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Survival strategy romp They Are Billions has left Early Access, unleashing the zombie horde and giving players a meaty 48-mission campaign to fight through. Check out the New Empire campaign trailer above.
They Are Billions splices city building with tower defence in an RTS besieged by the undead. You'll need to collect and manage precious resources, plonk down buildings, recruit soldiers and build fortifications, all so you can survive the next wave of hungry cadavers. And while there are incalculable monsters waiting outside the city, it only takes one of them to start an infection that can rapidly transform your sanctuary into a lively graveyard.
With the introduction of the campaign, there are now two ways to play. The survival mode gives you a random map and a time you have to survive for, while the undead smash down your walls. The campaign mode, meanwhile, tasks you with expanding the New Empire by building colonies all over the world and protecting them with the Imperial Army. Across the 48 missions, you'll get 90 techs that will you evolve your colonies, and you'll be able to learn about the origins of the infection.
I've not played since the first days of Early Access, where I thought it was a promising, stressful RTS. It can be exhausting, trying to keep back the tide of corpses, especially when you have to be so diligent while only a few zombies need to slip past your defences to cause chaos. There are always fires to put out and it's constantly escalating. I kept coming back after each failure, though, updating my fortification designs and thinking up new ideas to hold back the tide. They're great zombies, too. Each of them is an individual, but when they spot a snack or hear something interesting, they'll quickly start to gather, eventually becoming a rotting mass that takes up most of the screen. The game can support up to 20,000 units.
Numerically hyperbolic survival-strategy They Are Billions has added a campaign mode, so we can finally find out why all these nice pale shambly folk are so hungry all the time. The New Empire, as the singleplayer story is called, looks to double down on the latent colonialist fantasies already inherent in steampunk, allowing you to ride your big imperial choo choo across the map and settle you some locations. The update also marks the end of eighteen months in early access, bringing the game to version 1.0. Look upon this trailer, ye mighty, and go “oh, cool, zombies ‘n’ stuff.”
Zombie RTS They Are Billions made a big impact when it launched into early access. Despite lacking a traditional campaign mode, it even inspired Conan Unconquered. Rather than bank it all on the strength of their horde survival, Numantian games are launching it out of early access in just twelve days, bulking it up with a story-driven campaign called The New Empire on June 18th. In it, players lead the last human city to reconquer their (un)dead world. They’ve gone all-in, and estimate that the campaign clocks in at a huge sixty to eighty hours long. See the release date trailer below.
UPDATE 4.15PM BST: They Are Billions is coming to PlayStation 4! It's being ported by a company called Blitworks, which ported Spelunky and Fez and other games to PS4, and it's due to arrive in July.
ORIGINAL STORY 3.30PM BST: The long-awaited campaign for marvellous zombie survival RTS They Are Billions will be released 18th June. It's free, assuming you already own the game.
The campaign is titled The New Empire and will spin a fairly schlocky (perfectly in keeping with the rest of the game) story about said New Empire venturing out from behind impenetrable walls to reclaim the world from the infected, which are basically zombies.