They Are Billions – Defend Your Base…While You Can
The first game I played of They Are Billions from Numantian Games, it quickly showed me how woefully unprepared I was for this new type of gameplay experience. Sure They Are Billions looks and for the most part, plays like your standard Real Time Strategy game. All the familiar trappings are present, base building, resource gathering, micromanagement of units, all play a part in the game and those who have put any time into games like StarCraft will be right at home.
However the first time a significant horde descends upon you, you will know that this game is a totally different animal.
As I was exploring with my one lone soldier, looking for places to expand, trying to get the lay of the land, the attack on my small base had begun. I had treated the game like a normal RTS and this was my doom. Hundreds of zombies streamed between my haphazardly placed buildings and my almost nonexistent defenses like butter. When the attack came all I could do was watch in horror at my complete and utter failure. Within moments the horde had eradicated my base and I was met with the game over screen.
This is where They Are Billions comes into its own. When you realize you have been playing the wrong game.
For my next playthrough, I focused more on defensive walls and keeping my buildings tight. I only explored when I needed to expand or had to find a resource of iron. I thoughtfully prepared my defenses and waited. I knew they were coming and I was pleased when my small group archers kept the horde back from my walls.
Again, however, I grew brazen. I wanted to expand too quickly. That desire to unlock cool new units took over, and I grew complacent. While slowly clearing out a new piece of land from the undead stragglers, again my base was hit by the oncoming horde. While my brave defenders tried in vain to keep the walls clear they were simply too few against too many. I hurriedly dispatched defenders from other sections of my now quite considerable wall but it was too late. The defenses had fallen and I was once again greeted with the game over screen and the promise that maybe next time I will do better.
Though They Are Billions is in early access the gameplay available is already very solid. The game takes the standard RTS trappings and makes you think about them in new directions. This is a game about surviving, not beating the other player. You can reach the “end” and survive but doing so will be a long journey of trial and error.
Thankfully the maps are random and this keeps what could be repetitive gameplay from becoming stale. As you may develop new strategies you will constantly have to implement them in new ways based off of your surroundings. I was constantly discovering new ways to work the terrain in with my concept of a base to keep my workers and resources safe.
Already the game is off to a great start and that is with only the survival mode included. When the game fully releases sometime in 2018 Numantian Games is promising a full campaign mode to go along with the current offerings. The campaign will challenge you with building successful colonies and to connect them by rail to slowly clean the map of the infected and rebuild civilization while at the same time discovering the origins of this infected apocalypse.
From the unique steampunk art style to the slick polished gameplay there is a reason why many have been talking about They Are Billions. Though the zombie genre can get a little tired out, clever gameplay mechanics like those that are present in They Are Billions keep our love for the undead rising from the dead.
You can find out more about the game by visiting Numantian Games on their website and you can get your hands on the title now through Steam Early Access.
Good luck, you just might need it!