Despotism 3K (PS4 Review): Destroy All Humans!

If you hate the human race, put that anger into something productive and run your own generator setup in Despotism 3K for PS4. Puny humans!

Despotism 3K. Pah! Puny humans! How dare they fornicate in front me – off to the bioreactor with you. No, better still; I’ll make an example of you by making you into a patty.

Hi readers, it’s only me, not some evil overlord here to enslave humankind. This little rhetoric is an extract from my gameplay experience of a title called Despotism 3K. Perhaps you’ve heard of it on other systems? Well, it’s out now on PS4, courtesy of OverGamez.

Machines are bad. Skynet is wrong: AI doesn’t want us dead; they want us as fuel so they can keep the juice pumping to play Tic-Tac-Toe, Crossy Road or whatever games machines ‘like’ to play.

Despotism 3K (PS4) Review

Being accountable for your fellow humans and flippantly sending them to their often brutal deaths, you get the feels that you’re a sell-out if you play this game, wiping out humanity. But, Despotism 3K is as brutally funny as the deaths. They don’t matter; kill ’em all with a smile on your face.

It’s not that this rogue-lite takes you on a path of meaningless death and destruction – there’s a purpose for this madness. You play an advanced AI that utilises us meatbags as a way to generate power. If you run out of power and humans, it’s game over. Be advised: this happens a lot.

You begin your campaign with five people and five stations to move them to. Here’s a breakdown of what they are:

  • Human Storage – this is where it all begins. As their stamina decreases, you move them here to regenerate. It’s also the spawning point for new bodies.
  • Power Generator – the source for your power. Humans run in a hamster wheel to generate energy, swapping them out each time their stamina drops.
  • Breeding Tube – the place to get nasty. Based on the animations, there are numerous ways you can make babies. Tell your significant other that this is a fact.
  • Food Generator – you can decipher this one.
  • Bioreactor is a quick method to instantly generate power, food, or get rid of infected workers by sacrificing them to a watery grave (with no evidence).

Moving your workers around is easy peasy. Select the station and press the corresponding button to remove or add workers one at a time (biology fact: you need two workers in the Breeding Tube to make babies, a.k.a. new workers).

The Claw(s)

You might be wondering how the humans get from one station to the other as it’s doubtful they’ll do on their own as the setup in Despotism 3K is essentially a prison. That’s where the claws come in.

When pressing the corresponding button per station, a claw will drop from the sky, pick up a ripe human and drop them wherever. It will automatically remove the weakest workers when retiring them to the Human Storage or Bioreactor and choose the stallions for adding to new stations.

Despotism 3K PS4 Review - DOTT
DOTT. Source: OverGamez

But it all gets a bit hectic, and relying on one claw isn’t enough. You have to upgrade. Upgrades are paid for with power, so if you remember from before, the system doesn’t run on goodwill – if your power is depleted, it’s game over.

There’s a cycle, represented by a countdown at the top of the screen, and once that reaches zero, your power will drop a set amount. It’s critical to keep an eye on it if you want to keep going (stop watching the sexy bits). While there’s an endless cycle – a survival mode, if you will, you have 25 days to complete the game.

Daily Routine

After each day passes, your power capacity will increase, but you have to juggle each station to compensate for the increments. If you have more workers producing power, you’ll need some swingers pumping out new workers. More mouths mean more food, so maintain a steady workflow in the Food Generator.

But you can’t sit back and inflict all this cruelty on your subjects and have an easy ride. If you don’t upgrade the stations, you’ll come unstuck.

As a rule of thumb, each upgrade will increase workers and station efficiency – the higher, the better. Just remember that if you upgrade too much in one go, you’ll run out of power. A regular occurrence in my playthroughs. Thinking is overrated.

People Are People Too

During the madness, Despotism 3K throws random events at you. Each playthrough will be different from the last, but if you play enough times, you’ll see some recurring ones to figure out the best solution.

The clock will pause, and you’ll have a little skit that might be about a portal randomly opening, one of the workers seen biting their colleagues, as well as movie references to The Matrix and Back To The Future.

Despotism 3K PS4 Review - TV dinner
TV dinner. Source: OverGamez

Sometimes there will be a handful of options; other times you have to go with the consequences – and there are a lot! Konfa Games has done a great job here. Zombie infestations, giant babies, working on the wheel, faster/slower-paced gameplay and weather effects from a broken AC. It’s crazy!

Getting through the 25 days is mental, but there was never a moment I wanted to give up. A quick look at the clock and hours will have passed, and though I hadn’t made any progress, I’d experienced something new every time – whether that be events and modifiers to my workers or simply the vast ‘difficulty’ levels on offer. These were starting modifiers that unlock with progress.

Despotism 3K Review Summary

A simple concept that manages to produce as much interest as the energy excreted from these meat bags, Despotism 3K is a great indie title that PS4 owners can now experience. Sure, there’s not much in terms of modes, but the variety of modifiers, events and satisfaction at getting a little further each time make this a game worth playing.

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