A fan of Command & Conquer and looking for a new RTS? Introducing Petroglyph's Grey Goo

Coz everybody loves mechs

Poor Petroglyph hasn't been really having much luck on the RTS front in recent years. They *were* working on an MMORTS known as End of Nations for some time but that unfortunately was then turned into a MOBA and is now presumed cancelled by publisher Trion Worlds. Besides smaller strategy games based on other IP or mobile games, they haven't released a proper RTS since 2008's Universe at War: Earth Assault.

Who are Petroglyph anyway you may ask? Well Petroglyph were founded in 2003 by a majority of the developer that used to be known as Westwood Studios. Everyone remembers those guys right? They were responsible for the classic RTS series Command & Conquer, amongst several other games (mostly RTSs). I bought into both RTSs they produced since their inception, namely Star Wars: Empire at War and (as mentioned before) Universe at War: Earth Assault. While the graphics didn't do it for me at times or the pathfinding, these games were still solid RTSs and when you've got the legendary composer Frank Klepacki doing the music you've got some pretty awesome soundtracks on your hands!

So here we are 6 years later and they have now announced a new RTS title that they will release later this year called "Grey Goo". No, it's not the sequel to World of Goo and yes, it does sound like a weird name - but apparently it's related to a potential doomsday scenario where self-replicating nanomachines go rampant and pretty much bring the end of the world by breaking everything down to "grey goo".

Anyway, here are some interesting points about the game:

  • Petroglyph claims that Grey Goo will focus more on tactical decisions instead of micro-management. This sounds like a departure from old school RTSs and even recent RTSs like Starcraft 2 where micro-management is the key to success
  • The game will feature three factions: the Beta, an alien spacefaring race that relies on piloted mechs; Humans who are technologically advanced and almost totally reliant on robots; and the Grey Goo - which I guess is the main antagonist but little has been revealed about them yet . The factions seem to have borrowed elements from C&C3 (with respect to a totally alien race like the Scrin) and Universe at War: Earth Assault (a totally robotic faction)
  • Humanity has got rid of war machines and weapons as part of their backstory - it's an interesting concept. The alien race known as the Beta are actually more similar to what Humans or Terrans are in other computer games (i.e. function over form, highly mobile and with several dangerous weapons at their disposal).
  • Petroglyph claims that the Grey Goo faction will be "unlike anything players have ever played before" and that this will be one of the things that makes this RTS stand out from others.
  • Game is to be released on Steam. Apparently you can even play on a LAN but you need to at least have Steam on Offline mode.
  • Being published by a previously unknown company called Grey Box who hasn't published anything to date. I'm guessing it's a company owned or created specifically to have Grey Goo as its flagship product.
  • Aim to be released later this year - so I'm guessing Q4 2014.

[ LINK: Official Grey Goo website ]