Bio Inc. Redemption by DryGin Studios is a medical simulator game with a twist. Do you want to strive to save your patients? Or do you want to fight against the medical team to kill them as quickly as possible? Bio Inc. is still in Early Access on Steam, the game is picking up some positive initial reviews. Gamer Assault Weekly, however, happens to have a doctor on staff, so let’s see if the sim can stand up to a realism test as well as provide hours of fun.

Straight To The Morgue

Naturally, being a doctor, the first thing I wanted to do when entering the world of Bio Inc. Redemption was to see how good I was at killing patients. It’s probably best not to examine that last sentence too much, so let’s move on to the challenges the game presents. After you’ve chosen the Dark side you have one Department open to you, the Morgue, with another two unlockable as you progress. Each Department has three stages which give a unique scenario. Your first victim is already pretty unhealthy, not to mention the fact that he drinks and smokes. As you progress through the killing the patients will be healthier and have buffs from a healthy lifestyle.
 

And Then The Slaughterhouse

If you do decide to be a homicidal maniac you actually take on a more abstract role. A kind of disease god, you are presented with the victim hovering in front of you like a Star Wars hologram. Running down the side of your screen is a clickable list of different organ systems. Selecting Digestive, for example, changes the X-Ray view of the hologram to show the stomach and intestines whilst Skeletal obviously shows all your bones. This is the main view of Bio Inc. Redemption and it serves two purposes. The first is giving you all the information you need on how healthy or unhealthy the patient is. You get an overall percentage of their health, and then each system has its own score based on how badly it’s affected by a disease. It’s laid out well, giving you almost all the information you need with a percentage of recovery tracked on the other side.
 

A Disease At The Core

The second purpose of the X-Ray view is integral to the game and also the only real negative I could find. Whether you want to save the world or see it burn, you have to fund your actions with Bio Points. If you’re playing as a medic you collect floating red or white blood cells, play as the Bringer of Death and different viruses pop up around the hologram. There are 3 value levels for each and they disappear faster the more valuable they are creating an odd mini-game. The organ systems listed to the side light up to alert you that Bio Points have appeared. You then have to quickly navigate to the correct view, click and hold on the Bio Point before moving on to the next one. Having a reaction based bubble-pop minigame in the middle of the simulation really jars with me. When starting a scenario you usually start with no Bio Points at all and spend the first few seconds of the game waiting for it to actually start. I can’t help but think it would be better having Bio Points generated some other way. For example having them provided as a steady drip by the hospital or as a limited resource from the beginning. In the developer’s defense, the system is actually integrated into play, rather than being stuck on the end as an afterthought and we’ll have a look at that later in the article.

Time To Call The Ambulance

The disease planner of the game will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played the first Bio Inc. – Biomedical Plague or Plague Inc. You have all the body systems laid out in bubbles, with various diseases shooting off from them. After clicking desperately for Bio Points this is where you get to spend them. Most of your time initially will be taken up buying diseases as soon as you can afford it. Then when you start to rack up bigger numbers you can upgrade the diseases either to a more severe form or to a new, deadlier disease. This where I began to realize the effort the team had put in to make authenticity important in Bio Inc. Redemption. Diseases progress logically and some have requirements that any clinician would recognize. On one of the rare occasions, I decided to come back from the Dark side and play for the medical team I was faced with a patient dying very quickly. The scenario started with his organs already heavily damaged and his circulatory system going through the floor. Checking the list of symptoms: a headache, blurred vision, irregular heartbeat etc, I knew straight away that he must be having a stroke. Sure enough, the CT scan of his brain came back positive and the patient was saved. This realism is thankfully well implemented throughout and is where the true strategy lies. Players can try and cure or afflict diseases directly, or come at the patients in a more subtle way.
 

Eat Right, Sleep Well, Die Anyway

If you want to survive at the highest of the four difficulty levels, ‘lethal’, you’ll have to pay attention to the scenes behind the diseases. Playing as a doctor, you can imbue your patient with a lifelong history of healthy living right in the middle of a crisis. This boosts certain categories, for example having an active lifestyle will help your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Playing the Dark side however and you can combat this with a history of smoking to speed up the patient’s decline. Good lifestyles or bad habits usually only affect the patient by a few percent but this can mean all the difference when you’re playing against the clock in a timed level. To add another layer of tactics, you gain XP based on how well you complete the scenarios. Raising your level gives you XP points to spend on Boosters at the start of every level, with more Booster slots unlocking as you progress. Boosters can give you a head start with Bio Points, change the number of starting diseases and more. You have to think about your choice carefully as some can be helpful or completely useless based on the situation. Finally, as you save or kill your patient you can choose to spend your Bio Points on upgrades to speed up how fast you can collect them. Time it wrong though, and you could use points that would have been better spent on life-saving treatments.

It’s Always Lupus

The dev team has added their own touch to Bio Inc. Redemption, like references to the series House and the continual diagnosis of Lupus to an Easter Egg that leads to saving or killing President Trump. A bit of humor is a welcome break from the quickly dying patients but the sense of urgency is kept up with a good soundtrack that keeps your heart pumping. Graphically though, you’ll be spending much of your time either staring at the albeit pretty hologram and waiting for Bio Points or going through the disease screen. It’s not much to look at, but it has evolved well from the powered down mobile version. The detective work and frantic decision making are the reason to play the game though, not pretty graphics. A fair amount of research has obviously gone into making sure that disease progression makes sense and are linked to the right organs. This is a game still in alpha, however, and as with everything there is space for improvement. Some diseases I would place in a different category or should affect two organs at the same time. Organ systems do suffer collateral damage from other systems when they are injured enough but this is a general effect. There are some other inconsistencies, like Type 1 Diabetes leading to Type 2 when in fact one doesn’t cause the other at all. I would imagine most wouldn’t notice this though and for the average gamer though there is plenty of fine detail to dive into here.

 Nosocomephobia

Overall, Bio Inc. Redemption is a great game, with arcade fun for the casual player and plenty of depth for those who want to complete the game at hardest difficulty. The elements of disease, lifestyle and progressing from the emergency room into intensive care make for great layers of strategy. Giving your patient Nosocomephobia, a fear of hospitals, will slow them from even getting medical attention in the first place. I found myself trying to work out different disease combos, using silent killers first or diseases with lots of symptoms to confuse doctors. If you play a medic you learn quickly the fastest way to cure, like certain diseases all being picked up by the same test. Timing is also important, as sometimes it’s better to store up your Bio Points and kill them quickly before they can be saved. There is already a lot to like and with update 0.90 live we can hope for a full release soon. Hopefully, the disease system continues to improve, the last update was mainly bug fixing but we have been promised the chance of more stages, diseases and even multiplayer. I can dream that the Bio Point mini-game will be replaced in that time, but the game is fun enough I can definitely tolerate it even if it’s not.  Bio Inc. Redemption has me playing for hours already and I can’t wait to sink even more into it. I might even try and save a patient for once.
Bio Inc. Redemption Review
The Good
  • Intelligent design
  • Lots of replayability
  • Still developing!
The Bad
  • Collecting Bio Points
  • Bio Point Collection
7.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
10.0

About The Author

Shane J
Review/Editorial Writer

Shane grew up immersed in Pokemon Red and Final Fantasy VII after years of being stuck on the first level of Contra III. A semi-retired Medic, now distracted by trying to make games and write about them. Always baited by Civilization's "just one more turn?"