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Occasionally, when I pause They Are Billions and zoom out on my tightly packed, grid-based steampunk settlement, I think about how the tiny families in the centre could have just as easily lived their entire lives without ever seeing a single zombie. There s little in the way of a fixed story or characters in this survival strategy, either in its separate challenge maps or ambitious, flawed campaign. But there is a constant mood of melancholy, darkening the air like industrial smog; the uneasy feeling humanity died out a long time ago. As the saying goeth, you either watch your settlement get munched to bits by zombies, or you live long enough to continue colonising hell to extend the borders of a grim dystopia. Jolly good, then.
A new patch coming to survival real-time strategy game (RTS), They Are Billions, will lower the difficulty and remove some time limits following fan feedback of its newly launched campaign mode.
The complaints have seen the game drop from its overall rank of Very Positive to Mixed, prompting developer Numanitan Games to state: "We have to say that we are saddened to see that many players with hundreds of hours of play in Survival mode have written very negative reviews for the launch of the Campaign."
"The launch week is becoming really intense. We never thought that version 1.0 would generate so much interest, opinions and feedback," the developer said by way of a recent Steam update. "That's a sign that They Are Billions is becoming a very popular game and, as such, generates intense debate.
Survival RTS They Are Billions came out of Early Access recently with a full campaign mode to supplement its existing survival mode. It received a rough reaction on Steam's user reviews, with recent reviews dropping from Very Positive to Mixed. Developer Numantian have responded to the feedback with the first of many updates.
The difficulty of the first few missions has been lowered, and the default mode is now Accessible rather than Challenging to encourage new players to start there and work their way up. Time limit objectives, which resulted in a game over for not hitting a population goal within a set time, have been removed from some missions and relaxed in others.
Other changes include adjustments to the tech tree, and in hero missions the objects you hunt for will now flash intermittently to make them easier to find. These are all improvements to the campaign mode, with Numantian saying the next major update will address survival mode.
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.”