Guns of Icarus Online Preview
Mike Zrimsek / Jul 18th, 2012 No Comments
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with some of the amazing developers at Muse Games to talk about their upcoming title, Guns of Icarus Online. Now this game is far from finished, but thus far it has successfully implemented a plethora of input received in response to Guns of Icarus, which was released in 2010. What they have put together has tons of potential to become an extremely unique and enjoyable online, multiplayer experience.
I honestly don’t know what genre to place this game in; all I know is you fly around with a crew in these battleships and try to shoot the other team out of the sky. It’s an extremely fast paced and rewarding experience that anyone can jump into and enjoy with little to no prior knowledge of the game. Let’s talk about the how it looks so far. My first impression upon opening this game was that it looked awesome. Muse really found an art style that fit the story and design of the game and fleshed it out in a beautiful manner. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic, war-torn world, Guns of Icarus has a steam-punk/diesel-punk feel to it that really makes the universe more believable as you play. The premise behind the game is that World War II never ended and the world basically went to hell and the nations decided to wage war from their battleships, acting almost as a substitute for total warfare. Truth be told, there wasn’t much I was told about the story aside from the above, but there have been confirmed plans to include a much more realized world story at, or shortly following release.
Gameplay is just as enthralling as the visuals. There are three roles for players to pick from, each with their own perks. Captains, gunners, and engineers all serve important roles separate from one another, though they can all partake in some form of all the duties on board. Captains are in charge of directing the ship and calling out where enemies are, guiding gunners to shoot them out of the sky. As a captain, you have the ability to use a Spyglass, which enables you to target and mark enemies. This is extremely useful because from far away, it is extremely difficult to tell who is friend and who is foe. Gunners, as their name would seem to imply, specialize in using the weapons on the ship. There are a wide variety of weapons, from mortar guns to machine guns, they all have differing rates of fire, damage, and range that forces you to utilize them efficiently in each of the specific combat instances. As a gunner, you are able to use different kinds of ammo that will do varying amounts of damage or apply different effects on the enemies they hit. For instance, you can apply flaming bullets and set enemy ships aflame, forcing their team to scramble to put out the fire before it deals too much damage. The last class is the Engineer which acts of a sort of a support character for the vessel. You’re main goal in this position is to make sure your ship stays afloat, whether that means repairing engines and guns, or putting out fires set my incendiary bullets. The really enticing aspect of the gameplay isn’t just that you’re on board a giant flying death machine, but rather you’re not just stuck to your specific role you chose at the beginning of the map. While it’s true picking a class makes you more suited for some things than others, everyone can do everything. For example, say you’re taking heavy fire from one side and you need someone else to man a gun to fight for your very survival. The captain can leave his post to help fight off the incoming firepower, successfully enabling your ship to win the fight and be able to recover for the next bout.
Guns of Icarus Online has a lot of potential to become an extremely cooperative game that groups of people get together and play competitively. When I was talking with Muse Games, we touched on the potential for tournaments, where teams of people each take a ship and work together to advance through the bracket. The opportunity for play like this is immense in my mind and makes me extremely hopeful for what the future brings for Guns of Icarus. Also, with features like a free roaming world mode to adventure with in the mix, the replay value should be so great that it keeps people hooked for a while. Arriving sometime in September, the cost of the game should be relatively low, relying mostly on in game micro-transactions for cosmetic additions such as costumes and ship ornaments. Ready yourself for Guns of Icarus, because once it’s here, the ships are taking to the sky to fight battles the likes of which you’ve never imagined.