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Research and Destroy: A Simple But Fun Strategy Game Review

When we think of strategy games, it is undeniable that we are often overwhelmed by the many options, menus, and commands they have; Others, without further ado, are games with a more unbridled and casual style. Research and Destroy fall into this second category, a simple but fun strategy game.

PROSCONS
It is a casual and fun gameThe randomness of the enemies
Your campaign is very completeYour progression system
Amusing b-movie horror vibesThe simplicity of its gameplay
Solid turn-based gameplay balance

Developed by Implausible Industries, Research and Destroy is the first video game developed by this studio, taking advantage of their experience with Unreal Engine 4 and their support for the development of various Japanese games. On this occasion, they present a quite interesting strategy game that, in addition, comes directly to Game Pass.

  • Developer(s): Implausible Industries
  • Publisher(s): Spike Chunsoft
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: April 25, 2022

Technical section

The impression that Research and Destroy give in the first contact is that it is an indie game with very few resources. The menus are quite simple, with a 3D, a priori, and crappy. It is the chosen aesthetic, so its resemblance to the comics and that burlesque style are charming during each game.

The 3D does not become a problem during the interaction with the environment; normally, video games of this style contain many bugs and visual errors that hinder the gaming experience. In this case, the studio’s experience with Unreal Engine 4 is pretty solid, as I experienced virtually no game-breaking bugs during my playthrough. That yes, the game is not except for errors, some funny ones that add that comic tone that the video game has , others, such as the problem of the light in the aiming of the Laserizer, preventing the target from being seen well because a green light hid part of the look, constantly bother.

For me, there are strange interactions that became the biggest technical obstacle in the game. The stones, potholes, climbable objects and other obstacles or elements of the environment that can be climbed are, without a doubt, a headache. For example, moving my character happened to me that he was walking on a rock to cut a path and fell to the ground as if he tripped; this small mistake could damage an entire game because the turns are short, and every wrong step penalized very heavily.

On the other hand, playing on an Xbox One, the game did not present any significant frame drops, except for specific moments in which I forced the machine and generated more explosions than I should have; even so, the game remains stable throughout the moment. The number of enemies on the stage did not present any problem either, this could be a concern for many, but the game remains stable even with the interaction of many enemies simultaneously.

Gameplay

Research and Destroy is a turn-based strategy game where you have to complete missions within a vast setting; this video game reminds others like XCOMGears Tactics, and Worms. The game takes place on a destroyed European continent overrun with monsters who believe that the existence of humans is just a myth; In this context, three scientists must investigate and eliminate with “science” all the monsters that appear on their way.

The premise is quite simple; you have three characters with different playable characteristics; Gary, the scientist in the radioactive suit, is slow and has his gun attached to his arm, so he can’t run; Larry and Marie both do pretty much the same thing, only Larry runs faster. Each one has 8 seconds per turn to move, shoot and aim; after this time, they will not be able to move or interact in any way, very much in the style of Worms.

With these rules, the game presents some missions within each scenario to complete; they are not very varied since they are summarized in killing monsters, reaching areas, or interacting with an object. Now, this routine does not become repetitive because the variety of scenarios and situations that can be presented is the best of the video game.

To advance in the campaign we must liberate zones on the map, build a university, investigate and defend until all the zones are liberated. In principle, this system keeps you playing endlessly in search of freeing the zones. Still, the problem comes when you have to invest $ience (in-game currency) in building universities and researching. The balance of money earned per mission cost per action, and number of tasks is not well implemented, starting because if you don’t invest in upgrading your weapons first, the difficulty curve will lead to frustration.

It happened to me; I freed 3 zones and built a university in each one; after this, I bought all the defenses and unlocked a new weapon; from here on, they didn’t attack me again, so I never had to defend myself in my whole game. The problem here is that I spent all my money on the construction, I had nothing left to research and upgrade my weapons, and I had to suffer a lot to liberate other more difficult areas. The game does not allow you to repeat missions or go out on simpler expeditions to collect $ience, forcing you to face impossible areas to scratch the little money that a defeat leaves you.

Going deeper into the gameplay, I must say that I have been impressed by the number of hours I have played a strategy game without any apparent development in its gameplay. Let me explain; Research and Destroy is a very simple game that does not innovate in practically anything, but even so, it achieves a very fun experience that is reminiscent of those casual games of Worms where you just wanted to have fun.

The controls are very simple, and the variety of weapons is nothing to write home about since I spent the game with the weapons at the beginning of the game (added to the fact that I didn’t have $ience until halfway through my game).

Duration

The game also has a quite fun cooperative mode; the laughs caused by exploding a red barrel next to your friend and flying out of control or being saved at the last moment with an explosion to get away from danger is invaluable. The game in this mode is much more complicated, so I do not recommend that you take this challenge seriously to complete the campaign.

The biggest problem with the game is its simplicity, the variety of enemies is considerable, but the number of options you have to eliminate them is not worth it. There are no more than 3 interactive elements with which to destroy enemies, being limited to walking and shooting. The strategy is not complex; what I had to think about the most was how to use the Laserizer, the most broken weapon in the game.

It is not a very complex game; its difficulty falls on the level of your weapons and the randomness of the reappearance of the enemies, being sometimes frustrating having to die to raise funds and thus be able to improve the equipment.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Research and Destroy is a game with many hours of play, my case is quite particular, but it reflects that despite having errors in its structure, it is a game that is worth investing your time. The main campaign, including the defenses, can easily last more than 25 hours of play.

Now, the game contains many more things than those mentioned here, but I think it is prudent not to mention all its functions since it is vital for the experience to discover each weapon, mission, or enemy. Research and Destroy aren’t perfect, but what are you waiting for if it’s a great casual alternative to strategy games like Xcom and on Game Pass?

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