Steampunk is an interesting concept, form of cosplay and idea. The subculture has been on the climb lately, which lead me to start questioning why more games haven’t been released in this vein. Yes, the atmosphere in the upcoming Bioshock Infinite has the feel, but I was thinking about something involving hulking airships. They put naval combat into Assassin’s Creed III, but no one has attempted steampunk airship combat.
Okay, so Muse Games! did release the solo player experience of Guns of Icarus that let you play as a crew member of the Icarus as wave after wave of pirate airships attempt to steal loot from your ship. It was very close to what I envisioned, but it just wasn’t enough. After all, who doesn’t want to captain their own airship in search of glory?
Guns of Icarus Online brings us just that, with a level of customization that is very impressive. Each of the six airships have many options when it comes to the gun load out. The only question is what kind of airship would you pilot? Would it ram into the side of another ship while blasting it with shot gun style weapons, they have that. Looking to snipe from a distance, while another ship goes in close, that’s in there as well. The options are limitless and are open to fit any play style out there.
Spawn points are close together so there is no waiting for the action to start. The maps are huge expanses of land with obstacles from a different time to navigate around, opening up a deeper level of strategy for pilots to figure out. A great captain is one that communicates to the crew and can use the environment to there advantage, be it hiding in a cloud of dust or trying to squeeze the airship between two large pillars of rock.
Don’t want to be the captain, no problem. There are two other classes in the game that play completely different. The gunner focuses on using all the on board weapons with the utmost skill. The Engineer is the role that is tasked with keeping your airship in the skies. This is no easy task, with mallets, spanners, and extinguishers needed to keep every last piece of the ship in working order all while taking damage from the other airships around you. Engineers are the ones that love the ship and keeps her in the sky.
They also made communicating with the other crew very clear and easy. The in game voice communications are on par with other out side of game coms like Ventrillo and Teamspeak. It’s as simple as pressing what ever key you decide to bind it to and talking to your crew, provided you have a microphone of course.
Guns of Icarus Online does have a few minor bugs that can take away from the game play. The most common being the long wait times at the end of each match. The fifth airship would be destroyed, the victor would be announced and then the game would just hang on that screen for 2 to 3 minutes before returning everyone to the lobby. If you just got off of a blazing victory with your crew, you want to jump right back into the action as fast as possible; this bug prevents this and takes away some of the excitement. The other issue are the frequent lag spikes in games. While it doesn’t destroy the game, it can make things annoying particularly when you are a gunner. Lining up that perfect shot only to have the game “catch up” and you be nowhere near where you originally wanted to fire can be incredibly frustrating.
Overall Guns of Icarus is a fun, fast paced game of airship battles. Select a role, get with some buddies and take to the skies to prove that you are the best and baddest air pirate around. I enjoy the hell out of the game on my own, but when I have my crew, its that much better. It’s well worth the price of admission, so get out there and prove you belong in the skies!