Steamcraft – Review
Follow Genre: Action
Developer: Last Level
Publisher: Last Level
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Steamcraft – Review

Site Score
3.0
Good: No pay-to-win
Bad: You pay the entry fee and get a watered down FTP game
User Score
2.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 2.5/10 (4 votes cast)

Sometimes when a game becomes popular it is only a matter of time before there’s a title that awfully looks the same way. Most times it’s a free-to-play game that takes the momentum of an expensive title in order to lure people in and greatly increase its playerbase. Only this time it’s the other way around with Steamcraft. If you know Crossout or Robocraft by any chance you will immediately see the resemblance between the title below. Only there is a very large gap in quality, and it comes at a price.

Story

Steamcraft comes without any story or background. You just get dropped into the game with a small tutorial and that’s it. There is no single player mode, however there is a skirmish option in the menu that is blacked out. For the time being this is just an online arcade game with the skirmishes probably being an option in the future. No story means absence of flow and progression, this is a missed opportunity with the unique setting that is in place.

Graphics

The game is based on the Steampunk subgenre with vehicles consisting of inspired parts and weapons. Everything seems nice and correct for the genre with the exception of the maps. Locations where you battle on feel very generic and only have the objective part that is Steampunk. It would have been nicer to have these strong industrial zones or have more influence of the culture put into the surroundings. Vehicles and parts are simple just as in other titles but sport the aesthetic of this particular style.

Sound

Starting in the garage there is this old radio playing some classic melody, this is very pleasant background music when working on your vehicle and gives you a bit of immersion. Sadly this is the only good music there is because while battling on the field there is no real music playing only when you get into combat. This war song is terribly annoying and will hurt your ears worse than some YouTube video through cheap headphones.

Gameplay

Steamcraft is an action game that allows the user to build their vehicle and take it into battle. As the title is intended to be solely online there are already some problems considering the playerbase. Steamcraft is a game that closely resembles titles such as Crossout and Robocraft but what the main difference is between these titles is that Steamcraft is a paid version, while the other two implement a free-to-play formula with microtransactions. Due to the paying nature of Steamcraft there is smaller incentive to attract new players. If you then look at the formula of the competition, it’s only natural that people don’t like to pay for a game that uses the same content of free-to-play titles, without offering much innovative content.

The first issues pop up when looking at the limitations put on the player. You are only allowed to use one weapon type per vehicle build, while in the other games you are free to put on your vehicle what you want. Even when placing four guns on your car, only one will fire at a time, making the rest feel like accessories and making them somewhat redundant. This is very annoying, especially when taking a look at weapons with a lower rate of fire. It’s easy to get swarmed by players who opt for rapid firing weapons, making the bigger guns somewhat useless. The games from the competitors offer more versatile functions, allowing you to combine weapons of different ranges.

The second problem is that to pay for your nice vehicle you must earn it in a very hard way. Since there is no pay-to-win shortcut implemented, players will have to grind their way up to newer and stronger builds. In the beginning you will notice that items are affordable but as soon as you get to upgrading to the second tier, many parts will be very expensive and you find yourself short on financial resources rather quickly. The payout you get from completing missions is rather meager. Playing matches is the only way to get money and sometimes at random occasions you get a small care package with some parts in it. That parts need to be paid for is normal, but even cosmetic upgrades will cost you a pretty penny, forcing you to either farm a lot if you want some unique visuals, or just opt for upgrading necessary items and make the game somewhat bland?

The third main issue are the empty servers, as a financial investment is needed there aren’t much players in the game yet, and with more interesting competitors it won’t be soon that people will switch over to Steamcraft. Unless some serious modifications happen, you will stay stuck fighting against A.I. controlled bots and these bots are not well balanced as they will snipe you from the other side of the map without hesitation.

Building your war machine is done in a modular fashion. You place blocks next to each other and this is pretty easy to do. Constructional integrity is something to keep in mind. You start with the vehicle’s core and build around it and parts that get destroyed will take attached parts with it. This is why it’s so important to reinforce crucial parts or risk losing them in a single shot. Your war machine has two health bars, core and overall health. The only way to destroy an enemy is by destroying its core, to do so you’ll have to chip away exterior parts and immobilize the target. Veteran players of this genre know the simple trick to either destroy the wheels or weapons first, and then feed on their prey. But the developers have a trick up their sleeve, as a last resort you deploy a spider mine that can take out enemies in one explosion. Overpowered? Yes! Fun? Definitely!

Controlling the game isn’t hard and when you crash the car you can flip it upright. There isn’t much good to the title as it lacks in every department. Since content is scarce for a paying game many people will opt for the free alternatives.

Conclusion

Steamcraft had the opportunity to make a great battle game but falls short on many aspects. Not only is the customization limited and every part locked behind in-game credits, the gameplay is just not inviting and empty servers means fighting against bots are too strong, giving them an unfair advantage. Overall it’s best to avoid the game if you’re fan of its free-to-play counterparts and you expect more of this title because it’s a title you have to pay for. If you do pick up the title for unknown reasons, you’ll probably quickly mute the experience as the combat music is simply atrocious.

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Rating: 2.5/10 (4 votes cast)
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Steamcraft – Review, 2.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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