Guns of Icarus – Review
Follow Genre: Action adventure, Team-based combat
Developer: Muse Games
Publisher: Muse Games
Platform: PC, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Guns of Icarus – Review

Site Score
6.8
Good: Inventive & fun take on team-based combat
Bad: Lack of story, long waiting times for PvP
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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Guns of Icarus is a new twist on team based combat: take to the skies in a steampunk style airship and fight your way through waves of AI enemies or battle other players in a team consisting of different roles who need to work well together. Guns of Icarus has been developed and published by Muse Games, an indie games developer.

Story

Guns of Icarus is set in a steampunk world with 6 factions battling for control. This sounds like a perfect setting for some epic stories and impressive cutscenes, but sadly, this is not the case. You’ll get a short explanation of what each faction represents as you choose a faction, but besides that you’ll have no real story content. The factions fight for the control of territory and to gather resources, and you’ll help out with that by fighting battles and contributing earnings to the war.

Graphics

The graphics look fine, but the character models look a bit outdated. The ship designs are really fancy and look both dangerous and stylish at the same time. The different ships are really distinct, but all fit well within the steampunk theme. The environments are absolutely gorgeous: you’ll be able to play at night, at sunset, in daylight or at dusk. There’ll be clouds and beautiful rock formations to gawk at before the enemy ships come in sight and all your attention should go to the fight! The UI during battles is simple and easy to use. The game around the battles is quite complicated, and will take some time to fully understand. You’ll be able to keep an eye on your character’s progression, achievements, character unlocks, character customization, and faction war effort. It’s quite a lot to take in, but the complexity makes the game more interesting as well.

Sound

The sound is fine, fitting sounds for the actions. Background music is decent, the different guns are easily recognizable by their sounds, which helps to check whether a certain type of gun is manned at the time you attack an enemy ship

Gameplay

Guns of Icarus is an action-adventure game, where you man a steampunk airship with a team of four players with different roles, to fight other players or battle through a PvE scenario. You can choose between three roles on a ship: engineer, gunner, or captain. Each class has a tutorial you’ll have to complete before you can choose that role in online play. The tutorial seems simple, but you’ll get a lot of information in a very short time: which tools to use for what, and which guns you’ll need first to break through armor, and which will do the most damage after armor has been stripped, which ammo types there are and their strengths, etc.

As an engineer, you are basically the healer of the team. You’ll repair the ships systems like the guns, the steering systems, or the armor. Armor is most important: if it gets destroyed completely, you will all die. Luckily, there is an option to join the same fight again, so not all is lost if your crew lost. Besides repairing ships, you’ll also be able to help the gunner out and shoot other ships when you are not running around putting out fires. As an engineer, you’ll have very limited types of ammo.  As a gunner, you have different and more effective kinds of ammo to load guns with. You’ll need to be alert where the enemies are and which guns will be facing the enemy ships when the pilot goes in to attack. As gunner you’ll also be able to perform some repair tasks to help the engineers, but your toolkit is way more limited. As a pilot you’ll be in charge of steering the ship, and the task of commandeering your crew befalls the pilot as well, since the pilot knows the way they are planning to pass the enemy ship or structure. The ship is able to move in three dimensions along intricate rock formations, so steering the ship and position strategically to target or avoid a moving enemy is not an easy task! You’ll have to be very familiar with the layout of the ship and the positioning of the guns to be an effective pilot. Besides that you’ll have several tricks you can use to move around faster, but these will also damage your ship!

You can play all three classes, you don’t have to choose one. You can customize a character for each class, and you’ll level the classes separately from each other. As you level up your classes you’ll unlock several cosmetic items, as well as new tools / skills and even airship components. Other ways of unlocking cool items is by earning achievements, or buying things in the game’s store via micro transactions.

You can battle other players, or play a mission where you’ll be fighting against AI ships. Finding players for your team in online match making can take quite a while. Currently it seems to be easier to find matches in PvE mode compared to PvP, but the PvE mode is quite new at the moment: it has been introduced with the recent release of GoI: Alliance. If your crew isn’t full, the remaining crew will get supplemented with AI. Other players in the lobby can choose if they want to play instead of a role filled by an AI player. Guns of Icarus is one of the few games offering cross-platform team play: PS4 players can team up with gamers on PC to play together! Having one big pool of players of all platforms really helps in shortening the queues to play a game. To communicate with your team you’ll be able to use some standard commands, but there’s also voice chat to communicate more effectively.

As you start the game you’ll choose a faction. Each faction controls parts of a world map, and the battles you play determine losses and victories for your faction. You’ll also win war effort points when winning a match, you can spend these towards the battles your faction is fighting across the world map. Your faction will need certain resources, so you’ll need to spend your war effort points strategically to help your faction. The map is something that feels like a game within the game, and isn’t that easy to get the hang of when you first play, but online tutorials can help to gain some more insight. Each faction also has specific ships with certain strengths and weaknesses, but as you join a crew you’ll be able to play on any faction’s ship.

Conclusion

Guns of Icarus is an inventive and fun twist on team-based combat, in a cool steampunk style setting. The character models look a bit outdated, but the ships have very cool designs and the environments look absolutely beautiful! The game is most fun when you play together with a team of friends using voice chat, and luckily these can be friends on either PC or PlayStation. Queuing up solo to join a random crew works fine as well, but the waiting times for PvP matches are rather long. This game is fun to play and has a lot of potential!

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Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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