As described by the Take-Two team, Red Death has players “try to outwit and outmaneuver other players as you all race to board the last space ship off the planet.” Essentially, Red Death takes on the form of a battle royale mode where players exist in a post-apocalyptic world where they must survive by battling other factions and acquiring loot by exploring the nuclear wasteland.
Each player starts the game with two modern military units and a civilian, which must be kept alive throughout the duration of the game. Like other traditional battle royale games, players will become more powerful as they find strategic loot randomly dispersed across the map.
Red Death also features new factions designed specifically for the unique game type:
- Cultists: “Observing The End,” All units have +3 sight.
- Doomsday Preppers: “Always Prepare for The Worst,” All units have +100% experience bonus.
- Borderlords: “Living On The Edge,” +10 Combat Strength when 3 hexes or closer to the Safe Zone border.
- Jocks: “Witness Perfection,” +5 Combat Strength.
- Mad Scientists: “This Will Only Hurt A Bit,” All units heal 2x faster.
- Mutants: “Radiant Personalities,” -50 Red Death damage. “Radioactive Movement,” +3 Movement for all units in the Red Death.
- Pirates: “Water Logged,” All units take 50% less water damage and ignore additional movement cost from embarking and disembarking.
- Wanderers: “See You Later,” Infantry and Machine Gunners, as well as Civilians in formation with them, have faster Movement on Woods, Rainforest and Hill terrain.
While the new elements in Red Death offer a unique Civ experience, especially for gamers who never played community-created mods, it’s the shortened match duration that really brings a layer of excitement and competition that is missing from traditional Civilization.
Each game lasts roughly 15-20 minutes, which is just a fraction of regular game types that can extend for hours. Red Death has the fun of the height of a Civilization game condensed down into a small, approachable package.