Throughout the ongoing pandemic, people have turned to video games as a way to escape the relentless nightmare. Plague Inc: Evolved does exactly the opposite by making a deadly plague its primary theme – forcing you to face reality. The topical strategy simulation has a new DLC on offer, and Steam has stated that it will be free “until COVID-19 is under control”.
UK studio Ndemic Creations’ timely game is actually nine-years-old, but its subject matter couldn’t be any more relevant in the present. You are tasked with creating and developing a pathogen designed to annihilate a deadly plague that threatens the world – sound familiar? While the spread of Covid-19 may leave you feeling powerless, Plague Inc. gives you control over managing, containing, and eradicating the disease – which may leave this virtual world in a better state than we’re in.
The free DLC “The Cure” requires the base game to operate, and adds new mechanics to help you stop the spread in the series’ biggest expansion yet. Various tasks for you to undertake include allocating resources, filling governmental duties like sending countries into lockdown and making face masks mandatory, and leading an investigation team in hopes of finding a cure.
This expansion was created under the guidance of world health experts WHO, CEPI, and GORAN – which brings authenticity to the game’s science. There may not yet be a cure in the real world, but producing one in Plague Inc. may provide some temporary relief and hope for the future.
At the beginning of last year – when Covid-19 began to rear its ugly head – the developer had to provide a disclaimer to inform people that Plague Inc. was not a “scientific model”. It continued to digress that “Coronavirus is a very real situation”, speaking directly to folks who believed that Ndemic Creations had found answers. Steam also hopped on the inevitable bandwagon – amidst too many in-game similarities to the real world – by offering a free-to-play invitation to The Cure until the real world finds an antidote of its own.
In February last year, Plague Inc. was removed from the Chinese App Store because it allegedly contained content that China deemed illegal. Its removal was a devastating blow for long-term Chinese players, and a suspicious one during Covid-19’s initial outbreak.
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