra creepy factor added in the form of the electronic sounds the Goo makes while be controlled. The music in the game also sticks out as it contains several great tunes that really draw players into the battle. Players can also turn certain songs on or off depending on their preferences.
Overall, Grey Goo is a great game. It offers some changes that mix up the RTS genre without distancing itself from it. Fans of the genre should really give this a look as it offers some of the most solid gameplay in years. It’s definitely a return to the early Command & Conquer style of RTS games instead of the Starcraft style, so take that as you will.
Grey Goo earns 4 GiN Gems out of 5!