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Game Info:

Beast Agenda 2030
Developed By: Ouch Giver Games
Published By: Ouch Giver Games
Released: November 27, 2019
Available On: Windows
Genre: Action RPG, Stealth
ESRB Rating: None available
Number of Players: 1
Price: $14.99

Thanks to Ouch Giver Games for sending us a review key!

I never finished Shadowrun on the SNES. Running about the streets of fantasy cyberpunk Seattle just wasn’t as compelling to my younger self when straight up action games such as Smash TV were available. It wasn’t that I lacked patience; over the years, I’ve realised it was more a matter of presentation. Shadowrun had all the trappings of an action-oriented game, but underneath the surface it was an Action RPG. The sales pitch for the 2019 release, Beast Agenda 2030, sounded promising enough, quietly whispering sweet little promises that it would scratch my itch for an Action RPG in the same vein, with Stealth gameplay thrown in, if only I would give it a try.

Beast Agenda 2030 starts with a short info dump. A few years ago, the squidlike Neospoid appeared with advanced technology, and promising peace under the banner of a world government. All were welcome to join – so long as they accepted the embedding of a microchip in their body. The story follows the outcasts who refused the chip and were exiled to the city of Fleece. These aliens, who look like something out of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, are now engaging in a systematic purging of the outcasts. You play as Arnis, a hacker recruited to help a group of survivors build a submarine and escape the purge. There’s nothing particularly special about the setting or storyline, but I did appreciate that it keeps things grounded and focused.

To call this game an Action RPG is a bit misleading, much like my teenage experience with Shadowrun. The core gameplay loop is spent running around the city, breaking into abandoned buildings and scavenging what supplies you can; it feels more natural I think to describe it as a survival game. Supplies are traded in for perks, and as you complete missions you’ll earn skill points to upgrade your capabilities. Eventually you’ll be searching for and rescuing survivors, expanding the population in your home base. Each additional survivor also unlocks a new set of skills to level up.

Beast Agenda 2030
Highlights:

Strong Points: Satisfying power growth while keeping the player relatively weak
Weak Points: 1990s era graphics; various bugs
Moral Warnings: Killing aliens with explosives; aliens are implied to be Biblical devils in disguise; occult rituals

Most of the tools you can scavenge are explosives of some sort, but they’re often put to better use blowing open various doors than blowing up enemies because of how awkward they are to use offensively. The most potent and flexible tool is your Hack3000, which can be used to search enemy brains for door codes, hypnotise enemies into walking bombs, hack into computers, or to use a car’s cruise control to create an improvised cruise missile. There is a pistol, but its ammunition is limited and specialised; like the explosives, its primary use is for opening doors. This lack of proper weaponry does the job of discouraging direct confrontation, and the game is better for it.

While you do start the game quite weak, it doesn’t last forever. Once you level up your hacking and carrying capacity, the game breaks down a bit as you’re now able to turn all your enemies into walking bombs or just blow them up with your many explosives. Direct combat is still suicidal, but you’ll spend the late game playing the game as a series of hit-and-run attacks rather than skulking in the shadows. It’s a natural shift in the power dynamic, and keeps the game feeling fresh as you hit that power spike.

The pixel graphics look like something out of an early 1990s era game, but there’s quite a bit of detail and environmental storytelling going on. Corpses are scattered around the streets, a testament to the brutality of the Neospoid government. Windows are shattered, doors are battered, and the occasional garbage fire lights up the night. Just don’t ask why there’s still electricity, lest your suspension of disbelief be shattered. The music is also quite Spartan, with only three tracks and fitting sound effects to punctuate the silence, but at least the title theme has a distinctive and catchy melody.

Beast Agenda 2030
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 66%
Gameplay – 15/20
Graphics – 6/10
Sound – 5/10
Stability – 3/5
Controls – 4/5

Morality Score - 80%
Violence – 5/10
Language – 10/10
Sexual Content – 10/10
Occult/Supernatural – 2/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical – 10/10
Consequences of occult (+3)

There are a few bugs with Beast Agenda 2030. Various minor spelling and grammar mistakes dot the text. The fullscreen mode resets itself between gameplay sessions. Reeling yourself in with the grapple hook can cause you to get stuck in an infinite loop if the path to your anchor point is obstructed; don’t try to reel in through a wall, just walk away until the grapple comes loose. Sabine’s mission to improve medkits didn’t register me picking up apples while my Needs stockpile was at the 500 maximum; I had to abandon that mission, spend some Needs, and then retry. There were a few occasions where hacking an enemy crashed the game. Ouch Giver Games would probably be happy to patch all these bugs, but it turns out the developer lost the code to the game in a fire some time ago, dashing any hopes of bugfixes.

There are zero issues with foul language and nudity. With the use of explosives, this game naturally involves the killing of squidlike aliens, their green blood pooling out where they are slain. You won’t be killing any humans though – the Neospoid have already seen to that, and as mentioned, human corpses are scattered throughout the randomly generated map. You will be flouting authority as a matter of course, but I won’t deduct points on Authority as the government is outright inhumane, and is implied to be the Antichrist.

Yes, that's right. There are various references to the Bible, in particular the account of Revelation. It is very much implied that what happens in the story is the Apocalypse come to pass – and that’s probably where the “Beast” in the game title comes from. In this imagining, the demons and devils of the Bible are replaced by the cosmic horror squid entities of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. Diary fragments found throughout the game indicate that these Cthonic demons engage in witchcraft, and I also encountered a one-off crowd of aliens surrounding a human on some sort of altar in what appears to be a sacrificial ritual of some sort.

Beast Agenda 2030 will fill up around 15 hours of your time, and you’ll feel like an insurgent rebel as you play. There’s a Free Play and a New Game Plus mode, but there’s really not much reason to replay the game. If you’re hankering to play as a stealthy scavenging survivor, this game will scratch that itch. I’d recommend waiting for a sale though.

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Elvin Ong

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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