Genetic Disaster – Review
Follow Genre: Roguelike, Bullet Hell
Developer: Team8 Studio
Publisher: Drageus Games
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Genetic Disaster – Review

Site Score
5.5
Good: Good graphics and soundtrack
Bad: Not good in singleplayer
User Score
2.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 2.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Bullet hell roguelikes are not a new genre by any means, it’s been around for a good while. Every year some new games belonging to it get released, to different degrees of success. Originally released in 2017, Genetic Disaster had to live under the shadow of one of the best games in the genre, Enter the Gungeon. Now, hoping to breathe new life into it, Genetic Disaster has received a Nintendo Switch port.

Story

There is literally no story in Genetic Disaster, as there is not a single word mentioned in-game. The closest thing to one are the few lines in the store description that talk about escaping the mansion.

Besides this, the other text in the game isn’t particularly good either. While most of it is alright, there are still translation errors and the game only features English and French as language options. After almost 3 years it’d be expected for the game to have been at least somewhat more polished.

Graphics

Genetic Disaster’s graphics are the best part of the game without discussion; everything looks clean and polished. While there is not a lot of variation in weapons or environments, there is for enemies. All the different creatures encountered have differences from each other, such as hats and colors, size, etc.

It is a shame that weapons are samey since they’re generally one of the draws of these kinds of games. Almost all guns in the game look the same externally, with the only difference being the bullets and even then not that much.

Sound

There isn’t much to talk about in the sound department either; the soundtrack is fine but nothing special and the SFX do their job. Nothing in this department deserves a special mention, it’s just alright.

Gameplay

As previously mentioned, Genetic Disaster is a bullet hell roguelike, but with a huge focus on co-op. The game itself is barely innovative, with only a pair of unique mechanics. These two factors make the singleplayer gameplay drag along, being mostly repetitive.

Every floor, the player moves from room to room looking for the exit. These rooms normally have enemies inside, which can be slain for the chance to obtain drops or just ignored. Once per floor, a “boss” room will be found. With the exception of every third floor, these rooms are made up by a gauntlet of several enemy waves to be defeated, every third floor, an actual boss will be found.

These bosses have a big problem though, they are bullet sponges and gimmicky. A player can spend more time on a single boss than clearing the whole three floors just due to the sheer amount of health they have. Another problem is that if the players run out of ammo they have no other alternative than a puny melee attack.

This second problem also applies outside of bosses, due to weapons of the same type sharing ammo and the max weapon capacity being two. Most enemies also have contact damage, making the use of this melee attack until ammo is refilled extra risky. Luckily every character has a different ability, though these only help so much since they have cooldowns. All of them allow the player to not get hit by deflecting, dodging or breaking bullets, but it can only happen once in a while. Characters also have passive abilities with unique effects, being more or less noticeable.

Every time a player progresses a room further, they can spend crystals, one of the types of currency, for upgrades. These upgrades can be just an upgrade or have a drawback, an example being more damage for a heart less or vice versa. After every fourth floor, after the boss, stronger upgrades for the specific passive ability of the character can be purchased, alongside a selection of new weapons and a bank to store crystals.

It is important to use this bank in order to unlock permanent upgrades in the character select, but it implies surviving until the fourth floor every run. Even then, it takes several runs to unlock a single upgrade.

A neat little mechanic the game includes is the so-called “cycles”, where after defeating an amount of enemies, an effect will be applied. These effects can add effects to bullets or even make enemies explode after death. Sadly this is the most innovative thing the game has to offer.

The game also includes a “minigames” mode, which only features a single minigame. To add to the injury, this minigame can only be played co-op. The minigame itself consists of a duel between players, where they throw stools to each other, trying to defeat the other first.

Conclusion

Genetic Disaster is an alright game, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but there’s nothing particularly good either. It doesn’t really help how co-op oriented it is, making it boring for solo players. Perhaps it may be an interesting choice for those with someone to play with, though the online capabilities from the Steam version have been removed, allowing only local co-op. At least this co-op allows up to 4 players, but the game being on the Switch, this means more controllers.

Personal Opinion

“I’m really tempted to just say “Go buy Gungeon”, but first I’ll explain why. Genetic Disaster, which I keep calling Genetic Disorder in my mind, is a boring game with nothing special about it. I could see it being interesting for a younger audience who will play with their parents, but I cannot recommend it to anyone else. The price tag doesn’t help either, being exactly the same as Enter the Gungeon, which in my opinion is a way better game for anyone playing solo (and to be honest even co-op with someone else).”

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Rating: 2.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Genetic Disaster - Review, 2.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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