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Conglomerate 451 Gamescom Preview

by Joost "Myrthos" Mans, 2019-09-10

Conglomerate 451 is a roguelite first person cyberpunk dungeon crawler that is made by Runeheads, who are also responsible for Fall of Light. In the game you play the head of a special agency and you are asked by the government of Conglomerate city, to restore order in sector 451, by defeating the corrupt corporations in that sector. 
The game has two modes that you can play: a story mode and an endless mode. In the story mode you follow a story, by means of missions that takes you to four different districts in the city, each with four different locations that are unlocked in sequence, which result in 12 different locations. At the end of each district there will be a boss fight. When all four bosses have been dealt with, you get to play a final mission with a final boss. 
In the endless mode the missions and the dungeons you visit in those missions, will be procedurally generated,so you can continue playing for as long as you want.


As with all roguelites, combat is a very important part of the game and in this case you, as the head of the special agency, get to send out a team on missions. You get to build that team and in this case you get to literally build it, as the team is made of human clones that are created in a special pod. During the creation process you get to select the name, looks, class , skills and the DNA mutations of the clone. The DNA mutations that are available to you depends on research that you initiated in this area, before the creation of the clone. You can't research every possible thing, so you have to make choices during the game about what topics you want to invest your research in. One of the things you most probably need are regeneration pods that increase the chance to heal your clones as any damage they incur doesn't heal by itself and sending wounded clones into the field means sending clones that are weaker. 

Each mission will have an objective that needs to be accomplished. This objective is different in each mission, but in the part of the game that I was shown, it was a simple mission to kill everyone. A mission is divided into two parts. First there is the city, which is not procedurally generated. You can explore the city and interact with NPCs. You can buy drugs that the clones can use and software, which can be used for drones, which can go on a mission as well. You can also hack one of the terminals, which is accomplished by completing a mini game. If you succeed to complete that mini game, you can unlock one of the perks that the console has to offer, like unlocking all doors in the dungeon you are about to enter. You need to complete the hack in a certain time as any access is continuously scanned. If you take too long the enemies are alerted and will unlock one perk against you, like them becoming more powerful, or locking your map, so that it becomes useless. To successfully hack a console the character who is doing the hack needs a hacking skill. 
The effect of the weapons of your clones can be modified by placing special items that you can extract from devices located in the city, on your weapon. These items can have different effects and the amount that can be placed on the weapon depends on the level of the weapon, but ranges between two and five. 

The second part of a mission is combat, which is turn-based. In the fight you can try to hit specific parts of the body of your opponent. If, for example, you hit the legs of an opponent, you could immobilize that opponent. There is also a combo between skills possible, like a skill that marks an enemy and a second skill that needs a marked enemy, which together can do quite some damage. This can also be done by different squad members, so the combo can be completed in one turn. There are in total 30 different types of enemies you get to fight in the game, so there should be sufficient variety.
During combat you can also hack enemies, and when they have a cybernetic implant, sabotage that implant. If someone for example has cybernetic eyes, you could make that character blind. The success of such an action is based on your hacking skills.
Whenever a character has very low health, a check is done at the start of the character' s turn and when successful the character will be able to join combat again or otherwise the character will die. And as the game has permadeath, you want to prevent that from happening when it is one of your clones.
There are also missions in the game that you do not have to play, where you can send one of your clones on a special mission. It will go there and after some time it will come back, with perhaps some injuries, but hopefully also a successful completed mission. 

As mentioned before, any damage that your clones receive will not heal by itself. There are two types of permanent damage statuses: pain and intoxication. Pain will grow every time the clone loses HP. When the HP is at a certain level, the clone will suffer a physical trauma at the location where the pain is felt. Failure to heal the trauma will make it permanent, resulting in, for example, losing an eye, a leg or an arm. Treatment needs to be done in a regeneration pod, which can be made available when it is researched.
Intoxication is caused by using drugs. In Conglomerate 451, drugs are like what magic potions are in a fantasy game, which can boost the statuses of the clones. However, using too many drugs, might lead to a mental disorder, which can also become permanent when not healed properly. This can only be accomplished when the detox tanks have been researched and unlocked. 


Your research department plays an important role in the success of completing the missions. Next to the regeneration and detox pods, you can also research advanced technologies which unlocks new features and powers. Depending on your research you might even reach a point where you get to research afterlife technology, which allows you to bring back lost clones, by restoring the memory of that lost clone in a new body. An analogy with Altered Carbon was mentioned by the developer that showed me the game, with the difference that in Conglomerate 451 they don't have a disk in their neck. 

Runeheads are creating a game that mixes roguelite with a story and with several RPG elements. If I go by the current reviews on steam, which are mostly positive, they must be doing something right. 
Conglomerate 451 is currently in early access at the moment and is scheduled for release later this year. It is estimated that the game could be finished in about 40 hours, but they plan to make another scenario available with an extra 10 hours a few months after the release of the game.


Box Art

Information about

Conglomerate 451

Developer: RuneHeads

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Technofantasy
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2020-02-20
· Publisher: 1C Company

More information