Besides playing video games, writing about them and saving the world (also in them), I do have other special talents. One of them is my love for cooking. Playing Re-Legion reminded me of my early days of cooking where I’d try to replicate some grand dish but whether for my lack of skill (at the time) or some other mishap, it rarely turned out to be exactly how I wanted. I’d do everything by the book but somehow things weren’t the same. Re-Legion is a good example of having all the right ingredients, following all the standards for an RTS game and yet….things just don’t work.
The year is 2184. Everything is filled with electronics and robotics and despite all the advancements, things are pretty bleak. People are living day by day in their miserable existence, being paid the bare minimum for their work and having no hope for the future (sounds like Amazon opened their headquarters pretty much everywhere by that point). You are Elion, our famed protagonist that decides to take the matters in his hands and lead everyone into a brighter tomorrow. And what better way to gather a large number of followers in such a short while than by starting a religion (since Twitter doesn’t exist anymore). So the goal is simple – get as many followers as you can, destroy the corporations and stomp on many robot heads as possible and hopefully a new era of prosperity and decent living wage awaits us.
Re-Legion is a simple RTS at its core. Elion can get regular citizens to his side by clicking on them (conversing with them) and in a few seconds, they are ready for your every command. Random citizens are pretty much everywhere, just mindlessly walking around so if you ever lose anyone from deadly robots, you can just look around and convert a new one. As you go through missions, you gain more abilities (such as buffing and healing your followers) and different units to control but most tasks are pretty repetitive. Break into an enemy stronghold, hack this or that or kill certain enemies. Following these short quests will eventually result in an abrupt mission/level complete screen and it all gives you an impression that all of those are randomly generated (they’re not, though). One of the main issues is the followers AI (and enemy AI while we’re at it). They will often take suicidal routes to the objective, focus on another enemy while one is shooting them point blank. The enemies are not strangers to this “feature” as well. I’d often see them getting stuck on the edges of building and city walls, hopelessly running in place trying to get to me.
To be honest, it’s not like I expected much from an indie game in terms of visuals but some stuff could have used a double pass. It’s not unusual to see jagged edges of objects while zooming in. I have to give credit where credit is due since the game does have some unique aesthetic. The mixture of cyberpunk and hopelessness is shown rather well and it’s emphasized by an overall narrative of the game.
Re-Legion has some catchy synthwave and vaporwave tunes and it’s a selling point if we’re talking about the music background, but the voice acting could definitely use some polish. Sometimes it’s brought far into the focus, feeling like everyone is speaking through a tin can. Our protagonist is supposed to be this charismatic leader with a stern voice but the reality couldn’t be farther from that. His heart and mind is in the right place, but not the voice as well.
While Re-Legion is something that I wouldn’t write off completely, I would recommend it to only hardcore RTS fans. The RTS repertoire is kinda slim at the moment, so Re-Legion is cornering the market for the time being. I plan to revisit it at some point but at the current stage, understand that you’re going for a barebones and raw RTS experience.
Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.