Bionic Dues is a new rogue like game by Arcen Games, a company with little renown until now. Bionic Dues is set to revitalize the old dungeon crawler turn based game with new mechanics, great music and humour. Taking control of Exo suits, your mission is to eradicate the Robot scum filling the city with as many explosions as you can muster. Get your rockets ready!
Dumbot: “Why was I designed to feel pain?!”
The main story of the game establishes that Robots have rebelled against humanity and their major house of construction and operations are within the city you currently inhabit. Your base was recently assaulted by the Robot armies, destroying many of your systems and Exo suits, excluding the 4 you were controlling on your practice run. You are set the task to fend off and hunt down the Robots to lessen their numbers, build up your arsenal and defeat the endlessly spawning hordes of metal. If you fail in your mission the city will be nuked to make sure the Robot masses don’t leave the city, you are the last hope.
The game gives you 50 days until the Robot army attacks your base again, allowing you to go through the city to upgrade your Exos and weaken the final horde. If you fail a mission your main base will take damage until it is destroyed with it having 5 health for the medium difficulty. If you survive the 50 days you will be taken to the final attack inside your base, where you have to destroy all the invading Robots.
Besides the huge chunk of backstory and mission that are thrown your way in the beginning there lacks any story development, only leaving you to do your mission and count down the days till the final assault. This allows the player to focus on the missions at their feet and optimise their weapons and equipment for the final battle, but a bit more development would have been appreciated, this being an RPG and all.
One campaign can last around 13 hours, depending on difficulty and how you go about completing the play through. Game time can be decreased if you go for the missions that lessen the time until the final attack by 5 days up to a total of 30.
The main gameplay of the game is found within the randomly generated levels you will go through, in a very dungeon like manner. You take control of a single character, exploring the facilities in a tile based format and finding the objective within the level. There is very little in the way of controls, WASD for movement, mouse for firing and inspecting and ctrl for shooting the floor. You can switch between the 4 Exos you control which takes up one turn, as well as select the weapon or ability you wish to use on the left hand of the screen.
There are several Exos to choose from, Exos being the Exoskeleton suits you will control from the safety of your base. The Assault Exo is the all-rounder Exo allowing for close and ranged combat, the Siege Exo being used mostly for its explosive area weapons, Science Exo being used for its hacking abilities and Ninja for its stealth capabilities, as well as Sniper and Brawler with respective weapons for long and close combat. Each Exo can also be upgraded through a specific mission to become an “Epic” version, increasing health, damage and available weapons, making them a great prize for those who seek them out.
The majority of the planning is in the placement of your Exo, the Exo you currently have equipped and the weapon you are using. In the beginning levels it is easy to just use the Assault Exo and blaze through a mission, but the later levels get increasingly harder so you will have to use a lot more in the way of tactics. Causing chain explosions, setting up mines and turrets and controlling choke points can make missions incredibly simple and easy, especially if you specialize an Exo for turrets with increased damage and shields.
Besides the missions themselves you also make use of a city map, to select the mission you wish to undertake, from the scavenging missions that include getting new weapons, shields and reactors to ones that repair your main base from failed missions, there are also missions to reduce the level and number of the final horde of Robots as well as decrease the amount of time you have until they attack.
When in the map select screen you have the chance to upgrade your Exos with new upgrades to their weapons, shields, reactors and computing systems allowing for great customization for each and every suit. A lot of the loot you gain from missions will be used in this screen, to create the best Exos you can and formulate plans with specific suits. I personally made my siege’s rocket launcher have the highest range, explosive area and ammo to allow for several room clearing explosions, I also gave my Assault as many turrets as I could, so that I could lead bosses into them for easy kills.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music in Bionic Dues is very well done, from its piano songs during its slow planning stages to the upbeat tunes during combat and boss levels. The title screen and trailer song is one of the best songs I have heard in a game to date, with an amazing singer and musical combination that gets you hyped for the game and just being a generally good song, Pablo Vega did a good job on this single.
The graphics in Bionic Dues are very plain in an aspect, going for a tiled “voxel” look to its in-game levels and objects. Even with its simplicity, the game looks great, following with its futuristic and post-apocalyptic feel that really suits the game and its genre. The random generation also adds a certain likeness to the levels as each level feels acceptably different from one another.
Bionic Dues is beautiful, maybe not the best graphic wise, but beautiful nonetheless, in its execution of its mechanics, the sounds of its weapons and the music within the game. It is refreshing to see an indie game with such high end quality and one that lives up to the amazing trailer it released. Looking at gameplay of the game does not do it justice as it can look very dull, but controlling it yourself is a whole other story.
I will give Bionic Dues a 5/5, it is an amazing game with few hiccups in its delivery, the only faults I could find are when the Robot’s AI seemed rather bad but this seems intentional in the way it is executed and is fixed mostly with harder difficulty settings. Lovers of strategy will have hours of fun with this game and those looking for a rogue-like with more strategy and planning will find this game to be a great addition to their library.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.