Well again tonight I had a little rage of playing some game and found nothing interesting on my hard drive so I opened Steam to see how I could spend some money.

That’s when I found Guns of Icarus. Watched the trailer, read the description, saw the price ($10) … Paypal checkout it’s done. It’s only after playing the game that I found out about the free version. Now I’d like to tell you what exactly is the difference but for some reason the web version doesn’t to want to start right now. The website says “Upgrade to the full version. 19 epic levels, 8 guns” so I guess the free version only has 1 level?

Basically you fly the Icarus (steampunk airship), shoot down enemies and repair your airship when it is damaged. Well you don’t really fly the Icarus as the objective of each level is to survive long enough to reach your destination. The concept sounded good enough for me but I’m not sure if the execution will be enough to remove my little playing rage tonight.

Now before going further a little disclaimer. My Steam timer is saying I played the game for 1 hour. That might sound a bit short to express an opinion on a game but in this hour I reached what seems to be the “end” of the campaign and started another one. The game has 18 levels linked to each other on a map but let you choose which path you want to follow. Each path has a difficulty level so I of course went with the easiest path since I figured I needed to learn how the game works. I didn’t quite expected to reach the “end” after only 5 levels (fastest path).

But that’s ok since the point isn’t much to reach the “end” but is rather to just have some silly fun shooting down enemies. So my first campaign was rather short and was fairly easy. Having the occasional rush of running to your engines to repair them before they explode while enemies are shooting at you is nice. Even though you just need to click and wait to repair something on your airship I somehow felt like Han Solo trying to fix the hyperdrive of the Millenium Falcon while being chased by Tie Fighters.

On my 2nd campaign I decided to pick another path which is tagged as “hard”. Well it was hard … and not quite as fun as the easy path. Not because I felt overwhelmed by the opposition as that was a nice feeling but soon I started to feel like totally not being able to do anything meaningful. I started by shooting some enemies and then quickly had to go repair the left engine. Left engine fixed now it’s the right engine that needs repairs. So I run fixing the right engine and once I’m done oh look! The left engine needs repairs again … And then it was the cargo and then the rigging and then the zeppelin until the whole thing exploded. I spent most of this mission running from one side to the other trying to keep everything under control and barely had any time to try to take down enemies.

Now maybe these paths are meant for a multiplayer games or maybe I just plain suck. I didn’t try multiplayer but the way it works is that you start a new game, copy a link and send them to your friends. Your friends paste this link in their browsers and then join your game (the whole thing runs on Unity) which is kinda neat. The game is probably more enjoyable that way so maybe I’ll try some day to get some people together (up to 4 players).

So like I said I played the game for 1 hour but don’t quite feel like playing more at least for a couple of days. All missions are basically the same (survive for X minutes) with more enemies and upgraded weapons as you progress. Is this bad? Well here’s how I see this.

This game is like going to the theater to see a Resident Evil movie. You don’t pay $10 because you expect Resident Evil to be the most amazing movie ever but because you want to see zombies and Milla Jovovich shooting zombies. Bonus points if she climbs a wall in high-heels boots to kick a zombie dog. You just hope they will put to good use the money you gave them for more ridiculous zombies ass-kicking stunts in RE4.

So Guns of Icarus feels a bit like that. For $10 (on Steam, $8 on the devs website) I’ll surely play for at least another 30 minutes which would make about 90 minutes for $10. That’s about the same price I paid to see each Resident Evil movies. The game left me wanting for something a bit more complex, a bit more longer, a bit more balanced. If my $10 helps these indie devs to make this possible then great! I’ll be buying whatever upgraded game they build on top of Guns of Icarus.

I’m guessing not everyone thinks like me but it helps to put things in perspective when you know what it is to build games. I like to imagine in a parallel universe what my situation would look like if everyone that played my game for 1 hour sent me $10 … That’d be nice but that doesn’t quite work like that I guess.

Anyway. Are you bored? Got $10 in your Paypal account? Got 1 hour for fun without having too much expectations? Go ahead and get Guns of Icarus! The next Resident Evil movie is only set for release in September anyway :P

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