Conglomerate 451 is self-described as a grid-based, dungeon crawling first-person RPG with roguelike elements set in a cyberpunk world. It is developed by Runeheads and published by 1C Entertainment. It is currently available on Windows via Steam and is in early access development.


Conglomerate 451 is a first person dungeon crawling adventure with a futuristic cyberpunk setting. Following in the vein of games such as Wizardry and Legend of Grimrock, this game trades massive amounts of skills and stats for less options and a focus on combat balance. It also takes a mildly hardcore approach in that your characters can permanently die, but as you can make infinite clones, you only ever really lose individual character progress. It also follows a procedural generation standard in terms of levels and missions rather than an interactive or linear story.


Each mission you undertake has different parameters and grants your team specific rewards, but also carry risks called mission effects which amount to some type of disadvantage. As you progress and earn more reputation, new areas will open up which will allow for riskier operations that of course carry greater rewards. During my testing experience, the game had six different areas to explore.

Before each mission however, you are transported to a pre-staging area located topside that has several merchants, a hacking terminal, and a few enemy encounters. The merchants deal in SPUs, enhancement drugs and similar modifiers to aid you in each mission. Items such as drugs however, are limited to a single excursion only and are “reintroduced” into the market once your mission is over. Other interfaces such as the hacking terminal allows you to choose between several benefits assuming you succeed. It has advantages such as unlocking all of the doors or the ability to always ambush your enemies.

Additional missions in the way of illegal jobs can also be challenged and are the only way to earn the liefeine currency. These missions are the inactive type, where you will send several of your agents to tackle a job without your direct control. Which clones you send will either add or detract from the risk factor so careful consideration of your team composition is a must.

While the feeling of procedural exploration was fun, after some time there was a certain lack of interactivity or impact, a feeling that games such as Wizardry or the Legend of Grimrock have. While you could interact with an object to loot, hack, or recharge your batteries, it did feel somewhat stale after a time. This didn’t make the game bad by any means, but a larger story arc or meaningful interactions from NPCs within each dungeon could definitely spice things up.


The customization in Conglomerate 451 is undoubtedly one of the more fun aspects of the game. Assigning various aspects such as DNA strains, weapon upgrades, and SPUs, which can alter any of your equipment or altered limbs can be creative and a lot of fun. Since modifications such as SPUs are random, it does lend a certain sense of uniqueness to each player or play-through.

The game’s main power creep comes from keeping your clones alive for as long as possible while upgrading their various customization options on the equipment screen alongside SPUs. Abilities can also be mastered and made more efficacious over time. None of these things can completely prevent you from loss however, which brings us to combat.


A large emphasis on balance is clearly valued in Conglomerate 451. Despite the number of abilities each class can use, only four may be actively selected for your treks into the city. This did give many encounters I had more of a gut-wrenching feeling since you tend to get attached to your clones and their relative progress. Pick too may attack abilities and you may not be able to heal, regenerate shield,s negate pain and limb injury, or recover from status effects that can downright end you if not addressed in a timely manner. All of this can be countered with a conservative load-out, but it is up to you to decide on whether you want speed or preservation.

Death and Cloning

Once a clone dies, it is over for that particular individual. No amount of wishing will bring him or her back. Basic cloning is a free process however, so you may continue to attempt to make copies and rebuilds of your favorite characters. During the cloning process, you can also choose to mutate the DNA of your clones, giving them one chosen advantage if you’ve researched the ability to do so and the specific alteration you want to use.

Story Synopsis

The game takes place within the city of Conglomerate and it is in a constant state of corporate turmoil. Sector 451 has the highest concentration of conflict and is considered the main battle zone. Many of these corporations also engage in clandestine activity and utilize gangs in these endeavors. To fight against this tide, specially trained battle clones employed by sanctioned agencies are sent in to restore order. The player assumes the role of director of such an agency and is tasked with dispersing crime and eliminating the corporations, and their influence, from the city.

There are lore elements within the games major milestones and some light background information can be gleaned from within your mission briefings. Outside of this however, the game is fairly light in the story department so far, though this may change in the final release version.


Controls in Conglomerate 451 are easy, simple, and fixed. Movement is achieved using WADS and combat actions can be performed by using mouse clicks or number keys. At the time of this writing, there is no option for key remapping but it does support plug and play controllers via the Steam interface. Camera controls are limited but you can use a snap style button to look around to enjoy the scenery.


Graphically, the game is very detailed, and I had an enjoyable time exploring the zones and observing all the minute aspects. City areas are laced with neon and corporate buildings have a sleek futuristic design. A lot of care was placed into area and character designs and it definitely shows. Both your clones and enemies have a fairly large level of detail and the character animations are certainly above average for games of this type. Attacks and effects were also rendered well and worked well in tandem with their associated sounds.


The sound effects throughout the game were of a consistently high quality. There are lush ambient sounds through every zone that help sell the atmosphere. Combat effects such as electrocution and small explosives sounded crisp and clear as well. There were a few odd choices here and there for some melee attacks but overall the audio choices and their respective qualities were enjoyable.


One of my favorite aspects of this game was the soundtrack. Utilizing various synth, dance, electronic, and DnB tracks with a gritty synthwave flair, Conglomerate 451 absolutely nailed this part of the immersion. Mixing up the combat tracks was an exceptionally good move, seeing as how audio repetition in games like these is often a killer.


Conglomerate 451 is a promising cyberpunk-laced title that will be enjoyable for fans of old school dungeon crawlers. As it is an early access title, it is still in development and there are several features, both in and outside of battle, which are unavailable. I feel that the developers have done a exemplary job in the look and feel department, capturing the audio and visuals down to a point to where it sells itself well.

Constructively, I feel that it does come off as somewhat repetitive in terms of mission availability and execution. The underlying mechanics of the game can at times seem formulaic and after a dozen hours or so, it starts to gray out a bit. The developers however, seem extremely receptive to feedback and seem to be addressing issues positively through early access which is a very good sign. From what I could tell from their responses, they are also addressing almost everything I had reservations about. I plan on following up on this game in the future to see how it pans out, but so far it still hits on a very positive note.

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