Conglomerate 451by Aethyna Nov 7, 2019 | 1 Votes | 65 Played | 0 Reviews 8 rate Set in a world where cities are taken over by unscrupulous corporations, it is now up to you and your agency to liberate Sector 451 in the city of Conglomerate and show these corporations who’s the boss in this retro-style, first-person roguelike dungeon crawler, Conglomerate 451! Play Now Similar Games Played
People Also PlayedNote: Conglomerate 451 is still in early-access and hence, the game is still undergoing some changes over time. The features mentioned in our review may or may not be present in the final product. We will definitely be updating our review once the game is officially launched.
Boasting of a cool cyberpunk theme, Conglomerate 451 is a retro-style, first-person roguelike dungeon crawler with turn-based combat and a grid-based map. Set in a world where cities are taken over by unscrupulous corporations, it is now up to you and your agency to liberate Sector 451 in the city of Conglomerate and show these corporations who’s the boss!
The year is 2099 and the city of Conglomerate is at war. Ruled under the iron grip of powerful and corrupted corporations, everything goes in the city as long as the corporations get their cut. Crimes became rampant and outlaws roamed the streets; the situation is rapidly getting out of control.
In this game, you are the newly-appointed director of an agency of ghost-class agents, a.k.a. battle clones, that will be sent into the worst part of the city, Sector 451. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to clean up Sector 451 and restore order… regardless of the cost.
To start, you’ll need to set up your agency, which namely involves deciding on a name and choosing a logo. Once done, you’ll be able to assemble your dream team of battle clones.
Similar to some squad-based games, you’ll get to create and customize each individual member of the team. Besides picking one of up to 8 different backgrounds, a.k.a. “classes”, you can also choose which skills they should have and even modify their genetic makeup to gain certain specific perks and extra stats.
However, you won’t have access to all of the customization features at the get-go. Instead, you’re expected to perform research (which requires technological materials and time) to unlock new genetic types as well as earn reputation by completing missions to unlock more backgrounds.
As a grid-based first-person roguelike, Conglomerate 451 plays a lot like those retro-style dungeon crawlers where you can only “see” in one direction at a time and you can rotate your view in a 90-degree angle if you want to view other “sides” of the grid you’re standing on.
This is a fairly bold design move by the developers to be honest, mainly because many of the younger gamers (think young adults and teens) nowadays have never been exposed to a retro dungeon crawler before and the only dungeon crawlers they probably know are action-RPGs like Diablo, Torchlight, Grim Dawn, and Path of Exile. So, despite being able to provide a somewhat nostalgic feel for older gamers, this might be a hit or miss for some of the younger demographic since the gameplay and movement in the retro version can feel a bit too rigid.
That being said, Conglomerate 451 has tons of randomly-generated missions for you to complete since they are your main and only way of progression. In fact, I’d go as far to say that the game has a bit of overreliance on fairly repetitive missions to the point of being somewhat grindy, especially if you have to level a new clone from the ground up.
Anyway, to embark on a mission, you just need to have at least 3 clones to bring along. Missions in this game can be split into 2 phases – the first will occur in the city where the goal is to find an elevator which will bring you over to the second phase, the actual mission location.
If you’re lucky, you may even find extra loot or a hackable computer that will grant you a special perk of your choice for that mission, whether it is a full map reveal or my personal favorite – allowing each enemy encounter to be an “ambush”. These missions will reward you and your team with credits, technology, and exp points when completed.
Engaging the many enemies you may encounter as you’re exploring the dungeon-like map in the game’s turn-based combat is pretty much a core aspect of the game as well. The combat system here is fairly decent. Besides being turn-based, the game even lets you “aim” your attacks on specific body parts of your enemy, allowing you to gain a nice critical chance bonus if you manage to land a particularly difficult hit, such as a head shot.
Catching your enemies unaware, or “ambushing”, is also pretty important feature of Conglomerate 451’s combat that will help tremendously, especially when the odds of the fight is not in your favor, mainly because it’ll give you an extra round of actions before the enemy could even do anything. To ambush, you can use an alternate path and sneak up behind them – though you can’t just backstab them like in Assassin’s Creed and call it a day – or take the initiative to engage them in battle before they engage you. If you manage to hack a computer, you can even gain the perk where every enemy encounter is an “ambush”.
Another interesting part about its combat is how the “battlefield” itself play a role. If you are starting a fresh round, you can move your entire squad for a couple of steps to either make it much easier to hit an enemy or to hopefully be far away enough to turn all of your enemies’ shots into misses. There are even objects that, due to the line of sight, can be used as a cover but know that your own shots will be blocked too if there’s like a solid pillar in front of you.
The enemy type is crucial as well since the game has “hard counters” that you really need to pay attention to. There are many skills in the game that will deal extra damage to certain types of units and if you bring the wrong squad members, you will quickly realize how squishy your team is as they get themselves wiped out. Plus, if your team members do die in this game, you won’t be able to resurrect them – may them rest in peace. Instead, you’ll be forced to create new battle clones and level them up from scratch.
Now, in addition to all the fighting and dungeon crawling, Conglomerate 451 included two (so far) mini-games to help spice things up a bit. The first is the hacking game that’s, to put it simply, a hidden object game but instead of actual objects, you look for the correct lines of codes within the time limit. Naturally, every wrong line of code you click on will deduct your remaining time.
The second and much more challenging mini-game is what the game calls a SPU extraction. It’s a timing-oriented, reflex-based game where you’ll need to click whenever one of the spinning nodes is within the very small green box. It’s basically similar to the mini-game where there’s a meter with a rapidly moving indicator in it and the goal is to click whenever the indicator lands within the green “safe zone” … just way harder!
Funnily enough, this mini-game took me (an EFL person) quite a while to figure out because I don’t really understand what the tutorial is trying to say. I’d highly recommend using a more interactive-style or even a GIF-style tutorial in addition to the existing text version.
Since Conglomerate 541 is still in early access, the game does have a couple of glitches and bugs. The game itself could use a bit more optimization as well since the game seems to freeze up while it’s loading. Maybe the devs could also consider making their interfaces a bit more player-friendly so that we no longer need to make those extra clicks just to switch between viewing different branches of research while within the research lab, for instance.
Conglomerate 541 is a single-player game and hence, it doesn’t have any social features. There seem to be a bit of a missed opportunity here for the devs to make full use of Steam’s workshop feature and let players to create their own dungeons using readily-available in-game assets. This dungeon creator would be useful in giving the game a bit more lifespan beyond the campaign.
Right off the bat, Conglomerate 541 reels you into its dystopian-like world with its cool cyberpunk theme and story. The neon-filled graphics are astounding here and the atmosphere it provides is suitable for the game and its theme. However, despite enjoying a select few techno music, I find the music in this game a tad bit “overboard” (read: sounds a bit like it’s just mashed together). Maybe the music requires a remix? This is merely a personal view/preference though, and who knows? You may like the music more than me!
With a challenging gameplay, cool theme, and nice story to boot, Conglomerate 451 is a retro-style dungeon crawler that could end up being a niche hit. However, the game still has some room to grow and improve, particularly when it comes to its interfaces and mini-game tutorial, as well as its choice of music. Definitely a game worth keeping an eye on for us usual folk, and if you’re a true fan of the genre, you might be interested to buy the game and give it a whirl yourself!