Genetic Disaster – Review
Genetic Disaster, a game I have a love/hate relationship with. It is a blast to play, but there are some glaring issues with it, unfortunately. This game has a lot of promise and is still being worked on by the devs. I will go over all of our experiences we’ve had while playing this game, some good, some bad. Luckily for me, I teamed up with 2woGood to test out all of the online features. His thoughts will also be listed below.
As with most twin-stick shooters today, you aim with one stick and move your character around with the other stick while transversing through randomly generated rooms. Genetic Disaster doesn’t stray far from this formula. While rooms may be random, the layouts of the individual rooms hardly change and rooms with puzzles become more of a chore than a fun addition after the 5th time completing it. With the addition of online co-op, it really helps the game’s experience. They do add a new element to the genre that is fun and frustrating at the same time, there is a timer in the upper right hand of the UI, that adds modifiers to the game. Sometimes it’s nothing, sometimes it’s fire, bombs, or the friendship questioning ‘friendly-fire’. These modifiers are fun and make you pay attention and change your tactics a little. The only thing is, there’s no announcement or alert that they changed. It would be a great addition if some audio cue told you that those missiles you’re launching around the room now are killing your friend.
The four characters are fun and each has their own health levels and skill to master. Each of the characters skills requires you to charge them through killing the enemies throughout the stage. Devil has an EPIC blast as you’ll see in the Twitch clip below, and was 2woGood’s choice of character.
The bosses are large and will make you use some tactics, you can’t just run and gun and expect to walk away untouched. For example, the first boss had shields and would throw bombs, you have to pick up the thrown bombs and heave them back at him to destroy the shields around him. After you create a hole in his shields you can finally start popping off his health. Once you complete a floor you can then use your hard earned money for a perk, this could be an extra heart, be able to move faster, or a huge benefit at the cost of a heart. There will be 4 to choose from (in co-op) and you cannot choose the same one.
Throughout the levels, you’ll get new weapons, and there are a ton of them. They have the same color system as most RPG’s, green, blue, gold, purple, etc. The more epic the color, the more epic the damage. Like I said, this game has a lot going for it, but the bugs hurt it, I will get into the bugs in the “Bugs” section below
I do enjoy the overall graphics. The colors are great, the characters are detailed pretty well and they feel brought to life. Not like a poor flash animation. There are no cutscenes or in-game videos to boast about. The art style really fits with the whole theme of the game. Nothing looked out of place or obnoxious.
The audio was ok. Nothing to swoon over. The gun blasts and explosions were fun and enjoyable to listen to, somewhat rewarding for charging up your skill and unleashing havoc on enemies. Again I will go over bugs in the ‘Bugs” section below.
This is where I wish I had more in this game. Bugs can be fixed, but without a story, the game falls short of grabbing you and bringing you into the world of Genetic Disaster. What is Genetic Disaster? I can assume that the four characters are the ‘genetic disaster’. But why? Are they experiments? Are they trying to escape? I feel they have an amazing story waiting to be told but it is nowhere to be found.
This game has some replay value, even with its flaws. I feel that’s saying a lot. Some of the earlier bugs were game breaking. After the major patch, some bugs still hurt the experience but that didn’t really stop us from wanted to play a bit more. There are no collectibles, no achievements, no unlockables. Nothing to really want to drive you to play more, but we still did. I think after a couple more patches this will go up quite a bit.
Normally I don’t have a section like this, but I feel it’s warranted for this game. When we first started playing, there was a game-breaking bug. the online co-op would not sync. I had enemies 2woGood couldn’t see and the other way around. The audio wasn’t synced and the music broke hearing only ‘wind chimes’, the bosses weren’t either. I had holes in the floor and the shields to take down, while he was able to shoot at will without shields in his game. During purchase areas, we couldn’t see prices at times. It always seemed to be worse on the ‘hosts’ end. while the invitee had ‘easy mode’ with things not working.
The unfortunate thing about Genetic Disaster is that it was clearly released in an unfinished state. There are a handful of minor bugs, and imperfections that I would love to see addressed in the future, and hopefully the developers find the time and resources to polish this otherwise charming project. I especially enjoy the hand-drawn art style and quirky character designs that clearly had a lot of heart put into them. I would also love to hear more about the story behind the adorable animal test subjects that make up the playable cast as well as the bosses that appear throughout the game. Gameplay-wise the most major hurdle right now is, in my opinion, the camera. Occasionally an enemy might spawn or meander off-screen and send out a projectile that you weren’t ready for and couldn’t possibly react, which feels a little unfair at times. All in all, I have found the game pretty fun, in the solo mode and the hectic online co-op. I sincerely hope this game gets the attention it deserves as it seems like a real passion project.
This game has potential. I feel it should not have left the Early Access stage of its development as the game has some issues to work out and needs some heavy polish on certain parts of the game. As I stated before and 2woGood’s thought’s confirmed it, this game is fun, despite the obvious issues it has. If the developer reads this, please continue working on this game. I feel your game is far from where you want it and it deserves to see the life that it was meant to have. Honestly, if there is anything we can help with please let us know.
Note: GameOctane Editor Jason Germino received a digital copy for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Fun co-op twin stick
+ Beautiful characters and artwork
+ Timed modifiers spices it up
- A lot of bugs
- Needs major polish
- Lack of story to pull you in