Psssst. Hey, kid. Could I interest you in some cyber-drugs? Here, get into my cyber-car and let me implant some more of those cyber-hacking mods into your cyber-neural cyber-network.
Let me get real with you guys for a second here. I have never had the need to play a dungeon crawler. “Why, you uncultured swine?” you ask. “You are not a true PC gamer, blah blah blah.” Yes, I can hear you typing away on your mechanical keyboard, listen to your mom and keep quiet. But honestly, they never looked that appealing to me – bad graphics and janky movement? Gimme back Red Dead Redemption 2, please!
So, what convinced me to play this one? IT’S CYBERPUNK. Not that Cyberpunk. The other, more generic cyberpunk. I have to drown my sorrows with something else until September okay.
Conglomerate 451 is a set in a dystopian future where the population has embraced cybernetic implants after a bioweapon bomb was dropped on the city during a war. You are the CEO of a corporation tasked to restore order in the sector of Conglomerate 451. Your company has access to cyber-clones that you can re-program to your neon cyberpunk heart’s content with an almost infinite number of mods. My starter set of cyber-clones, for example, included a Soldier, Infiltrator, and Drifter, each with their own cyber-skills, cyber-specialties, and other customisable cyber-this and cyber-that to choose between.
Traversing the city of Conglomerate, you’ll have random encounters where you need to kick some ass and take some SPUs, accompanied by a round basketball-looking cyber-robot companion who will chew off your ear about your shields being too low and how good this armless thing is at poker. In the streets, you can find random shops selling upgrades and some extra implants that will make your missions easier, as well as a shop selling some super hip cyber-drugs that will boost attack, improve your aim, vision, and base damage. Hey, wanna buy some cyber-death sticks?
But despite its trendy cyperpunk cyber-concept and cyber-aesthetics, Conglomerate 451 is a frustratingly limited game that quickly becomes cyber-monotonous. Your missions mainly consist of either eliminating a target, finding some dodgy substances, or super-secret cyber-operations the government will send you from time to time. On the missions, you also find things that you can hack on the way like doors with some extra loot inside and some screens in which you can extract memory data. I avoided these like the cyber-plague because I could never get the good shit and it’s all the game’s fault. And don’t play the cyber-minigames. I must say that during these missions I did get a bit lonely, because there aren’t any NPC interactions and the only “human” voice you get to hear is BallBot droning on about this boring mission.
[Conglomerate 451 is in Steam Early Access and exits on 20 February. A pre-launch review code was supplied by Evolve PR.]
Conglomerate 451 is a game with wasted potential, that presents an ostensibly authentic cyberpunk corporate dystopia but lacks a meaningful narrative, NPC interactions, and mission objectives. Kind of fun for an hour or two at a time, but needs more cyber-work.
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