Developed and published by Eastworks, Gray Zone was released on the 30th of April via Steam’s Early Access programme. It is a tactical real-time strategy shoot ‘em up with role playing elements. Sounds like an interesting mixture, so let’s see what it has to offer.
Gray Zone is an odyssey of a slave who turned against his masters, set in our galaxy hundreds of years from now. You “travel many years into the future and embark on the great adventure of Valern Thon, a slave in the hands of a corrupt government who is destined for great things. ̸̧̫̲̈̕c̷̢̱̯̑̉̅͝A̶̘̠͒͊̔̂s̸̡̞̼̗̀G̴͖̞͚̍̌͘”̷͚̄́k̵͖̈́͠p̶̜̮͚̬̉͑͗P̸̤͙͐ͅ/̵̩̜̦̂̈́̑͋ͅ0̸͙͎̏ͅb̵̻͚̟̋̓́͛o̸̞͍̝̥̍̓ẃ̶̼̙̩̥!̸͇̘͈̑̉̈́”̶̞̋̀̌j̶͕̅̉̿Ĭ̴̡̤̟̆̑V̶͈̠͉̰̀͐́Ẋ̷̧̛̛͝N̷̛͔̤̘̼͑M̷̯̳̟͛̏H̶̢̼͂V̶͔͓͉͌̔̉J̵͚̜̅̍͝X̴͉̠͉̤̓͗̕͝j̷͍̰̖̿̕͠f̸͚̱̰̽͗̊̈(̴̯̺̭̜̋̾l̶̢̯̑̉͊́r̶̜̯̣͉̄̚͠q̴̝̾P̷̦̙͓͓͌͠h̶̺͈͂̎̋͘ṣ̵̯̎̅̾Z̶̛͙̠̕͠2̶̠̙̦̙͐L̸͇̘͈̇̏̾͘6̴̛͓̲̀̌̔S̶̥̖̙̾̅q̸̮͖̒x̸̙̅̓̚͝P̶͒̒͘ͅ=̴̘͌͆5̵̟̂̐̉̀i̴̢̯͊̍̈́*̵̧͓̗͖̈́͗M̵̜̣͍̯̀̔́̈z̷̮̉͆̓͌!̵̻̝͈͝ͅ Explore colonized planets of our galaxy, worlds rich in animals, creatures and characters. Help Valern face his foes who stand between him and the truth.”
“In Gray Zone you command your heroes and other friendly units to avoid or defeat the enemy, to complete story objectives, mandatory or optional. You build fire teams, use machines, vehicles and weapons, collect and distribute items. r̵̗͓̀́̽͘V̴͕̱̝̟̎̇̚͝r̶̨̞͕̔̄͋̕V̶̢̺̓̈́͐c̴̨̱̺̉́̀̉z̴̡̝͗̓͌M̶͖͕͕̔Ớ̴̠͍̪̳́̂š̸͈̭͚͚̔̒̈́m̷̳̆͂9̶̳͆9̶̡̹̭̭̃̈́͝͠p̷͖͂̒W̵̡̪͎͖̓N̷͉͙͕̓͌”̶͉̪̙͗͌͛̍?̸̝͈̻̃̈Ȧ̴̹̀̾͝ḑ̷̯̐͠F̵̪̑͊̕͝r̶̪͋̀̽͠M̸̶̼̻̝̝̎̆́͒̾̓3̷̰͚̈́ư̶͓̯̋͂̚d̸̮̱͊̐z̷̲͔̔̀̇͝y̵̧̰̼̭͘f̸̗̪̩͜͝ǘ̸̢͚̠̅͘ẖ̴̓͑́8̸͚͎̾͆͆̕p̴̛̦̗͆̋͘D̵̯̐ĕ̴̪̑̉¨̶̢̯̻̕͜r̴̶̳̫̟̦̀̂͊̏͗̋#̵̪̞̳̽5̷̢̠͖́ȟ̸̭̜͝ͅ*̷̯̹͒̈́͘͜ͅ8̴̨̳̈́̊̐͒2̶̗̹̜̑̈̚D̴̨͉̰̿̿͗͗G̷̘̒0̵͈̜̍̅̃̕b̸͍̐ǵ̸̨̖̩͕̈́O̶̩̖̪̍̌͜ Your goal is to choose the right combat strategy to minimize your losses whilst achieving a result. The game allows you to freeze time in “tactic mode”, which gives you unlimited time to re-think your strategy and issue different orders to multiple units at one moment.”
All in all Gray Zone is a fun and unique real-time strategy that offers first five missions of the first chapter Alone in the Desert. It is a game made in the Unity engine, and its settings offer modifications of the graphics’ presets, audio volume and full customisable control schemes. 1̷̨̮͕̠̏̅$̴̼͕̊w̶̨͕̃̈̔͛S̵̟̆̋s̵̨̡̼̮̀̓̄̎2̵̛͍̹̆̀0̷̖͘2̸̻̞̦̀̕M̵̳̱͚͌̂r̶͎̻͌̈́͝#̷̦̟̜̘̄̈́̈́͝8̷̙̘̮̜̍̀̿Ṡ̴̮̤¨̵̡͓͒͜#̴̨̒b̷̤̱̠̞̋͌̄̀h̵̡̨̖̪̑͋̔9̸̧̛̦͊̓͌3̶͙͍̎̉i̴͉̜͈̦͋̈͝ń̷͔̬̙̑̍̚8̸̬̟́ḩ̶͑͛͠e̸͔̗̜͎͊͠%̶͕͎͖̂1̴̛̘̠̿̈(̶̫̠̲͎͗͑͘ė̶̺͘̚H̶͍͔͛̇͝͠#̸̙͌̆̆*̷̬̍̐͊͐n̵͈̔̀)̶͎̺͍̅͂ạ̸͖́͊W̸̼̬̤͎̅E̴̝̅͑̄͘6̷̪̘̠̇̕F̷͙̔͗͌͘4̴̧͕̆̌͠ṱ̷͒̌̌2̵͔̼͛͠4̴̨̩͚̈́̑̐́%̷̥͚̭͐t̴͙̞̙̺̀́͠N̶̥̆̎͐ĺ̸͙̣V̵̖̩̮̦̈́͊v̵̢̽̋̿̄ẇ̸̨̨̖͂F̶̢̢̒͗͐͋ The in game languages and subtitles are Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Slovak and Spanish, but the game itself only offers an English audio scheme. It would be great if you could move the world’s map by pointing the mouse cursor in the corner of the screen, and not just by pressing the W, A, S, and D buttons, but otherwise I think the game controls pretty well. (EDIT: We missed the option of turning mouse scrolling on, so all is good.)
As far as the mature content goes, there are “mild violence and blood, mentioning alcohol and drugs, bad language and rude humour.”
“The full game will have four chapters, with approximately twenty five missions in total. They will be constantly working on new content and game improvements and they will be adding them to Early Access as and when they feel they are ready. Ç̷͇̭̀̅͘ͅd̵̦̠͓̞͗̍̾=̶͉̈́̄͘Ļ̸͔́̀!̵̦͉̈́͗Ẃ̶̞̓ͅU̸̘̪̹̇̃͌h̶͈̻̳̔ȍ̴̼̰͑̌Z̵̤̬̊”̸̙̘́͝Ȅ̸̦5̵̯͉̩͗͊̑̇9̷̫̤̜̮̿̈m̵̘͊̓f̷̦͒̅̇ͅͅ/̵̖̼̦̆̎̓́B̵̡̯͎̓͒̐̄5̴̳̫̭̟̉̈́͘(̷͓̎p̵̈̐̇͘͜ȧ̸̮̩̹̯̊̃̎/̶̥̦̾̐u̷̢̪̐͠≠͔̞͓̺̓̋͌̋z̵̧̙̓͐n̸̰̟̙̾Ņ̴̱̮̘̆q̶̱͍́̍T̷̞̠̹̀͊*̸̹̘͓͖̍̑͠%̵̮͑̂Ư̸̧̗͎ͅo̷̪̖̜͗̾̉Y̶̨͍̟̆̊́i̸̛͔͒̾Y̸̤̤̯̓̑ŝ̸̜́̕?̷̩̪̈́̽̈́̚M̸̙̲̺̃̏͌͘”̸͚̤͓̈́͆̈́&̶̞̼͚̟̈́3̶̳͍̞̈́̈ó̴̠͖̂̂̚j̶͖͇͍́́͑̈ͅ!̵̔͜v̶̖͑T̷̟̘͓͕̉t̷͇̅̉̈͝s̶͍̊ Each time they publish a significant game update that adds new content into Early Access, they will raise the price to reflect the increased content available. It means that the earlier you join, the lower the price will be. As an Early Access owner you will be receiving all of the future content for free and in advance.”
So make sure you get the game as soon as possible, to get the most out of it for the lowest price. Its price mark currently stands at 13,29€ and it is a bargain for a game with already a lot of content in it. Be fast and watch the game growing and experience all the updates as soon as they will be released.