Wot I Think: Bionic Dues

By Adam Smith on October 11th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

Not dudes, dues. Think about it. But not for long.

Five minutes of Bionic Dues was almost enough. I was attracted by turn-based tactical mech combat but swiftly repelled by confusion and comedy voiceovers. I quit. Later, just before bed, I decided to try again, reasoning that while Arcen may not be on a winning streak, their games are usually more interesting than this one had seemed. I never did make it to bed that night. Here’s wot I think.

Arcen’s latest is a roguelike with customisable mechs, a giant robot army to defeat and all manner of strange ideas to help it stand out from its turn-based peers and predecessors. It’d stand out even without the ideas but not for the right reasons. Aesthetically, at first glance, Bionic Dues stands out like a thumb so sore that it resembles the spluttering end of a flatulent intestine or a burst wurst. Not only is the initial effect off-putting, the individual parts don’t cohere.

The menu screen greets players with a theme song that sounds like it could be have been chosen for the first dance at a Sailor Moon themed wedding. Character portraits are cartoons that just about fit with the music but not with the rest of the game’s appearance, which is dark and undercooked. And then there are the voices – “why was I programmed to feel pain?” a robot whines as explosions tear it to shreds. Along with the flavour text that accompanies each new piece of loot and item description, the voices aim for the funny bone but I managed to deflect them onto the mute button.

The audio can be easily ignored if it’s not to taste but the graphics present a more formidable obstacle. Menus resemble placeholders, right down to the inclusion of debug tools. Even the choice of character at the beginning of the game offers one with a special power that is essentially an easy mode. The game describes it as the ‘cheesiest’ power. Combined with the obtuse nature of its basic systems, this exposure of the inner mechanics initially made Bionic Dues a frustrating experience. It might be the most fascinating machine in the world but I need to see it running instead of spending my time poking a screwdriver at its circuits.

If it isn’t already obvious, I should make it clear that Bionic Dues is utterly brilliant.

Accept that the graphics, mish-mash that they are, serve to communicate information rather than to court your eyes, and they quickly become tolerable. Before long, they’re useful and a couple of hours in you’ll probably feel affectionate toward the jalopy-bots vibrating and clanking through each of the procedurally generated missions. The graphics, as should be expected in a roguelike, are a functional tileset, designed to convey information swiftly and they perform their job admirably. However, my first attempts to play the game made it seem impenetrable because of the sheer amount of information presented.

The first screen of a new campaign is a city map with a web of missions stretching out from a central point – the player’s HQ. At the left hand side of the screen, a column of buttons provide access to the inventory, shop and mech customisation. It’d be more sensible to have one large garage button because the screens are all linked by tabs and it’s rare that one needs to be used without the others.

Each of the four mechs under the player’s control has a predetermined number of slots in several areas, such as shields, propulsion and computing, and a few low level pieces of equipment are available before the mission even begins. Some consume the limited power available from reactors, others add to it. Many increase the power, range or ammunition load of weapons. They are all randomised, with bizarre tech adjectives taking the place of the usual magical modifiers.

The loot system isn’t too difficult to grasp but the mechs themselves are very strange indeed. All four begin every mission but only one is in play at a time. Switching between them takes one turn but they never exist independently of one another on the same map and as soon as a mission is complete, they return to full power even if they were destroyed. Essentially, this means they work as separate components of the same entity, with changes made to fit circumstances as they arise.

A Science mech is necessary, at least in my experience, as it acts as the lockpicking thief of the group. Often, it’s the only one of the four that can gather loot, by hacking through locked doors to discover containers. It has a limited number of hacks for each mission and they can also be used to ‘consume’ computer terminals, which are equivalent to potions or scrolls, although they can’t be carried. Once used, their function is known for the rest of the game and, as roguelike tradition dictates, their effects can be cruel or kind.

The remaining members of the party are selected from a group of offensive sorts, although in the armament sense rather than in the style of a pier-end comedian. I tend to sally forth with an all-round Assault class, a close range Brawler and a Sniper. The sniper acts as a scout, being my main unit as I search levels for their various objectives, and I switch between the rest as and when they are needed. Or when I screw up and lose the Sniper.

Keeping ever mech intact makes missions easier and also brings more rewards upon completion, but they tend to explode. A lot.

Each mission is fairly short, with maps stretching across a handful of screens and contained on one level. They play out as a cross between the puzzling approach of Desktop Dungeons and a hyper-condensed version of a more conventional dungeon crawler. Enemies are scattered, often in large groups, and wait for the player to come into range before activating. There is also a ‘whistle’ command that alerts everything within audio range.

It’s when enemies become activated that Bionic Dues reveals the deck full of Aces that it has secured in the folds of its raggedy sleeve. Every type of bot has a set of weapons, determining range and damage, and therefore the best manner to approach and eliminate. That’s the basis of the ‘puzzle’ aspect of the game but it’s the AI that drives the enemies that makes every encounter so fascinating. It isn’t ‘clever’ AI, in that it won’t outthink you, but it’s brilliantly designed and almost completely transparent.

It's not a game about robotic Woody Allen, Larry David and Jason Isaacs on a road trip. I would play that though.

Early enemies move or fire randomly, or pack puny weapons but carry ammo to hand to their allies. Later, there are leaders that buff their companions in other ways and heavily armed killbots with predictable but complex movement patterns. Throw a group of diverse bots into a single room and every move feels like a miniature battle of wills. The computer has already shown its hand but it’s drawing from an increasingly complex deck. Read everything on the screen, understand your own abilities, and you’ll probably find a solution, a one-step turn that leads to another dilemma. Rush in and all is lost.

Losing a mech can be frustrating but most of the time, you’ll only have yourself to blame. Losing an entire mission is far worse. I’ve quit and restarted after a single failure. The campaign is punishing, allowing only five mistakes (although reparation is possible) before the whole thing is a bust. Each mission either provides valuable loot to improve your mechs or weakens the final bot army, which arrives after fifty days (one day per mission). When that army does arrive, it’s your four, with whatever insanely powerful upgrades they’ve seized, against a ludicrous number of levelled up killing machines.

I haven’t beaten it. At the moment, I doubt I ever will, but I improve on almost every attempt. Learning how to use stealth intelligently is a huge step, realising that it’s an intentional ‘cheat’, overpowered but limited. Devices and abilities roll into one another, creating a player entity as powerful and complex as the opposition. Instead of picking bots off from a distance, chain reactions of explosions can destroy entire groups, drawing the survivors onto a killing floor, filled with traps and tricks tailored to take advantage of specific weaknesses.

After AI War, Arcen have a lot at the wall but most of it hasn’t stuck. I have a fondness for Shattered Haven, a weird survival horror puzzle adventure, but it contains too many ideas and eventually they smother it. I thought Bionic Dues was going to end up the same way but the roguelike structure, dissected and represented as smaller parcels, holds the various pieces together and allows the good ideas to shine through. And they shine far brighter than I’d expected. This is Arcen’s best work since AI War by quite a distance and, if it finds the right room for expansion, it might well be their finest release to date.

Bionic Dues is out now and there is a demo (Win/OSX/Linux) available. Give it more than five minutes, eh?

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Top comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Bionic Dues is the surprise of my year. Picked it up as an impulse purchase and I keep finding I intend to go to bed as soon as I've done one more mission, but now that mission's done I have new equipment, and I've just refitted my Exos and I want to test them out...

    When you die, it's your fault. There is an answer to everything, a counter to all the situations. Even the most unfair-seeming deaths were avoidable. Opening a door to find a room full of GaffeBots who have explosive rocket launchers, itchy trigger fingers, and the aiming skill of a dead squid leads to instant explosive death, but you could have blown the door from a distance and followed it up with Siege rockets. You could have crept in under stealth. You could have set up a Sentry Turret ambush outside, blown the door, then whistled to get them running after you. You could have hacked everything else in the level and sent in your now-expendable Science Exo which is fitted with an Overload circuit that immolates everything around it when it dies. You could have built your Assault Exo with shields suitable to withstand the heat of a small sun and simply stride into the middle and laugh as the explosive fratricide kills everything in the room. Or perhaps there's a terminal nearby which will cause every single bit of cover in the room to explode violently.

    There is always a way, even if you're down to a badly damaged Science Exo, low on ammunition, and have to clear one final room.
  1. pakoito says:

    Skyward Collapse is on par with this, even more with the expansion, you skipped it on the text :(

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      Skyward Collapse is such an odd game. I still can’t quite work out what I think of it. There’s no doubt it’s a deep game, with Arcen’s trademark endless variety. But your objective (maintain as big a war as you can manage, ensure nobody wins) is unique, and hard to square with the theme. The actions you are able to take are either gentle nudges or sledgehammer blows, with not much in the middle, and nothing you do feels directly powerful.

      I think I like it. It’s a fascinating design. I don’t know if it’s a game I would broadly recommend. I think, perhaps, I’ll say that it’s a game that’s well worth trying, but don’t be surprised if you bounce off.

  2. Zorn says:

    I kind of liked A Valley without Wind. The first part more than the second. I thought I didn’t like it, but as I saw myself returning again and again. There has been something about it. Shattered Haven I didn’t dislike, but didn’t want to go further into it too. AI War, I never got the patience to get into, but I bought for my younger self, that would have loved it and support this kind of games for other people, who are their younger selves right now. Or whose patience hasn’t wandered of live in other town. So, yeah, more than five minutes are… wait, wait, no, it doesn’t end with five minutes. I must forget about this immediately.

    • nimbulan says:

      A Valley Without Wind is a great game, though it takes several hours to really get into it. I did grow to like the rather unique art style and all the complexity and gameplay depth it has to offer. Then they went and made the sequel, which rips out every last bit of uniqueness and complexity and turns it into this hollow shell of a game that’s barely even playable with keyboard+mouse. That’s been my one big disappointment with Arcen and I’m glad they haven’t made that mistake again.

  3. DatonKallandor says:

    It’s so ugly. Like AI War the lack of art direction hurts it more than the quality of the art itself. It’s half a dozen different art styles thrown together into one pot and it simply does not fit together, at all.
    They’d have been better off with less art and less complex art as long as it’s all in the same style. Even untextured stylized robot models would have been a better choice (and would have made the customization seem way more rewarding and interesting).

    • nimbulan says:

      I see it as a coherent art style, it’s just not a very good one. The best thing you can really say about it is that it’s functional. The best example I can think of of lack of art direction is Edge of Space. Damn that game is ugly.

    • The Random One says:

      They should have gone ASCII.

    • Spacewalk says:

      It looks like a game from the year 1999.

    • Muzman says:

      It’s fine in general. It’s really only when the character pictures show up that it kinda looks a bit back-of-the-exercise book/fanart and not in a good way.

  4. SkittleDiddler says:

    I’m so torn on buying this game. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it as an overall experience, but the graphics make me want to blind myself with bleach, and that title song…dear God, that horribly shitty title song. I know a single piece of music shouldn’t turn me off of buying a game, but sweet hangin’ Jeebus, what the fucking fucknuts ithinkmyearsarepermanentlyfriedmothersavemepleasehelpmetheyarebleedingaaaaaaagh

    • rusty5pork says:

      A Valley Without Wind 2 had a similar opening song, but it was awesome. Not sure where they went wrong with this one.

      But, never fear, the rest of the soundtrack is rather awesome. It has a very Castlevania feel to it.

    • goodgimp says:

      If you hate the title song it’s easy to ignore, know what I mean? The graphics aren’t the greatest but that’s not the point, anyway, as Adam mentions this is a roguelike and the art does its job of conveying information to you. It’s more functional than aesthetic. It hardly stabs my eyes or anything when I play.

      And the gameplay… the gameplay is great. Isn’t that what we’re always going on about here? “It’s the gameplay, stupid!” yet we as a community seem to be the first to dogpile onto a game due to it’s art, gameplay be damned.

      Honestly, the game was well worth the measly $7.50 I spent on it and I have a lot of game left to go.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Well, to be fair, I’m one of those gamers for whom presentation is just as important as playability. That’s the primary reason I’ve never bothered to buy an Arcen game. Bionic Dues is looking to be the first one I pick up, however.

        • Premium User Badge

          GiantPotato says:

          Well, I wouldn’t get your hopes too far up then, the presentation is functional at best. But the game underneath the pictures is quite a thing.

        • squareking says:

          Yeah this is one of the few games I would basically require to have a full reworking of art assets and music (though apparently only the title screen tune misses the mark). Once I hear it’s fully moddable, I’ll grab this because it sounds fantastic. I don’t care about graphics as long as the gameplay is solid, but this is an actively bad art style in my eyes — and that’s not the same as graphics, anyway.

  5. mgardner says:

    Having a great time with this title, I think it will offer a lot of replayability. Best moment so far: I found myself buffing up one mech at the expense of the others, making it a terrifying killing machine, until it was one-shot killed early in a mission by an enemy I had not encountered before. I was mentally paralyzed. My remaining mechs were gimpy and used for their support abilities, how could I possibly complete the mission? I had to slow down, plan every move, and make every action count. I lost another mech, but managed to complete the mission successfully by the skin of my teeth. You better believe I balanced out my mechs before the next mission. And I also now know how to counter that enemy that got me the first time.

    If you can look past the art, graphics, and audio (whew, I realize that’s a lot of ifs), do give this one a try. It’s not that expensive, and currently 25% off on Steam.

    • cptgone says:

      they have a fiendish new marketing scheme that makes me buy at release. it consists of bringing interesting games to the market at extremely reasonable pricing. revolutionary, huh? who’d ever had thought the customer would fall for that.

      thank cod for the music volume slider, btw.

  6. Tridus says:

    If you want to make the game easier, replace the sniper with a siege and the brawler with a ninja.

    Ninja can shoot while in stealth, and siege gets giant AoE guns. They make the strongest team with an assault and science. The science bot gets a great new gun in its epic form, too.

  7. Vinraith says:

    It’s worth noting, for those few that care, that no matter where you buy this game from you must register it on Steam to install it, and must use Steam to update it. You can run it without running Steam, however.

    This is a significant change from previous Arcen titles, where you could get DRM-free versions if you bought from Arcen directly.

    • dE says:

      I’m wondering whether this is a case of them having lots of trouble with Steam Keys in the past. Stuff like stolen keys, duplicates and stuff like that.

      • Tridus says:

        It’s because they don’t have a Linux in-game updater, and Steam handles it. Arcen has never had a Linux game before, so the infrastructure isn’t in place.

        They actually stopped using keys IIRC for Skyward Collapse and the last AI War expansion because of the problems you mention, though.

    • onyhow says:

      Then you might not have noticed that they DID say that you can just copy the game out from Steam folder and run it independently…

      • Vinraith says:

        That’s what “you can run it without running Steam” means. That does not change the fact that you need Steam to install it, and you need Steam to update it.

    • smokingkipper says:

      A modern day Cato in the making. Don’t ever change, Vinny.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Bionic Dues is the surprise of my year. Picked it up as an impulse purchase and I keep finding I intend to go to bed as soon as I’ve done one more mission, but now that mission’s done I have new equipment, and I’ve just refitted my Exos and I want to test them out…

    When you die, it’s your fault. There is an answer to everything, a counter to all the situations. Even the most unfair-seeming deaths were avoidable. Opening a door to find a room full of GaffeBots who have explosive rocket launchers, itchy trigger fingers, and the aiming skill of a dead squid leads to instant explosive death, but you could have blown the door from a distance and followed it up with Siege rockets. You could have crept in under stealth. You could have set up a Sentry Turret ambush outside, blown the door, then whistled to get them running after you. You could have hacked everything else in the level and sent in your now-expendable Science Exo which is fitted with an Overload circuit that immolates everything around it when it dies. You could have built your Assault Exo with shields suitable to withstand the heat of a small sun and simply stride into the middle and laugh as the explosive fratricide kills everything in the room. Or perhaps there’s a terminal nearby which will cause every single bit of cover in the room to explode violently.

    There is always a way, even if you’re down to a badly damaged Science Exo, low on ammunition, and have to clear one final room.

    • kalirion says:

      That’s great, if you know ahead of time what’s behind the door.

      If not, do you sneak into every room? Do you blow the door of every room and always follow it up with siege rockets? Do you set up sentry ambushes outside of every door? Etc.

      • manitoo says:

        You should, certainly. Each exo has a backup weapon for this purpose, plus they have a baseline number of cloaking turns* in case you need to hightail it out of a bad situation.

        *Which may come from miscellaneous equipment bonuses, I’m not sure.

        • His Divine Shadow says:

          I’m assuming there’s *a lot* of doors one would need to open though, and only a small fraction of them would really require that level of caution. So one would feel frustrated anyway, either because of wasting time and effort, or because of being party-wiped. Then again, I suppose feeling frustrated is also one’s own ‘fault’, technically, and that’s probably a fundamental pillar of roguelike gameplay.

    • PhilKenSebben says:

      What this fellow said. Quite surprised and addicted to this now.

  9. Premium User Badge

    strangeloup says:

    I really rather like Arcen’s stuff, despite never managing to completely gel with any of their releases. Describing this as “my first attempts to play the game made it seem impenetrable because of the sheer amount of information presented” reminds me a whole lot of AI War, though.

    This review turning up has usefully reminded me that I picked up the expansion for SotS The Pit when it was on the cheap, and I should give that another go. Sci-fi roguelikes do seem to be a bit more interesting than the typical fantasy type, I’ve found. (Also, I got Teleglitch, which I guess is a roguelike-like? It’s so confusing these days.)

    • SillyWizard says:

      Ugh don’t waste your time with SotS: The Pit, unless they update it with some major rebalancing. I’ve poured a lot of hours into it, and I’m convinced it’s pretty much unwinnable. There’s apparently no logic dictating frequency or type of drops. There’s pretty much always a chance to fail in skill check to open chests, and even if you succeed in opening…there’s what seems to be a pretty sizeable chance that nothing was in the chest, anyway.

      On top of that, there’s a huge array of skills, items, and craftables which presumably can have an impact on the game. After 40+ hours in, I have yet to get my hands on enough ingredients/weapon components/what-have-you to accomplish anything worthwhile. Yet I’ve regularly maxed out my inventory space with disparate bits of any number of parts of…of I don’t know what, really.

      Anyway, I feel like if they tweaked the numbers a bit to make sure ever chest you successfully open contains a thing, that would be a huge step forward. And maybe remove some of the item-bloat, so that shit you find is more likely to be useful. Blurgh.

      • MattM says:

        On normal, skill and good builds can only take you so far. After that its down to luck. You can max out loot finding skills still never get crucial equipment or enough ammo to survive. I posted a review/complaint over in the steam forums if you want more details.
        http://steamcommunity.com/app/233700/discussions/0/864972620708617695/?tscn=1373462053

      • vecordae says:

        The Pit was made a company who’s attitude towards their ever-dwindling customer base is, at best, one of smug condescension and, at worst, outright deception for the sake of a few extra bucks. I hope this explains The Pit’s intrinsic design flaws adequately.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          Ahem! WHOSE attitude! *nose in air*

        • Shaun239 says:

          I adore SotS 1 and have a real interest in playing the Pit, but yeah, not worth letting that utter dickshite Mecron get any more money. Never seen a dev be such an arrogant prick towards his fans before…

        • mouton says:

          Mecron is an ass, but the other devs seem pretty cool and I saw them patching The Pit in a timely and efficient manner.

      • kalirion says:

        After many hours, I managed to win it on Easy (and at one point around level 20 my Engineer had to go through 3 levels using nothing but fists and his very few remaining grenades.)

        After many more hours, I gave up on Normal. It didn’t help that a computer crash (not caused by the game) lost me all my recipes…

        • Zorn says:

          It’s hilarious, not necessarily in a good way. I started on normal, without doing the tutorial, so I thought I was doing something wrong, or missing something. No, I was just not finding any weapons the first 14 levels. No guns, no rifles, no grenades. A knife, shortly before three robots and a bear tore me apart. It’s a good game fot those days I hate myself.

      • mouton says:

        I finished the game a few times, pre-mind games. On normal, hard is too scary.

        There is some element of luck included, but that’s part of the charm. After one achieves certain critical mass of equipment, it becomes much mroe predictable.

      • tsff22 says:

        If you’re going to hate on The Pit for its use of the RNG, you probably shouldn’t play Nethack, Dungeon Crawl, Angband, Dungeons of Dredmor, Binding of Isaac, and pretty much every Roguelike ever.

        Or maybe the genre just isn’t for you. :/

        • smb says:

          Um, not at all. In Isaac, you can beat the game without picking up a single item by skillfully evading enemies. As for your other examples, those games still present you with USEFUL and NEEDED items throughout each run. There’s a big difference between “unfair” and “unwinnable.” If you’re not given a single clip of ammo or morsel of food for 10 floors of The Pit, there’s fuck all you can do. It is poorly balanced even by roguelike standards. The game might as well bug out and randomly spawn you inside of a wall; it’s all the same.

          Some of this is unavoidable, given the random nature of the genre, but it certainly isn’t the goal of roguelikes to go out of its way to create unwinnable situations coz “lolrandomizhard.”

  10. Kaeoschassis says:

    I really don’t find it particularly ugly – but that’s just an opinion and I -am- a regular roguelike-fancier so that might explain my standards.

    I normally consider myself pretty discerning where music is involved but I actually sort of like the title track? It’s awful, but it’s good fun.

    As for the actual presentation of information, I don’t think that’s as bad as you made it sound? I felt pretty comfortable, I picked everything up within minutes. I lost two mechs on my first mission, but by the end of it I was comfortable with how things worked, and the various stats felt MOSTLY intuitive. I honestly can’t remember the last time a game sucked me in and hooked me so quickly. It’d be a tragedy if the visual style turned people away from it, but I guess that’s their lookout in the end.

    • Gonefornow says:

      Based on the demo I agree 100%.
      In comparison to roguelikes the graphics are informative and clean.
      I had no information overload as the interfaces for the base game mechanics are really simple and solid (map,inventory,mission). The inventory could have less tabs though as already mentioned.
      The demo doesn’t have music so apparently I dodged a possible bullet there.

      I also applaud Arcen for providing a multitude of reasonable options for tweaking the gameplay, like camera controls, but I find it odd that panning the camera and turning the mech are mixed into the same keys.

      I’m still waiting for Atom Zombie Smasher with mechas though.

  11. Blackcompany says:

    The game is really quite good. Tried the Demo; did a single mission. Buying it now. Can’t wait to test my own bot-team setups, etc.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    So glad this rocks. I love Arcen’s spirit – hope this keeps them going as long as AI War did :)

    • Professor Paul1290 says:

      I don’t think Bionic Dues is going to be a game to do that, unless something changes unexpectedly.

      Despite Bionic Dues seeming to get a much better reception here at RPS and on other sites, Skyward Collapse did much better sales-wise.
      The developer has stated that right now Bionic Dues is only getting maybe half the sales Skyward did at launch.

      It’s not doing disastrously catastrophically badly mind you, but unless something changes in a way that hasn’t happened previously, Bionic Dues does not seem like it will get the kind of continuing support that AI War is getting.
      Even it does get an expansion it doesn’t seem that it will get it as quickly as Skyward Collapse did.

      • malkav11 says:

        It doesn’t seem like anything they’ve done after AI War has gotten the traction AI War did, which is disappointing. Part of the reason AI War is so good is the intense level of post-release support it’s received and I feel like all of their subsequent games (except maybe Tidalis and Shattered Haven) have plenty of scope for refinement and additional content until they are amazing juggernauts of variety the way AI War is.

        I get that that economics may not allow that, though.

        Also, Skyward Collapse was half the price of Bionic Dues at launch, so it makes sense that it would get twice the sales, to me. (Well. Half the list price. Can’t remember if it was also discounted at the start.)

  13. trjp says:

    I just buy all of Arcen’s games because I know – even if I don’t like one – something else will come along which I will like.

    They’re that sort of developer :)

  14. Yosharian says:

    Hmmm verrrry tempted with this one

  15. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    It’s a bit clunky and made to tickle the fun glands of a special audience and not everyone. So really like most Arcen games. And that’s good.

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  17. aphazard1 says:

    Picked this one up on sale at Steam, and am having a lot of fun so far. I have just been playing the defaults so far — Medium difficulty, Assault/Siege/Ninja/Science — and the first handful of missions have been pretty simple. But learning how the different abilities work together is fun, and of course lots of stuff explodes. :)

    I actually like the music and the robot voice bits, although I can see how some would not. Easily muted, so not a problem. A few things in the interface are kind of clunky, but everything needed seems to be there.

  18. onyhow says:

    Bought it, love it (I’m Arcen fanboy, so sue me)…though I have a problem with music, but not in a way other people are: Dammit Pablo, I LOVE your songs, REALLY MUCH, but can you recycle LESS songs from AI War? I love those songs very much, but I want to hear more new songs dammit…

    • Darloth says:

      I actually quite liked hearing some familiar but muted echoes of AI War stuff – After all, this sort of scenario could well fit as a prequel to AI War’s plot (such as it is…)

  19. PapaMalle says:

    Its a weird game. I find the missions extremely boring and the customization overwhelming, having to hop between several screens to compare and adjust different setups. Yet it manages to intrigue me afterwards, and as a result, ive tried to get back into it several times, only to get bored and give up 30 minutes in. Just like with other Arcen games that I own, unfortunately the ideas are way better than the execution and it left me feeling robbed. Its the last Arcen release for me and I definitely cant recommend it.

  20. Bobtree says:

    I can’t stand Pablo Vega’s music. He’s just terrible.

    Bionic Dues seems interesting though, and Arcen often manage to surprise me.

  21. Brosepholis says:

    Their music guy is bad. The art and world design are bad. The attempts at comedy are bad. But the gameplay is good enough that I enjoyed the game anyway. Arcen should make more games like this and AI war where their awful theming can be safely ignored.

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  24. rubywright says:

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  25. OpT1mUs says:

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