Review – They Are Billions
They Are Billions brings together real-time strategy (RTS), base building, base defense, and zombie infestations in a way that never occurred to me before but seems like an incredibly good idea after the fact.
Players are dropped into the game in a randomly generated map scattered with stone, forests, grasslands, and zombies. You have a base of operations, a handful of units to defend it and that’s it – the game doesn’t feature the typical hand-holding intro mission, so you’ll have to figure out pretty much everything on your own, from what buildings unlock new tech trees to where you’ll need to place your troops to provide the best defense.
You’re going to be overrun, it’s inevitable, but you’re going to learn from that failure. Next time out you’ll be more vigilant about placing your troops in key locations. You’ll build walls faster, and research the ability to lay out traps or create ballista towers, maybe even have a barracks ready to replenish your militia before they’re wiped out by ever-larger hordes of zombies.
Gamers who have ever ‘turtled’ in an RTS – a strategy that sees you build up your base and wait to repel invaders instead of going on the offensive – will love They Are Billions’ gameplay loop. The game is all about surveying your surroundings, putting together a solid plan using the resources available to you, and executing it flawlessly – and then getting massacred by thousands of zombies anyway.
But how long can YOU hold out?
The PC version has a campaign mode, but it’s absent in the Xbox One version I reviewed. They’ve already patched the game since release, so hopefully they’ll continue to support it and we’ll see it get a little more fleshed out on console as well. Still well worth a look for RTS fans who want something challenging.