Grey Goo Adds New Faction, Gets Price Cut

Grey goo, grey goo, it’s here for me and you! Devours our flesh, intestines its nest, it’s coming! It’s coming! No one’s safe, so turn and face our oncoming nanotech disaster.

By which I mean, obviously, that Petroglyph have bunged a fourth faction and new units into their RTS Grey Goo [official site] with a free expansion. The Shroud have arrived, and everyone’s cacking themselves. And hey, the whole game’s now cheaper too.

“Many Shroud units and structures can change on the fly, evolving into more powerful versions of themselves,” the devs say. “For example, the Shroud’s Epic unit, the Dirge, has three stages. While the first is relatively weak, its final form can end a game in a matter of minutes.”

They also field shape-shifters who can slip into enemy ranks, and units which break the rules of RTS visual design. I do really like this:

“Catching an opponent off guard is a key aspect of the Shroud’s strategy—and the Klaxon is a unit that’s designed to do just that. While it looks like a slow-moving armored unit, the Klaxon can actually charge at and damage your units in a split-second.”

RTS games tend to follow broad rules of visual design hinting at a unit’s function. Something big will likely be slow but tanky and likely deadly, something teeny will be fast but squishable, and so on. The idea of purposely designing against that, trying to catch players off guard by breaking the rules, is pretty cool.

The Shroud are introduced in one new single-player campaign mission, but are themselves playable in multiplayer and AI skirmish modes. The three original races have all received one new unit too.

Also! Grey Goo has relaunched as Grey Goo Definitive Edition, which includes all DLC and comes at a lower price. The Definitive Edition is £22.99/$29.99/€27.99, down from the original release’s price of £29.99/$49.99/€45.99. ‘s on Steam if you fancy it.

Lastly, a trailer peeking at The Shroud:


  1. Optimaximal says:

    Does this update add ‘fun’? Petroglyph RTS games are very solid, but I didn’t find Empire at War or Universe at War entertaining to play.

    They’re just so dry, sterile and missing whatever it was the guys behind the scenes managed to work into their games at Westwood.

    • geisler says:

      The Ex-Westwood Pacific people that formed Petroglyph are a far cry from the teams that made the old classics. The only good thing they ever produced is RA2. Which in my opinion was a good RTS game, but didn’t quite nail the same feel or “soul” if you will, of the original C&C games.

      • Zankman says:

        Given how many people absolutely adore RA2 and even later games like Generals – citing the “feel” of the games as key attributes, among others – I’d say that your statement is very biased.

        • geisler says:

          Of course it is biased. I’ll tell you this though, friends i grew up with (people all going on their late thirties) and played the original C&C games, pretty much share the same idea. Maybe it depends on if your first Westwood games were Dune II or C&C Tiberian Dawn.

    • tifaucz says:

      Although I had good fun with Universe at War, I still agree. I know people blame EA for killing Westwood, but weren’t they dying before that already? I mean, RA2 was already losing it in my opinion…

      And, I really liked Generals (shields up). As part of the modding community back in the day, it was fun to watch… everyone playing it like crazy while saying it was so bad because it was not Westwood… Maybe it was not like the games of before, but it was a great RTS.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        Generals is still really fun in multiplayer. Their asymmetric threeway factions has always been what they’ve done best.

    • tifaucz says:

      Anyway, Grey Goo. I bought it full price just after launch, and was super disappointed. Its very well done, very competent and polished… But its no fun at all. It’s not engaging. I could not get past the 4th mission not because it was difficult(actually the difficult was very well balanced) but because it was feeling like a job. Universe at War had more charisma at least, despite being way less polished. BTW I cant find UAW anywhere online to buy. Problems with SEGA licensing?

      • Mogster says:

        Oh yeah, thinking back it took me a few missions to get into it. In fact I bounced off it after two missions when I first played, but came back later and really got into it. I guess it probably doesn’t give a good first impression.

    • Mogster says:

      I’m not a big fan of Empire at War, and I’ve heard bad things about Universe. I really enjoyed Grey Goo though! It doesn’t have the fun campiness of the CnC games if that’s what you’re after, but the campaign told an engaging, if overly economical story that kept me interested. It does leave a lot unresolved though, with a Halo 2 style “cliffhanger” that feels like it’s building towards a climax that never happens.

      I thought the missions themselves were excellent. They’re quite varied, and quickly demand quite a lot from you in terms of tactics. There are a few missions that I felt were a little unfair to start with, and one in particular that can quickly become unwinnable if you’re not really on the ball, but it was mostly really solid.

      Oh, and the Goo faction is probably the most original race I’ve played in an RTS in a long time.

      I’d recommend it anyway!

  2. Ur-Quan says:

    Now the really sad thing is that even after knowing that this is FREE content I can’t bring myself to reinstall Grey Goo.
    I had really high hopes for the games and mechanically it was competently put together, but this has to be one of the most boring and forgettable games I ever played. I couldn’t even remeber a singfle mission of the campaign and the mp was incredibly slow and the community evaporated after a mere month.

    Free stuff is always nice, but with Xcom 2 around the corner the devs would have to pay me to play this game again.

  3. Unsheep says:

    I have never played Grey Goo but from what I have seen in walkthroughs it seems well-made in terms of visuals and mechanics, so the production quality is there.

    However I prefer RTS games that feel more unique to me, and I have a whole bunch of these games to choose from: Battle Realms, Ground Control, M.A.X., American Conquest, Krush Kill ‘n’ Destroy, Red Alert, R.U.S.E and others.

    So I don’t really have the need to play a new RTS unless it can offer an interesting storyline, concept and/or setting.

    I have the exact same issue with Homeworld Deserts of Kharak, like Grey Goo it just doesn’t seem as interesting to me as the older RTS games in my collection. I’d rather just play through MAX or KKnD again.

    • killias2 says:

      And here I assumed I was the only person to remember “Krush Kill ‘n’ Destroy”. I honestly don’t even think I played the full game. I remember playing through the demo, enjoying it, and then never hearing of the game again, haha.

      • Xzi says:

        KKND! I got the disc for Win95 from a yard sale for $5. I think I beat the campaign. It had some pretty cool mechanics! First game I played where controlling the high ground mattered.

  4. Godwhacker says:

    I get the reference they’re making, but ‘Grey Goo’ is a terrible, terrible name.

    • Cinek says:

      It’s a great description of how the game feels though – perhaps not in the end-of-the-world scenario, but quite literal meaning. It’s gray, it’s goo, you don’t remember any details from it, you quickly get bored while playing with it. Overall: Meh. It’s not broken by any means, but it’s just boring in what it is.

      • Ur-Quan says:

        Sad but true. I mean mechanically this game is really well made. It’s just boring as hell. Such a shame.

  5. Arathain says:

    I tried Grey Goo a little bit during the free weekend a while back. I built an infantry unit, which moved around and fired a small blob at enemies. I built an anti-vehicle unit, which fired a near identical blob at enemies. A tank-like unit fired a bigger blob. Artillery lobbed blobs. The enemy units seemed to be basically the same thing. It was all very distinct and uninteresting.

    I’m someone who plays RTSs as big toy boxes- I love Relic games for their rich and interesting units. Do the units in Grey Goo ever get interesting and nuanced? What’s the pay off, and how much bland stuff do you have to get through?

  6. Bobtree says:

    I enjoyed the hell out of this game. The campaign and the fiction and Petroglyph’s support were great.

  7. Phantasma says:

    Tried it during a free weekend, never have been bored by a game so fast and so thoroughly. On the surface everything seemed to be in place but the execution just put me to sleep.

    Uninteresting units, an UI that got the idea of “being old school” completely wrong, bland missions, bland soundtrack… i could go on but then i’d be in danger of falling off my chair right into apathy.
    Every click, every order and decision felt…. well, just didn’t feel satisfying.

    I really wanted to like it, because RTS games in general and more strategic ones, that don’t rely on reflexes and APM only, are a very rare breed these days.

    But it was average in every single way. So not in the flawed gem territory either.