Hero or Villain? You decide!
Bio Inc. Redemption is a diagnostic medical simulator game developed by DryGin Studios. When you begin, you may choose one of two options: life or death. Choose life, and you will be tasked with diagnosing and treating your patient’s ailments before they succumb to various illnesses. Choose death, and you will plague your victim with lethal diseases in an attempt to kill them as quickly as possible.
When I began playing the game, I chose the life path. In this campaign, you start as a novice, a Med School student, just learning the ropes and getting used to diagnosing diseases based on a few symptoms. From there, you may progress to Clinic, then Hospital, and finally the Intensive Care Unit. You may also choose from different challenges within each step with varying objectives to complete. You may also decide the difficulty level before entering any challenge (mild, moderate, severe, and lethal). A higher difficulty level will usually both advance your patient’s illnesses and give you less time to treat them, but you will gain more XP if you succeed.
Once you choose your step, challenge, difficulty and patient name (optional), you can choose from various perks to assist you, if your level is high enough. This might make the game very difficult in the early stages. Until you can add perks, you may find getting past the first few levels to be a bit of a slog. There are a total of 25 perks to choose from, all worth varying numbers of XP, and you may choose up to 5 once you’ve gotten past level 12. Your available perks only unlock at certain levels, and your total number of allowed perks is based on your level. So, if you’re level 7, you can choose up to 3 perks, but all 3 perks must add up to the number 7. Perks can range anywhere from giving you 15 additional Bio Points at the beginning (more on this soon), to decreasing the potency of certain diseases.
When you’ve finished your preliminary decisions, you will be taken to a screen showing a translucent outline of your patient and a list of body systems on the left side of the screen, like circulatory, respiratory, renal, etc. When you click on one of these systems, your patient view will change to that area. For example, when you click on skeletal, your patient will become a skeleton. Your patient’s status is on the right side of the screen, including any current testing and treatments. A daily tracker is at the bottom of the screen so that you can keep track of your progress. When you click on the Bio Map at the bottom of the screen, you are taken to the testing/treatment page. Here, you can see your symptoms and begin to spend your Bio Points.
The way you play Bio Inc. Redemption is actually quite tedious, especially when you are new to playing. You must collect Bio Points, which, when playing the life route, arrive in the forms of white blood cells, red blood cells, and proteins. Red blood cells are worth 1 point, white blood cells are worth 2, and proteins are worth 3. These cells will randomly spawn in certain systems, and that system will light up when there are cells there to collect. To collect cells, simply hover over the cell and hold the right mouse button for a few seconds. Cells are needed to test for and treat diseases. In the death campaign, you collect viruses, which are used to infect the victim with diseases and negative health conditions. Waiting for these cells or viruses to spawn is awfully annoying, especially if your challenge is time-based and you’re waiting for 10 more Bio Points to test your patient for Lupus (humorous note: whenever you test a patient for Lupus, the game quips, “it’s never Lupus”, in classic House fashion).
So, most of Bio Inc. Redemption is spent waiting on these cells to spawn so that you can run through certain tests to treat your patient (or collect viruses to kill your patient). There are elements of both strategy and guesswork to decipher what is ailing your patient. You are given a list of symptoms, and from those, you must determine the cause of the illness. Often there are multiple illnesses occurring at once, but the trick lies in seeing which systems are affected. Once you can narrow down the symptoms to a specific system, you can whittle down your illness list and get your patient back to normality. Also, if one system starts to get below 20%, the patient will go to the Emergency Room. Here, treatments and tests will cost fewer bio points, but it also becomes harder to save the patient before the system fails. Because once one system fails, they all start to decline, and death becomes imminent.
I did enjoy the multiplayer aspect of Bio Inc. Redemption. In this mode, you and a friend can work to both save and destroy your patient at the same time. While you attempt to diagnose and treat, your friend will be undermining all of your efforts and throwing new symptoms into the mix. What I enjoyed about this mode was how quickly cells spawned, which was much faster than the single-player version of the game. I also enjoyed how competitive it was. It was a race to narrow down the illness quickly and efficiently, so no tests could be wasted.
The biggest issue that I had with this game was how unstable it was. For every successful playthrough that I had, there was one that crashed half-way through. Obviously, this was quite frustrating. There were only a few bugs that got in the way of gameplay, but they were few and far between. Aside from the crashing, the entire concept of waiting for cells to randomly spawn was a bit off-putting to me. In some playthroughs, the cells I needed just wouldn’t be spawning, so my patient would be off to the emergency room before I’d even have time to start treatments.
All in all, I did enjoy Bio Inc. Redemption. It has a strange, macabre sense of humour which I found intriguing. I especially enjoyed the “Unprotected Sex Roulette”, where your patient has unprotected sex and you spin a wheel to determine which STI they’ll get. You can also choose your patient from a list of famous persons, including Hitler, Jesus, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and several more. The price could be a deterrent for some, but if you can convince a friend to play the game with you, this would be an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
Bio Inc. Redemption is currently available on Steam for €12.99.