Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville was officially released at the start of this month on Steam. The game only entered Early Access in May however it was open to testers well before then. The third Rebuild game began life on Kickstarter which was quickly very successful, some donators were given access to the game’s closed alpha and beta tests.
As previously mentioned Gangs of Deadsville is the third installment in the series, the first two games are actually free flash games that can be found on various flash game websites. Those games are very much like this one except, Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville is a much bigger game and as the official website says ” in many ways Rebuild 1 and Rebuild 2 were prototypes for this game”.
Developed by Northway Games this game is something that fans of Rebuild have been waiting for.
At the core the series has always been a strategy sim game which this one matches very well. Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville is very much a 4x strategy game fit for both casual and hardcore players.
The plot for Rebuild has always been relatively simple: There has been a zombie apocalypse and you have grouped with other survivors for safey, somewhere along the way you decided to retake your city from the dead.
In Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville that is still the case and players need to meet certain goals by expanding their territory and take taking back buildings from the Zeds. Along the way you small settlement will develop and you will need to decide what kind of government you want to have, what kind of people you want to be and ultimately what the ideals of the city are.
Unlike the previous games factions have been added and other groups are also seeking to expand in the same city as you. These factions can be very aggressive and it is up to you how you choose to deal with them; factions can be exterminated along with the Zed or can become your allies- for the right offer.
The game demands resource and survivor management in order to survive the higher difficulty ratings, this means taking care of your survivors health is very important as there is a limited number of survivors left in a city.
Survivors have five different skills which can be leveled up in schools, these skills determine a survivors role and ability in certain situations. Managing this important to keep the city safe and functioning well as well as managing resources and researching new technologies for the settlement. Survivors can be trained in schools to raise their skill level but first you will need to reclaim a school.
All of your survivors require a place to live, food and have two slots for carrying items; one for weapons and one for non-combat items. They can also be given perks once they begin to tell you their backstory and you don’t need to choose the one that would most suit them based on the story either.
Children also exist within the game though they don’t currently have much of a function. They take up a non-combat slot on the survivor they’re ‘equipped’ to
The gameplay for Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville can get quite repetitive at times as the objective is typically the same each game; capture a reclaim a certain number of buildings, establish a government and escape the city to move onto the next place in need of a human settlement. This is expected with this style of game but doesn’t mean every game is the same, other features can completely change a game making each city a little bit different.
When starting a random game there are various options to affect the city such as the adding of a river with a single crossing point which can block off a whole section of the map if another faction gets that tile first. These options do affect the game regardless of the difficulty setting you opt to play on.
Factions don’t have to only be annoying. Sure they take the tiles you probably want such as that farm or the only fire station on the map but they can be quite useful too. In the previous games trading was only available with a lone merchant named Gustav but now you can trade with the other factions and with Gustav when he comes round. Gustav of course has a few of his series iconic offers such as use of his ‘love caravan’ with some lovely ladies who are slightly suspicious of what their bodyguards are actually their to do.
The trading aspect is extremely useful when resources are running low, the more a faction likes you the more willing they are to part with goods and get less in return. This does take time to build up however and you had best be careful to not upset the faction once you’ve got it to an exchange rate you like. All kinds of resources can be traded including food, medicine, weapons and fuel and each item is worth a certain amount which you will need to match in order to trade.
Unlike many other zombie games, when a zombie attack happens there is no shooter minigame to kill them instead it all depends on your level of defense. Zombies come in several different forms; the ones who stay in one spot and multiply around your town, the zombie mobs are the first wave that actually attack the fort and zombie hoardes are a stronger wave of zombies that attack the fort.
When dealing with zombies attacking the fort you will need to position survivors to fight them off. A colour scheme is used to show the level of danger around the fort which you should be watching. If zombies do break through the wall then you may lose the tile, a survivor may be injured or even die in the attack.
Random events also occur which can ,depending on your choice, have both negative and positive affects on your settlement. For example you can find rabbits and need to decide whether to eat them, keep them as pets or go 50/50 and whichever one you choose can affect your survivors.
Happiness can actually be a difficult thing to keep up depending on your starting position in a game. Many things bring this down and when it gets too low survivors may leave the camp, commit suicide, riot and may even just refuse to work.
The research tree is a nice addition to the game and can provide plenty of bonus’s for the camp such as extra food and more defense so it is definitely something that should be undertaken. Researching can only be done at a Laboratory however so you will need to reclaim the building first. The length of time each piece of research will take is determined by the survivor(s) allocated to the task.
Building management is also very important especially early in the game when you have limited space. It is possible to change the building on a tile for materials and a bit of a survivors time. Survivors can also be given jobs in certain buildings which produces certain bonuses.
There are certainly a lot of features to the game which add to the length of a single game and the games entertainment value.
When it comes to graphics Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville certainly has a nice cartoony style which suits the humour used in the game. They are relatively simple but fitting and works well for this style of game.
There is a wide selection of backing music which goes on in the background as you play with some ambient tracks inbetween. Some of the tracks aren’t too great for this and can be a little bit sudden to come back to after some nice ambient sounds, if it really bothers you however there is an option to mute it.
The other audio to the game sounds great and really works with the trigger though they can sometimes be a little sudden especially zombie attacks.
The campaign mode is perfect for players who are both new and veterans of the game series. It starts off in a nice small easy town to ease the new players into it. Each town is larger and more difficult that the last making it a great starting point for new players. For series veterans there’s an option to adjust the game difficulty so the campaign can suit all players.
Replay value wise, the game has plenty. This is perfect for those who want a game that can be played for months on end without getting bored. The maps however are all of a similar style but can be adjusted slightly along with the difficulty setting.
While it is a zombie game Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville is a strategy game first and foremost, it fills a gap in the zombie-strategy genre that other games have tried and failed at. The game is from a team of developers that clearly this series and are dedicated to making the game even better with every new patch. Any casual strategy player can pick the game up and play without needing to spend hours learning how to play. Certainly a strategy game for all strategy fans to consider.