February 12, 2015 8:05 AM | Lena LeRay
Wild Factor's Freaking Meatbags is an RTS. Where RTS games usually have creatures of flesh building machines and upgrading their tech to improve their capabilities, however, Freaking Meatbags puts players in the chassis of a robot with a DNA combining machine. What could easily have been just a comical gimmick gave the developers the chance to do something different with the genre, and they did. Instead of strict upgrade trees, the player can choose any two existing workers and cherry pick traits to pass on to new ones.
The player character is a robot tasked with collecting resources from dangerous planets. The planets are dangerous because wild robots will attack your base in waves. Many RTS games feature a variety of map types with different objectives, but wave defense seems to be the primary focus of Freaking Meatbags. I have seen a short top-down shooter level, though, on a planet with no place for the main base to land.
For all the ways Freaking Meatbags deviates from the RTS norm, there are many things that fans of the genre will find familiar. The collection and management of resources with which to build structures and units, a core element of the RTS genre, is alive and well in this game. The unorthodox elements of Freaking Meatbags blend into that really well to help give the game its unique feel.
One of the most interesting things the game makes players do is choose a limited number of workers to carry over to the next planet. There are only so many slots for meatbags onboard the player's traveling base, and although the number can be upgraded, it still seems to cap out at ten slots. Should that last open slot go to an inexperienced flesh creature that is exceptionally good for breeding, or should they take that high level miner that gathers resources so quickly?
I wouldn't expect Freaking Meatbags to change the mind of someone who dislikes RTS games, but for those who do like RTS games and are looking for something different, it would be a great choice. It helps that the game has a lighthearted sense of humor and nice graphics, but the gameplay is both flexible and well-tuned, with multiple levels of difficulty and ample space for allowing players to come up with personal challenges. As an example, the game makes players take at least two humans with them to the next planet, but a player who really wanted to make things hard on themselves could stick with the same two basic humans from the first planet for the entire game if they wished.