Conglomerate 451 Review

Conglomerate 451 is a cyberpunk first-person dungeon crawler where the world has been taken over by four big business industries working against the government. You are the director of a government agency that lead squads of clones into the dregs of the city to complete missions in order to save the city from its dystopian demise.


Does that sound complicated? Plot-wise it kind of is at first because there are a bunch of elements involved. From clones to hacking to cyborgs and beyond, there is a lot of sci-fi in this cyberpunk city. Once you get into it and you are immersed in the location it is much clearer from a lore perspective.


The game overall reminds me of XCOM 2, both plot and some gameplay. The combat is turn-based and you have the ability to customize and upgrade your clone squad like you can your soldiers in XCOM 2. However, it is not just skill and weapon upgrades. Because they are clones you can modify them with implants and even extra limbs. Your squad can also experience pain and trauma and the effects of those can be permanent through your game, and there is permadeath.


Other gameplay elements include, prior to entering combat, you can explore to find resources and shops. The hacking takes some getting used to because the tutorial isn’t that great at explaining what to exactly do. The worst of these instances are stat upgrade hacks because the latency was terrible so I always failed the quick-time events. And you will have your agency where you conduct research, make and customize clones, and plan the missions.


My biggest issue with this game is the controls. The WASD controls are fine and standard, but using Q and E to rotate and only being able to rotate quarter turns was awful. In order to smoothly look around it was holding down the middle mouse button. This bothers me because your first-person view is a drone leading your squad, and I am sure a drone can smoothly rotate more than quarter turns which makes it easier to look around. I also think the first-person view is not great either and disorienting. A third-person views as the drone behind the squad would be better to me. Also, all the visual choices you make with your clones are pointless since you can’t see them at all on these missions.

Overall, the concept is interesting and has a lot of gameplay mechanics I enjoy. The controls and first-person view are deal breakers for me personally, but if you don’t find that bothersome and enjoy dungeon crawlers and XCOM-like games, give Conglomerate 451 a glance.

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