When kids of the same age group get together, you can expect plenty of exciting games to follow. One of those game that fascinated me in my younger days was ‘playing doctor’. No. I’m not referring to the innuendo for toddlers exploring their own and each others’ genitals. I’m talking about role playing as a doctor, you know the kind that saves lives and all? I remember subjecting the garden plants outside my house as my patients and myself walking with a needle-less syringe filled with water and pretending to be an equivalent of god. Now, DryGin Studios’ new bio-medical simulator has given me an opportunity to relive those glory days, but with a twist…..
Bio Inc. Redemption is a biomedical simulator/strategy game developed and published by DryGin Studios for Microsoft Windows. The game was released on 8 March 2018 after spending a few months in Steam’s early access program.
Bio Inc. Redemption
Story & Narrative
The story is that….there is no story. Games like these tend to be gameplay driven and has no emphasis on the story. That’s not necessarily a bad thing per se. You either play as a doctor who is hell-bent on saving his patient’s life, or you play as an ultra evil doctor who does so much bad things to a patient that he could literally be from hell. You either treat diseases or cause them and that’s about it. There is no cutscenes or exposition dump during missions. You are thrown straight into the game right from the menu.
Bio Inc.: Redemption is a biomedical simulator in which you either create the ultimate illness to torment your victim or play as the head of a medical team and hopefully find a cure to save your patient. From the outside, Bio Inc. resembles Plague Inc. a lot. But Bio Inc. focuses on treating/subjecting a single patient to diseases as opposed to spreading or curing an epidemic in a region. The game features two main campaigns;
Choose Life where you play as a medical diagnostician to identify and cure diseases before your patient succumbs to death.
Choose Death where you are tasked with subjecting patients to agonizing diseases and medical conditions, leading to their slow painful death.
Each campaign consists of twelve cases with four different difficulty levels and varying objectives. But the gameplay remains more or less the same. You are treated with a 3D model of a human body with eight different sections; Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, Skeletal, Nervous, Renal, Immune and Muscular. Every few seconds you can collect ‘bio points’ from each of these sections. Once you amass a certain number of points you spend them via the ‘Biomap’ to either diagnose and then treat a disease, or inflict symptoms, and cause a disease. There are a plethora of diseases, symptoms, diagnostics and treatments (near 600). After you’ve spent your points, you go back to the body view to collect more points. This goes on until either you have raised the recovery bar to 100% or reduced the health of the subject to 0 depending on the side you play as.
You can also spend your points on Risk Factors. These increase the strength of your power to hurt/cure each body system, and it’s a good way to target specific systems to power them up/down. You can also spend them on Recovery, which are basically perks that boost the health of each systems while they are falling or that which can have adverse effects on the body. Many of these are just outright silly, such as making the nurses go on a strike or make the patient live far away from the hospital etc. Most of these doesn’t make a lick of sense but that is to be expected.
The game has several different modes and objectives, but you’re always racing against either time or against the A.I. Once a ‘match’ is over, you receive points if you won and then you rinse and repeat, choosing from many options, difficulties, booster items and game modes to vary the gameplay as you please. Bio Inc. Redemption is the sequel to DryGin’s previous mobile game and such, the progression system is very reminiscent of such titles. You need to have a considerable amounts of points to move on to the next set of cases.
Bio Inc. Redemption features along with the campaign mode, a sandbox mode where you can fill out the pre-requisites and conditions for the session and a PvP multiplayer mode with global leaderboards and ranking. The multiplayer mode functions similar as to playing against the A.I. You either play to treat or to kill the patient while the other player tries the opposite. Like the single player campaign, it’s something that’s good to play for short periods of time. It can be an enjoyable experience if you have friends to play with, as there is the possibility of role-playing.While the core gameplay remains fun, it ultimately becomes shallow after a few hours of gameplay. You’ll be doing the same thing over and over until you get the points you need to go to the next case. After a while this routine becomes boring and repetitive. There is not enough content to justify the price tag. Playing as a doctor is challenging and more tactile, but it’s not as exciting as playing death. The RNG factors can sometimes come off as very unbalanced. The game is at its best when you give your patient the same name as your worst enemy, and subject him to unimaginable torment. Make him shit his pants from explosive diarrhea and cause a heart attack in the same minute? Check. Make him an obese alcoholic and slowly lead his body to renal failure? Check. It’s these little moments that makes the game shine and worthwhile.
Graphics, Sound & Performance
Bio Inc. does not feature a whole lot of 3D assets, but what it has is portrayed beautifully. Everything has a slight neon glow to them. The colors are bright and the icons for the many diseases/body parts are easily recognizable. The 3D model of the patient is accurately modeled and each section highlights its organs in detail. Overall the presentation can be summed up as excellent.
As far as music goes, everything is pretty standard stuff. There’s a soothing tune playing in the background while you’re playing as the doctor and a wicked, evil tune while you’re filling the patient’s body with diseases. There are sounds associated with almost every diagnosis/disease and all of it is fairly well done.
When it comes to performance, the game ran on 40-60 fps maxed out in a GTX 750 and i5 7500 with 8 gigs of ram at 1080p. But there was an occasional drop in fps when playing as death which caused resource collection annoying. The game features a variety of graphics presets if you ever find your game to perform worse for wear.
Bio Inc. Redemption is a fun but repetitive experience. The game is well polished and all the core systems work perfectly. It’s a game that I can see people playing for short periods of time and the game does a good job of killing time. The pricing of the full release may seem a bit high for the amount of content available but it’s a game to watch out for, especially if you enjoy games like Plague Inc.