Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Petroglyph Games

Review: Grey Goo

Mar 29 // Patrick Hancock
Grey Goo (PC)Developer: PetroglyphPublisher: Grey BoxRelease Date: January 23, 2015MSRP: $49.99  First of all, the cutscenes in this game are gorgeous. Right from the beginning the game hooks the player with its visuals. The opening cutscene is guaranteed to bring most players right in to the plot, however whether or not they care to stay is another issue. Grey Goo's plot revolves around the three factions, Beta, Humans, and Goo, fighting for control of the planet Ecosystem 9. And so they fight. The campaign would be rather lackluster if not for the cutscenes to keep the player interested. The difficulty can be adjusted for each mission, so if a mission is too difficult, players can drop the difficulty down a level when needed. Mission types can be varied, but tend to not stray far from destroying the enemy or defending an area. The campaign does give a relatively stress-free environment to play with the units and experiment, at least. Missions generally last between 30-60 minutes, depending on playstyle and the difficulty selected. Some missions are incredibly repetitive, which is why I recommend playing on Easy or Normal difficulty and just getting through to the cutscenes and messing around with the units. There are fifteen missions total, with five dedicated to each race. While the cutscenes are absolutely stunning, the campaign unfortunately ends with a cliffhanger, perfectly setting the game up for a sequel or an expansion (my guess would be on the latter). It is disappointing to say the least, especially since the cliffhanger it uses is so clichéd in nature. [embed]289484:57958:0[/embed] The inherent problem is that logically, everyone will want to play as the Goo. They are by far the most mechanically interesting race in the game, the most aesthetically pleasing, and the game is named after them. However, while the player can jump straight into the Goo in any skirmish, the Goo campaign, which helps teach players about the mechanics and strategies, is locked behind two other campaigns. Luckily there is an in-game encyclopedia to help players understand what units do and how each race works. Matches focus around gathering resources, building armies, and then destroying the opponents. There is only one resource, called "catalyst." Catalyst exists in certain areas around the map and needs to have a structure on top of it to harvest. The Beta and Human races place Refineries down with Extractors over resource areas, while the Goo has their Mother Goo unit hunkered down on top of them. There are no "worker units," so resource harvesting is more of a "set it and forget it" situation. Just don't leave your Refineries/Mother Goos unprotected! The Beta, the race first used in the campaign, focuses on base building through "Hubs." Hubs are small square buildings that can be placed anywhere with vision that connects to the production buildings on the sides. There are small, medium, and large hubs, each possessing the ability to connect to more and more buildings. Research buildings can also be connected and will impact any unit producing buildings on the same Hub. For example, if a Factory and a Tank Attachment are both on a Small Hub, the Factory can produce new unit types. The attachments are also used to research upgrades. While it is interesting to have a base broken up into small bits, the general strategy is still to protect the resource areas, generally leaving Beta players to clump everything together. Beta can also build walls and have units be stationed on top of said walls. This again promotes a base-clumping gameplay style and also promotes highly defensive strategies. Overall, the Beta don't feel much different in terms of playstyle compared to most of what the genre has to offer. The Human race is even more defensive, since they rely on low-health power grids for their structures. This means that bases must be in close proximity to one another. Humans are incredibly good at a turtling-style of play, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's the only viable strategy. Humans also have access to walls, which allow their units to travel and shoot through while preventing enemies from doing the same. The humans are pretty standard RTS fare, with the exception being the necessary power grid. The Goo are by far the most interesting race. I mean, there's a reason the game is named after them. The Mother Goo is the main building, and she is completely mobile. The Mother Goo acts as the resource gatherer; if you plop her on top of resources, she will collect them. The Mother Goo then creates Proteans, large or small, that can turn into units on the fly. This allows Goo players to bring some Proteans with them, and decide in the moment what those Proteans should turn into. It's an incredibly unique approach to an RTS faction, and it's no wonder that most players stick with the Goo when playing, from my experience.  The Proteans, including the Mother Goo, also do damage to units when they come in contact with them. Since the Mother Goo is pretty resilient, this strategy has some serious merit to it, especially when defending from an attack. It also creates an interesting dilemma at times: do I approach with my Mother Goo who is gathering resources, or leave her be to help my economy? I will say though, watching the Mother Goo slowly blob its way over to an enemy army to devour it is really something worth watching. Unless you're the other army. One of the most interesting things about Grey Goo is the upgrade or "tech" system in place. While playing as any race, players can use certain buildings to upgrade specific units in ways that better fit their playstyle. These are more than simple stat upgrades, but can drastically effect a way a unit is used. For example, the Bastion unit for the Goo can be upgraded to go into rampage mode when almost dead, increasing damage and then exploding. The pace of Grey Goo is slower than the APM-spamming click-fest of other games in the genre. It is also not as micromanagement heavy. It's a much more macro-focused game; players need to manage their resource input and output while simultaneously being aware of their opponents'. Grey Goo matches move along at a steady, but very manageable pace that should welcome newcomers to the genre without scaring them away with fast-paced skirmishes. It's been some time since the initial release, and the player base has dwindled to almost nothing. It's near impossible to find a match online unless it's planned out between opponents. This leaves the campaign and AI skirmishes as the only viable ways to play, which is unfortunate for an RTS. Petroglyph is paying attention, at least, since it recently put out a balance patch for Grey Goo - its first yet. Replays, a common feature among RTS games, are completely absent from Grey Goo. In the most recent balance patch, developer Petroglyph mentions that it is working towards the feature, but the fact that the game released without a replay function boggles the mind. Replays are crucial to help players get better as a community and to help move the metagame forward. Likewise, an "observer" function allowing other players to watch matches is also absent. There is a Map Editor, which is a great addition, but hardly as crucial as the aforementioned features. With a hefty asking price, Grey Goo has a handful of wonderful ideas while also treading similar ground, but the community dropoff rate has absolutely killed the online aspect of it. It's a solid real-time strategy that will likely please fans of the genre, but most may want to wait for the resurgence of players with the inevitable sequel or expansion, which will hopefully come with more features. The titular Goo race is one of the freshest aspects of the genre in a long time, and I hope that Petroglyph has some more great ideas up its sleeves for the future.
Grey Goo Review photo
A sequel to World of Goo! Wait...
Like a ball of goo, I have watched the life of Grey Goo, a new real-time strategy game from developer Petroglyph, expand with enthusiasm, begin rolling, and slowly but surely lose mass as it turns into a tiny goo-ball that no...

Grey Goo photo
Grey Goo

Grey Goo launch trailer shows who's the most ruthless of them all

I said 'Whose house?' 'Goo's house!'
Jan 19
// Brett Makedonski
Mankind's made an existence-long mission out of traveling to other planets and finding alien lifeforms. As this launch trailer for Grey Goo depicts, we might not necessarily like what we find. The Petroglyph real-time s...
Grey Goo photo
Grey Goo

Make like the Goo and absorb these Grey Goo screens

Seriously, they'll eat anything
May 21
// Brett Makedonski
One of the major aspects of Grey Goo that's likely to set it apart from other real-time strategy games is the inclusion of the titular Goo -- a race of nanites that can form into and break off from an amorphous blob. Whe...

Grey Goo aspires to get to the roots of the real-time strategy genre

Apr 04 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]272868:53272:0[/embed] To accommodate different styles, Grey Goo features three completely distinct factions to play as. The Humans are, as the developers called them, a "base-builder's dream." They are defined by a central hub from which they must build outward through conduit lines. Serving as the slowest and least aggressive of the races, Humans are "the masters of teleportation," as they're able to move structures and units around with ease. This makes Human bases particularly difficult to infiltrate. The faction that serves as a middle-ground of sorts is the Betas. The Betas are a combination of base-building and offensive attacks -- a fairly agile group that can build several production facilities. Anyone playing as the Betas will probably find themselves producing more units than buildings, as it suits their strengths. Players could find themselves overwhelmed with the idea of keeping track of the scattered nature of this race, but Grey Goo implements a system that doesn't require the player to choose the specifics of creating new units; it'll automatically select the most efficient place and create them for you, unless you say otherwise. It's a touch that focuses more on macro- rather than micromanagement. But the most intriguing of the races is the titular one -- the Grey Goo. The Grey Goo is a nanite blob that can split itself into smaller blobs as you see fit. It's (They're?) characterized by being extremely mobile and aggressive, the type that will rush head-on into enemies and consume them from within. As it hovers over resources, it gathers them, growing the Goo only to be broken off into more units. One of the Grey Goo's interesting features is the way that it uses verticality within the environments. For instance, if a group of units is up on a cliff, it can attack downward, but others couldn't attack up. The Grey Goo completely negates this. It rolls over hills, through trees, across rivers -- wherever it wants, really. Natural barriers that would be hinderances to the other two factions aren't even an inconvenience to the Goo. RTS players often have a tendency to become intimately familiar with one faction and stick with it. You can't help but feel like each race in Grey Goo is unique enough that doing this would be a disadvantage. Anyone looking to play the campaign will need to acclimate themselves to all factions, as over the course of fifteen missions, you play as each type. Petroglyph hopes to get back to the golden age of RTS games with Grey Goo, and that might happen by creating something that's supremely different. Balanced gameplay, three unique factions, and putting an emphasis on "strategy" rather than "real-time" is the technique that Petroglyph's going to employ. That's crazy enough to work, because out of the gate, it's poised to be a game that's endearing to fans of the genre.
Grey Goo preview photo
Three completely different factions
The real-time strategy genre has undergone quite the transformation throughout time. Seemingly gone are the days where games require that you focus on strategy, often replaced by experiences that reward combat ability and qui...

Preview: End of Nations is still free, and still fun

Sep 14 // Abel Girmay
End of Nations (PC) Developer: Petroglyph Games Publisher: Trion Worlds Release: Fall 2012 For the uninitiated, I'll run through the basics. End of Nations is a free-to-play MMORTS from some of the minds behind the Command & Conquer series. Like any MMO, the world here is persistent with players picking factions before jumping into seasonal campaigns. While a seasonal campaign was mostly hinted at when I saw the game last year, the system is pretty much fleshed out now. Basically, campaigns will be approximately month-long events where players will battle for control over the persistent world map. At the end of each season, the campaign will end and the maps will reset, with rewards and bonuses handed out to players on the winning faction. The seasonal campaigns also provides a more natural way to introduce new unit types, patches, and other forms of post-launch support. End of Nations plays around with established RTS conventions. The biggest change many of you have heard of by now is the absence of any sort of base building. All units that you bring into battle are determined by preset loadouts, called companies. An extra mechanic that Petroglyph has added to this feature is the ability to swap out entire companies mid-game. We got to play around with this feature on Nations' smallest 1v1 map. Playing "Last Man Standing," the objective was to simply survive the onslaught of AI-controlled enemies. With a middle barrier separating your units from directly combating your opponents', the competitive element comes in when you manage to gather enough resources on your half of the map, and send small mercenary units to sabotage your opponent. Being able to switch companies was particularly useful in this match, as my tank-heavy company was starting to fall apart against enemy air units. That being said, there are some countermeasures in place to prevent the system from being abused. For one, I lost my entire setup across the map, as my new company would only spawn at my starting landing pad. This wasn't too great a sacrifice on the small map I was playing on, but it's definitely a sacrifice worth considering when you're playing on the larger maps. Also, there is a delay between when your previous company disappears and your new one spawns. Other than that, we briefly played a 4v4 game of Domination, which plays similarly to other control-point game modes. There are three capture points on the map that award points for the amount of time you hold them, with the winner being declared when a team hits the score cap. Again, it plays how you would expect a game of Domination to play, but there are twists introduced with respect to the map design. The map we tried, called Resource Hog, was a resource-littered map, except many could only be reached by specific unit types. This really plays into how you coordinate with your teammates. Do you want to have a dedicated resource gatherer, or split the duties? Or maybe you want to wing it and swap out your companies if you don't have the right units to reach a certain area. In any case, you can't let them fall into enemy hands, as resources are the precious currency that fuels your super weapons, such as napalm and the dreaded nuke. It's a great time for free-to-play games. Just at this past PAX Prime, you couldn't walk for five minutes without seeing a bevy of impressive free-to-play titles. And as one of the few standouts of its subgenre, End of Nations is well poised to see its original promise pan out.

When I first saw End of Nations last year, I was one part intrigued, one part skeptical, and all together hoping that the promise of a massively multiplayer real-time strategy game would pan out. Since then, we at Destructoid...


End of Nations gets a color commentary treatment

Jun 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
A new trailer for Petrogylph Games' End of Nations has been released this morning, which features gameplay footage from a battle over an Austrailian uranium mine, accompanied by a pair of commentators performing in the ...

Nations can be ended in an armory

Apr 08
// Fraser Brown
In the upcoming free-to-play RTS, End of Nations, one of the most important features that players will encounter is the Armory. Trion Worlds and Petroglyph Games have offered a run down of how you can use the Armory to build ...

Preview: Fighting an evil U.N. in End of Nations

Mar 01 // Ryan Perez
End of Nations (PC) Developer: Petroglyph Games Publisher: Trion Worlds Release: Fall 2012 Freedom is indeed free I'm just going to get this out of the way, because plenty of people still think that "free" is synonymous with "cheap," especially with regards to game design. However, anyone who has played games like League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth can tell you that that's completely untrue. Also, anyone who has played Trion Worlds' previous MMO, Rift, can testify that this company certainly makes quality games. End of Nations is completely free. Yes, you read that correctly; you don't have to pay a single cent to experience all of the game's content. That's a pretty sweet deal. So if you're on the fence about whether or not to give this one a try, at least you aren't risking anything by doing so. I know you're probably thinking, "How do they plan on making any money?" Simply by providing anyone with time constraints (i.e. actual adults) the choice to buy experience boosts and other types of handicaps so they can enjoy the later content of the game a bit sooner than us leeches. That's all ... no pay-to-win crap that people usually complain about when it comes to F2P games. So freakin' relax. War has changed From what I played, I didn't manage resources or build bases of any kind. Matches were won by meeting a set of pre-existing conditions, or simply by outlasting the other player. Players start off by choosing one of two factions -- the Liberation Front or the Shadow Revolution -- before entering matches with their "squads," customizable sets of units that each player controls. As they progress through the game, players earn points that go towards upgrades, new units, and better super weapons ... pretty self-explanatory stuff. The first mode I played was creatively named "Last Man Standing," where I and another press member battled against waves of enemy forces -- both of us at separate ends of the map. Before the match, we picked a squad of units, and were tasked with defending our capture point for as long as we could; whoever lasted the longest won the match. The best part about this mode (and what led to my victory) was that I could send "gifts" over to the other player's blockade. In this case, "gifts" translates to clusters of mines that I dropped directly into his units. Other modes were a bit more directly competitive. At the event, the opposing side of the table consisted of Liberation Front players, whereas my side (designated as "Team Stinkeye" by yours truly) was nothing but Shadow Revolution. After starting at opposite ends of the map, both teams fought for control over different points on the battlefield; some points granted a bigger cash flow to repair units and buy super weapons, whereas others depleted enemy reinforcements at a faster rate. We lost, unfortunately, though Team Stinkeye shall never be forgotten I must say, having each member of the team control their own set amount of units is a rather interesting approach to RTS multiplayer. While most players at the event controlled their squads as a single entity, rather than splitting them up, I'm curious to see what strategies are formed with this different style of gameplay. The smell of napalm in the morning For those who don't know, the developer of End of Nations, Petroglyph Games, was founded by ex-employees of Westood Studios. Anyone familiar with Westwood surely knows of their flagship franchise, Command & Conquer, which is now seeing decent success under the guidance of Electronic Arts. So with End of Nations being developed by key minds behind one of the most influential strategy games ever, you can bet your war bonds that I'm enthusiastic. Also, it should come as no surprise that End of Nations features a similarly epic, baroque style that Command & Conquer had. Global conflict, evil military organizations and odd technologies are but a few of the features that'll make you Brotherhood of Nod fans feel right at home. The conflict itself is particularly familiar. Basically, some jerk decided that the United Nations wasn't living up to its intended purpose, so he decided to form the Order of Nations. Their goal: to wipe out all of the world's individual governments and replace them with a singular one. Unfortunately for all fascist regimes, people don't take too kindly to control these days, so, as a result, the two aforementioned factions were formed to combat this evil empire. To make things more interesting, both factions happen to dislike each other a bit ... hence FedExing landmines to my opponent. The overall conflict is a bit crude and cartoonish, but it does fit well with the game's number of modes and locales. These types of games never really lend themselves to plausibility, anyhow. Just fun. ...Only who is left End of Nations is an idea that I've always been interested in. Social titles like Empires and Allies have shown that strategy games work nicely with open and seamless communities, so I'm anxious to see how crazy the clashes in EoN will get. I won't lie, it is a different kind of RTS. If you're some sort of RTS god (or if you're Korean), then End of Nations is going to be unfamiliar territory for you. Still, that's no excuse to not give this game a shot when it launches this fall. Your wallet will remain untouched. Your pride, however, is another story. Later in the event, every member of the press teamed up against the Trion Worlds QA department. To say we were massacred and humiliated is a gross understatement. Jerks.

I've never had much of a knack for strategy or warfare. I'm not relentlessly evil enough to be a dictator, and I'm not selfless and stalwart enough to be some sort of freedom fighter. So when the big WWIII hits, I'm probably ...


A quick look at Petroglyph's Rise of Immortals

Sep 28
// Joshua Derocher
There are many good options out there for MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games these days. League of Legends is the frontrunner of the pack, Heroes of Newerth has a strong player base -- it also just went free-to-play...

Preview: End of Nations

Jul 19
// Abel Girmay
It hasn't been that long since we saw End of Nations, as we got an early look at this past E3, to be specific. This time around, we got to get hands-on with Trion Worlds's PvP mode for the very first time. For those not fami...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...