Steambirds Alliance Preview: Pigeons of War
Greg Johnson / Oct 11th, 2017 No Comments
If a “dogfight” is an aerial battle involving aircrafts, what do you call a dogfight where the pilots are pigeons? According to developer Spry Fox, you call it Steambirds Alliance.
The bullet hell MMO pits groups of players against a mega-boss, and birds of a feather must flock together. I was able to play Steambirds Alliance in its current form, and I was intrigued by the game’s demand for teamwork and social interaction.
Down With Cats
In Steambirds Alliance, players enter a server that puts them into a part of the world populated with other players. The goal is to work together to defeat one final boss in the region. In order to do that, players must work up a hierarchy of sub-bosses and enemies.
Numerous smaller bosses must be defeated before moving on to stronger, more unique enemies.
Players control fighter planes, while enemies start in similar ships before moving up to bigger vessels, fortress-style enemies and giant mech bosses.
Steampunk-inspired flying mechs, beasts and battle stations show off a great deal of creativity. In one instance, I had to defeat the Queen Bee, a giant bee-shaped ship that spit out mines from her stinger.
Pick Your Plane, Pigeon
Steambirds Alliance has several types of ships to choose from at the beginning of the game. The type of ship you choose will determine your speed and other base stats.
For instance, you may choose a mobile plane that can perform smooth 180s and maneuver quickly, a plane outfitted with rapid-fire machine guns or an aircraft with healing capabilities to help your fellow pilots. For my playthrough, I chose a nimble craft armed with heavy cannons able to fire in multiple directions.
Planes can also drop mines, release corrosive gas and other various items.
Battling mostly consists of moving your plane about and firing by the click of a button. But strategy comes into play and there are various resources and parts dropped by enemy ships for players to collect.
Resources consist of health regenerations and other typical pickups. What is more beneficial is the parts that can be found. These parts of other ships include weapons, engines and more. Once acquired, players can open the menu to swap out and customize their plane. This can greatly impact your play style and how well your plane performs.
To The Skies
Steambirds Alliance is a fast-paced, enjoyable introduction to bullet hell games. This isn’t to say the game is easy, but it presents the genre in a way that is easy to consume. The mechanics are simple and customization is numerous.
Going forward, the biggest bit of the game yet to be fully seen is the in-game social hub, which will facilitate item trading as well as allow players to regroup and find teammates before going back into the fray.
Steambirds Alliance is set to release by the end of 2017 for PC.
tags: PAX , PAX West 2017 , preview , Spry Fox LLC , Steambirds Alliance , Steambirds Alliance Preview