Turn-based strategy titles have proved highly successful on the PC, however their console counterparts are quite the opposite. Whilst a small number of titles have received positive critic feedback, the majority of the titles in the genre fail to make an impact. The latest attempt at a console turn-based strategy is Greed Corp, published and developed for the Xbox Live Arcade by W!Games.
Greep Corp requires players to battle for territory and resources on a grid made up of hexagonal pieces as they aim to eliminate their opponent/s. Players deploy units from a limited range, including the likes of walkers (i.e. soldiers), harvesters (i.e. money hoarders) and cannons – each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses. There’s also the small issue of collapsing terrain for players to overcome and possibly even use to their advantage.
The game consists of four separate campaigns, each of which consists of eight levels, with players taking the role of each of the game’s four factions. The campaigns on the whole have enough variety to keep players entertained, with enough distinction in the gameplay to prevent boredom. However, whilst there is a storyline to each campaign, players are unlikely to bother reading the masses of text displayed before the start of each level, especially as it seems irrelevant to the gameplay itself.
As well as a fairly-extensive campaign, multiplayer is also available. Whilst there aren’t any game modes to choose from, Greed Corp redeems itself with a great range of levels to battle it out on, coming to a total of 36 in all. A fantastic feature of the multiplayer is the possible integration of local, computer and online players, allowing a combination of the three to battle in one game. Disappointingly, and something that has proved to be a persistent problem across most Xbox Live Arcade titles, is the lack of players in and attempting to search for lobbies.
Graphically, Greed Corp features a similar style to the likes of Carcassonne and Catan, with the inclusion of brightly-coloured hexagonal shapes, topped off with a range of greenery such as flowers and trees. Whilst this naturalistic imagery is quickly replaced by grey, blue, red and orange tones as each battle progresses, the colours and the game’s visuals on the whole are pleasing as they project out of the television.
Regrettably, Greed Corp’s audio doesn’t live up to the same standards set by the graphics. The bland, piano soundtrack evident at the menu is just a taste of the poor audio and sound effects to come. Mechanical noises and the occasional cannon fire fail to impress and are quickly replaced by the player’s unique music.
Nevertheless, the major criticism of Greed Corp players will experience is the extremely steep learning curve. Whilst the game does feature a tutorial, it isn’t particularly effective, especially when players come to struggle through the game’s campaign, even as early on as the first level. Nonetheless, if players are willing to dedicate some time to the title and adapt to the game’s slightly-unforgiving gameplay, the reward is a thoroughly entertaining Xbox Live Arcade title.