I saw They Are Coming! and expected a simple, laid-back game. The trailer seemed straight-forward and fun, and the graphics weren’t so bad I wouldn’t give it a try. That being said, when it comes to my experience and the bugs and flaws I ran into, They Are Coming! has me very much leaving.
They Are Coming Along
At first, the game was okay: simple, easy to understand, easy to get into and play. It wasn’t long until the difficulty felt extremely unfair and imbalanced. You take the role of a hive-mind sort of zombie horde, and each stage you try to grow the horde while completing objectives. At first it’s just going from point A to point B, but not too long after, you’re presented with complex objectives like destroying military bases. And it gets rough. Fast.
You’ll end up dying very easily if you don’t have enough zombies, and most NPCs run and hide rather than attack, making it hard to grow your numbers. The enemies that do have guns and flamethrowers will attack fast. They are not the hardest to beat, but the game will place dozens of them in spots to wipe out your numbers fast.
The Dawn of the Glitches
When it comes to bugs, I had very few issues for the first couple stages. Later, I began noticing problems. I noticed that the game oddly kept asking me if I wanted to restart the stage after beating it. At first I presumed I hit the button or something, but it happened so much that I often accidentally replayed stages simply because I didn’t notice what it was asking and just wanted to hit continue. This is made worse by the lack of stage selector. Even if you have finished a stage, you have to resume playing from where you last left off (accidental restart or not).
Another bad glitch I had; at a point my game wouldn’t register hitboxes. Your horde attacks automatically by running up to NPCs and touching them, and that even failed me randomly! Not to mention the game has a few glitches in its cutscenes. If you get a very sizeable horde up to a cutscene, you better hope no one is armed in that location, or all you will hear is gunshots while zombies get headshot and your horde health drops. All while this is happening, you’re forced to wait for the scene to end. If it gets really bad, you can also die during loading screens. I was hearing my horde getting shot up while my game loaded between checkpoints.
The Problems Are Coming
They Are Coming! felt so unfinished while it tries so much stuff that has already been done much better. Pikmin is one of the games that comes to mind. Between controlling your pikmin to attacking with them, everything is so fluid and sensible. They Are Coming!, on the other hand, lacks that same flow.
They Are Coming! tries integrating an upgrade system through horde powers, but the only two I saw that were useful were ultra speed and sonar. I had better luck with ultra speed (which does what you’d think). Sonar lets you see enemies through walls and such, and was generally useful for that reason. To use the other abilities and powers, however, you have to swap out of the ability you already had, and most powers were very situational. For example, one allows your zombies to be lit on fire for 10 more seconds without dying, which is just not needed, especially with the punishingly-long cooldown timer.
I can go on, but overall this game was a bad experience. The combination of unrefined gameplay and annoying bugs made it a real drag, and the final stage was one of the worst. Your mission is to destroy enemy towers, and besides still being very buggy, the objectives felt inconsistent in how you complete them: explosive red barrels will destroy a tower, as will enemy tanks, but the ORBITAL LASER WILL FAIL EVERYTIME! Its horrible game design at that point and feels like the rules of play are made up as you go. And it only gets worse the more you play. It’s possible that future updates could make They Are Coming! the laid-back, intuitive game I was hoping for, but as it stands this game is simply frustrating.
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