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To the Green: Cold Contract

Don Parsons / November 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM / Opinions

To The Green is an ongoing article series that each week spotlights one indie game on Greenlight to talk about it. Greenlight right now as a process is a mess and its difficult for good projects to get noticed amongst it all and its hidden off to the side, and the discovery update did nothing for it. The following mechanism there doesn’t really work, as it doesn’t tell you when the game gets greenlit even.

But that may be for another time. Today we’re going to sit down and talk about a Strategy rpg in the mould of Jagged Alliance: Cold Contract. Cold Contact has been designed by the two man team Ferius and is currently in early access on their website, slated to be fully released later this year.

Cold Contract Regional Map

A view of Cold Contract’s Region Map

Cold Contract makes heavy use of procedural generation to create varied missions, maps, and mercenaries who you can hire for your team. Each world map is different and set to work in logical matters and design in the way most such games use it. It is set to adjust the difficulty of the world based on location and what’s gone on – in general the further you are from your headquarters, the harder the fight. Military Bases are always difficult though as one might expect.

A difference from Jagged Alliance is that there may be more customization options, borrowing from Xcom to some extent it seems. Headquarters is where you work from and where you can set up your armoury, vehicles, squads and purchase various upgrades. These upgrades go from defensive ones from your base, to more vehicles, to more soldiers hire-able and deploy-able in a squad, and other strategic ones. They essentially fill your upgradable character role in many ways as the ‘base character’ gets new abilities and grows as you ‘level’ him with spending. Thats not to say your mercenaries don’t level up – they do and can be changed quite dramatically over time with the right skills and level options.

Cold Contract Character Screen

A look at a Cold Contract mercenary’s stats and skills

The AI in the game has been designed in two separate parts – first for the ‘real time’ strategic level and second for the turn-based tactical combats. On the world map, the AI has several levels of aggression depending on how much you’ve advanced and what you have taken from them. Their goals vary based on how powerful you are and what you have done in the game.

The AI works in turn-based by considering the level of the enemy. The higher the level, the more intelligent it will act and how it will use its equipment and the environment against you. The AI can understand concepts like smoke grenades to cover retreats, falling back to better positions, regrouping with allies and healing to make the games combat very challenging.

Speaking of the environment and the AI’s ability to use it – all of the environment is intractable with to at least some degree. That very least degree is blowing it up with a ton of explosives. Each building was designed with a specific function thus giving all their different buildings unique architecture as the random generation works off different sets of rules for each.

Cold Contract Fight

This is a Cold Contract Fight with some gases off to the left as the tank was destroyed

When the game creates the world map it creates 25 locations on it. These locations are places you can go and interact with – such as villages, towns, airports, military site, or an industrial site. Time passes, and can make for day or night assaults depending on when you attack a location.

There is a lot more details on the game as it appears to go quite in depth into many areas despite its simple graphics like leveling up characters, various missions and such. The graphics are simple but functional from what was seen in the combat demo – they aren’t going to wow you but they allow the game to work cleanly and are relatively colourful.

If a strategy-rpg in the vein of Jagged Alliance interests you I strongly recommend checking out Cold Contract, voting for it on Steam Greenlight and trying out their combat demo.

Or you could watch this trailer here for more details:


Do you know a game you think To The Green should focus on next? Email [email protected] about it and we’ll take a look!

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.