Several days pass inside your fortified camp, hoards of zombies await outside your fortifications. It's okay - your camp is more than prepared, with a slew of stalwart defenses, rangers and snipers at the ready, and battlements prepared to stave off any attack. The restless undead come, banging on the gates, and you manage to repel them all. More are coming, but you have time to rebuild your resistance.. or so you thought. While all your efforts and attention focused on the front lines, a single zombie slipped through the cracks on the south wall and gained access to your defenseless colonist citizens. Because of that small oversight, and outbreak ripples inside your entire settlement, spreading like a disease within and turning your own forces against you. In moments, your once great city turn into ashes. What's next? Start again, of course, But this time, you'll be more prepared.
They Are Billions places you as master and commander of a flourishing city in a variety of environments. In this captivating cycle, you continue to refine your strategies and develop new ones to handle the threat of an undead invasion. Survival mode is the core avenue of play - building up a thriving colony from scratch, researching new technology, and expanding to prepare for greater threats.
The game allows you to choose from a variety of dials to tune before the start of each game, allowing you to select the perfect difficulty for you, including how many days of preparation and how many undead(unfortunately, there aren't actually a billion, but there are enough) you must stave off. The game is sure to be challenging even with a modest amount of difficulty selected, and with "permadeath" as a part of the game, the experience can leave a bitter taste in your mouth after spending hours or even days working on an impenetrable defense. But if you're like me, They Are Billions will make you hungry for even more punishment and perfection.
As you expand your fortification, you will be greeted with a wide variety of unit and building upgrades, and every stage is a different yet delightful deluge of the dead. Raise an army of rangers and titans to compliment your defensive balistas and shock towers as you move through the tech tree. Once you master slaying the standard slow moving zombies, different types will start to get thrown into the mix, forcing you to prepare for speedy threats and colossal terrors. Most stages require you to do a delicate balancing act of economy, expansion, and military might; be careful not to overextend and put your expansive holdings at risk. Building your fort is fun, even if it ends in failure most of the time.
at this moment, the PS4 and Xbox1 versions lack the campaign mode you can find in the PC version. While this isn't a huge deal breaker for console gamers( the campaign is not the main draw), the control schemes are a bit more challenging on a console controller. This won't be a problem though if you have a mouse and keyboard on your console setup, but your main goal should be to experience the title on PC.
Verdict: 7/10 They Are Billions is an interesting mashup of tower defense and city builder. The game is an RTS experience whose flow swings between cautious turtling as you hunker down to fend off zombie hordes, and it succeeds in conjuring up a "one more game" feel, assuming though that you can perservere through countless defeats.