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Skyshine's Bedlam gamescom Preview

Skyshine's Bedlam gamescom Preview

I wasn’t even meant to be at the Versus Evil appointment; I decided to take it off a fellow writer as I had several hours spare. However, the games I saw there failed to disappoint me, each showing a variety of potential. Armikrog was the first game I saw there, followed by Bedlam, and this is my experience with it.

Bedlam is a roguelike turn-based strategy set in a post-apocalyptic world. The main aim of the game is to make it from one side of the wasteland to the other - a place called Aztec City - in your Dozer, while not running out of people, fuel, or food. Obviously, there will be things that get in the way.

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Since the world was thrust into apocalypse, four factions rose up for power; Marauders, Mutants, Rogue A.I, and Cyborgs. At the start of each run, you make a choice of one of these factions, and this choice affects gameplay and the direction you’ll need to take. But the longer you stay in the Wasteland, a higher your threat level means more dangerous threats to face, pushing you to make a balance between rushing and taking it slow to gather resources.

You traverse the Wasteland by simply selecting a location on the map and automatically driving there, costing you both food and fuel. Food and fuel can be given as a reward for winning battles or can actually be found in crates upon the battlefield. The requirements for food and fuel may sometimes mean you have to go back on yourself before progressing towards Aztec City, adding more room for possible error and fueling its roguelike-ness.

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The wasteland is split between the different factions, and, naturally, these factions are all opposed to each other, so conflict is common. Combat in Bedlam follows a similar style to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, with two actions being available before the opponent makes a move. Actions can be either moving to a space or attacking, and cover can be used to give a tactical edge to the fight.

You can pay to recruit new crew for your Dozer, or you, if you put on enough of a show, they can join you after beating them in battle. There are four different classes, and they each work in a ‘Rock Paper Scissors’ fashion. For instance, one class is a sniper that has large range and damage but minimal movement and health. Another class has the opposite, with large movement and health, but small range and damage. This allows him to rush the sniper from a large distance and kill him in a single turn, rather than other classes which would be unable to reach the sniper in a single move. Power-ups can also be collected within the fight to give the advantage. This can be a shield to block damage or missile strikes to lay waste to the opponent. However, sometimes the power-up crates (and fuel + food crates) will explode, dealing damage to anything near it.

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Depending on which faction you pick you have different bonuses that cause major differences to combat. For example, Mutants gain one point of health at the start of every of their turns (but start with low health), meaning they have to be dealt with relative haste before they become too powerful. Cyborgs randomly teleport about the map at the start of their turns, meaning actually being able to attack them may be difficult. Experimenting with the different factions and seeing which one suits your playstyle is key to progressing in Bedlam.

Bedlam looks like a great game for someone who likes a challenge. With the variety of encounters available and the appeal for multiple runs and different ways of playing the game, it seems like a great title that blends roguelike and TBS elements into what so far looks to be a great game.

gamescom 2015
Luke Greenfield

Luke Greenfield

Staff Writer

Just a guy that loves to write :)

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