Quick Review: Codename Cure

Probably the first review that’s actually pretty quick!

Codename CURE was released a little ways back in July on Steam as a free early access game. The short jist: it’s a class based co-op zombie shooter made in the Source engine. You pick from the basic array of classes – ie. guy with shotgun or guy with machine gun – and each come with a particular ability or item that supposedly differentiates that class from the rest.

Unfortunately lackluster gameplay, re-used assets, and poor (often ugly) map design, makes Codename CURE easily forgotten.

Although still being classified an “early access” title one must keep in mind that the version released on Steam is an essential a copy of a previously completed mod to – I can only hope – work off of. Despite that hope, it appears the same core elements and bad map design has been present since the mod’s original release in 2013. It’s one thing to release a work-in-progress on a platform that is exploding with such opportunities both good and bad, but it’s another to release said game with a bland concept and an even blander core gameplay – while hardly reiterating a two year old mod. Yes, everything can be subject to change especially in Early Access, but Cure‘s direction does not seem promising as far as structural improvements.

This is how one map looked in 2013. It still looks the same.

Few aspects of the mod-turned-game’s maps aren’t bad at all. “Acceptable for Early Access” you might say. The rest, the majority, is pretty terrible. The Early Access badging shouldn’t be used as a constant defense in bashing game’s appearance and development progress. As a Source engine game and a previous mod at that, better looking and better flowing maps should be expected by now considering both the engine and game’s age. Some maps start out well enough but quickly are broken up by wide open spaces with no apparent purpose. Other times, such as the map above, the entire level is poorly laid out and plain. That in particular brings out much of the core flaws in Cure’s attempt to recreate a type of Left 4 Dead zombie spawning system. Zombies appear out of thin air and can be easily seen spawning in randomly in these uselessly big maps. They spawn infinitely as well which can cause even more trouble for your zombie-slaughtering crew as you struggle to understand the level’s direction.

The classes aren’t that different and are mainly just sporting different guns. One can lay down an auto-turret and another has incendiary grenades, two useful zombie killing tools for sure. With that said, a few of the classes have their special item replaced with simple grenades, fitting with the bland background of today’s simplistic class-based games.

At this point, I feel bad for what I’ve said. For the fiftieth time, “It’s Early Access!” you say! There were two paths I could’ve taken with this. One path rails on the game from a personal perspective as a longtime modder and player of the Source engine. In addition I would shutter at even calling it a game at this point. The other path tries to take myself out of my head and take on the game with its deserving merits: it’s functional. On second thought, that’s it. It’s functional.

Overall, Codename Cure is an uninspired functional co-op shooter that looks bad and plays just so. It’s free though, so you can decide for yourself. Love it or hate it, wait for dev updates or ignore it, you’ll surely forget it.

Here’s to the hope of Early Access success.

Try out Codename Cure for yourself on Steam

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About Ciarán

Spent 2008-2012 working on nooses for the financial sector. Earned praised for my work short selling carnival rides in Daytona, FL. Practiced in the art of donating squirt guns for the underprivileged. Developed several new methods for creating marketing channels for heroin with no outside help. I currently spend several months out of the year buying and selling crickets in the UK.

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