Saturday, January 14, 2017

Steamworld Heist

Rating: 8.8
Happy Price: 19.99


Steamworld Heist is a 2D turn based shooter, that allows the user to aim their weapon each turn. This allows for headshots to induce critical attacks, use the environment, and to ricochet bullets. You are also suppose to recruit new team members with different abilities, and develop them to unlock their powers. In order to complete the game, it is almost essential to have four characters fully leveled up, and at least someone with a top tier weapon. 


Success will be determined by how you strategically place your Steambots to allow for maximum defense and attack position. Levels are randomly generated, but rarely did I encounter a level that felt unfair. There are a variety of ways to find cover, whether it's a destructible barrel, sturdy plasma shield, or an indestructible steel support. Similar to XCOM, you can choose to move to a point where you can attack post movement, or sprint to a location where you won't be able to attack that turn. The environment also provides explosive objects that can be used for or against you. At times, you may be required to ricochet a bullet to an explosive barrel in order to avoid disaster, combining to mechanics into one action. These moments really make you feel like a badass, but at the same time the game expects you to be intelligent enough to recognize when you're suppose to do theses things.

On the standard difficulty, the enemy AI is rather forgiving. They are rarely in the open, but at the same time they are not the most accurate when firing back at you. The most devastating enemies are ones with forward facing indestructible shields that rush and melee you. About half of the levels have alarms, which require you to beat a level in a certain amount of turns. While alarms are active, more enemies appear and have to be disposed of. When the enemy outnumbers you significantly is when you'll run into trouble. At that point it doesn't really matter how smart they are when they outgun you. 


The story starts off with self interests in mind, but then leads to you wanting to save the world, like any great story. Technically, you and your crew are pirates. There are other pirates in the system that are causing trouble, and you don't want the Royal Fleet coming in and disturbing your pillages, so you try to end it so things calm down. From there it progresses and you'll end up facing three different enemy races each with distinct abilities and personalities. The art style in combination with the script brings this game to life and they work well together. As simple as the story is, it is fulfilling and feels original. 


The following classes are available during gameplay:

Sniper - Weapons have laser sight which allows for great accuracy, and for seeing the trajectory of a bullet when it ricochets, allowing for complex shots to be taken. However, snipers can't shoot if they move during a turn (unless the weapon they are wielding allows for that). 

Assault - Weapons consist of sub machine guns and shotguns. Assault class can be used in close up or mid range situations. Depending on the weapon wielded, it will usually be inaccurate and high in damage, or moderatly accurate with moderate damage. Assault classes usually have average health as well. 

Vanguard - This is the close range class that can wield shotguns or submachine guns. Usually posesss abilities that regenerate health or have high defense to support their close range role. Equipping with a shotgun is recommended. 

Heavy - Contain explosive type weapons or mini guns. This class isn't unlocked until the middle of the game, but I found it to be very essential. Like a sniper, sometimes can't fire a weapon after they've moved. The heavy will deal the most damage of any class, but may have low health and defense. I would not have beaten the game without this class.


The 2D art is very good and original. There aren't too many animations, but the ones that are executed are done very well without any noticeable flaws. I particularly liked when enemies were killed they would explode into a bunch of parts that would fall on the floor, because they are steambots. It was usually done in slow motion as well, so you would be rewarded visually each time you killed an enemy. The bullet impact would also be in slow motion, allowing for you to register the location of your bullet and if you got a critical hit which contributed to the kill. The backgrounds of the galaxies, interior of the ships, and weapons all have details about them that show a real effort was made to make each item in the game be apart of the world. 


I had more fun playing this than I did XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The control I had hitting enemies, while also using strategy makes it superior in my opinion, despite the game not being in 3D. I spent about 15 hours playing this, but each moment I was progressing and being pushed to purchase new weapons and armor. The story was advancing in each moment as well, at no point did I feel like I was wasting my time. The final boss is extremely hard, but I was able to win in two tries, with a mix of luck and skill. This game is a must play, and you'll likely be able to get it on sale. 

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