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End Of Nations Devs Reveal Throwback RTS Grey Goo

Strategy, presumably unfolding in real time.

When I first heard about Grey Goo, I assumed it was some kind of World-of-Goo-style puzzler, except all gritty and probably about a goo blob with No Family, No Loyalties, And Nothing Left To Lose. I was woefully, hideously incorrect, but can you blame me? Grey Goo isn’t really what I would’ve titled an RTS that attempts to hearken back to the genre’s golden age, but former End of Nations developer Petroglyph is sticking with it, so here we are. In the wake of Victory’s sobering defeat, the recently beleaguered studio is going back to what it knows best. Base building, three unique factions, and a handful of profoundly important decisions instead of 100 inconsequential ones. Debut trailer below.

So that was… insubstantial. The Grey Goo website offers a whole lot more, though, including screenshots of theĀ actual game and plentiful information. Here’s the gist:

“Grey Goo is a real-time strategy game with roots in classic strategy mechanics. Utilizing traditional base building as its core, the game aims to reinvent the modern standard of RTS gaming by placing emphasis on tactics over micro-management. By freeing players from having to issue hundreds of orders in a match, each decision is made more valuable and can mean the difference between victory and defeat.”

“At the heart of Grey Goo lie three unique factions whose functionality and strategies vary significantly from one another. Whether it’s the adaptive Beta, the impervious humans, or the unpredictable Goo, players are sure to find the play style they’re looking for. Don’t get too comfortable though. Skill with your preferred faction is no replacement for truly understanding your enemy.”

So far only one faction has been detailed, with the Beta being described as spacefaring “Guardians of Legacy.” They sound kinda Protoss-y, basically, but their units and tech are more mechanized.

It’ll be interesting to see what sorts of roles the other factions end up playing, though I do worry that this could end up stumbling over the “throwback” line and right into generic territory. Title aside, Grey Goo looks and sounds nice enough, but what sets it apart? Petroglyph claims it has “one faction in particular that is unlike anything players have ever played before,” but it’s not talking details yet.

Grey Goo is coming to Steam at the end of 2014, and it’ll offer multiple competitive and co-op modes in addition to LAN play. It sounds pretty solid and Petroglyph has the track record to back it up, but I’m not quite sold. I’m not sure if I want another RTS that’s like the classics but also ever-so-slightly different. I’ve already sunk countless hours into series like StarCraft and Command & Conquer. But maybe that’s just me. What do you think?

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Nathan Grayson

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