Guns of Icarus Online is a team-based online airship combat game, in a steampunk / dieselpunk and post-apocalyptic inspired world. Players take to the skies with their crew, boarding an airship and flying in to battle for wealth and glory. Players can team up with their friends, taking on different roles which are required to navigate and effectively use an airship. Players will need to work together seamlessly to keep the airship flying, and must work under extreme amounts of pressure in the midst of battle. Everyone has a job to do, and victory depends on the combined effort of the crew, not the lone wolf.
Players can choose from one of three different roles, the Captain who steers the ship, the Engineer who repairs the air ship, and the Gunner who uses the mounted weapons to fight enemies in the sky. Each role experiences the game in a completely different way, and while they couldn’t be more different in terms of style, they fit together perfectly for team-based PvP action. A good team will bring in plenty of wealth, allowing them to craft and buy bigger ships, with bigger guns. With a huge amount of strategy, and a blend of features from FPSs, RTSs, MMOs, and RPGs, Guns of Icarus will grab your interest straight from the start.
It’s a little hard to explain the genre of this game, let alone the refreshingly unique experience this game offers based on such a simple concept – take air ships, make big maps, let players shoot each other. It’s such a simple setup that it makes it really easy to pick up and play, even if you are only looking for a quick 10 minute match. There’s more here however for the invested player, the developers are constantly adding more depth to the game with every patch. During my time with the developers they explained how they intend to add a lot of customizations for the air ships, allowing players to truly stick to their own play style and unique strategies.
The aero naval mechanics feel pretty good, it feels a lot like a boat in the air – as it should I guess with such flight physics. Captains will need to navigate their ship in a manner which allows their gunners to effectively shoot down opposing airships. Depending on the weapons the captain has selected, this could be anything from a long-range howitzer to closer-range flak cannon. While flying in different directions, the Captain can increase or decrease the speed of the ship, even putting it in reverse, or raise and lower the height. The key to winning here is to effectively keep your airship at an angle which is difficult for your enemy to attack, while facing your most effective guns directly towards the enemy airship.
A gunner can only ever be as good as their captain, you can be the best shot in the world but if your captain is flying like a mad man you may not even get the chance to make a good shot. This puts the emphasis on team work; you want your best shooters to be running between the guns, while communicating with the Captain to best determine which directions to head in. Good gunners can quickly navigate the deck to make use of multiple guns in a single pass of an enemy airship. Shooting does require some attention to flight path of the projectile and range, leaving it down to skill and choice of weapons for your crew in battle.
Last but not least, the final piece in the holy trinity, the Engineer. Even the best captain and gunners will only get you so far, an engineer will keep you up and running long after the conflict is over and ready for the next, which is sure to come soon. Engineer to me personally was the most boring; however there are some who prefer the support role. Players run around the deck reparing things like the engines, weapons and balloon. The action is performed by hitting the object with a hammer, which will initiate a time based repair. Good Engineers will have to possess great time management, as when battles erupt, it becomes a great deal of micromanagement for the Engineer. Never underestimate the value of a good Engineer however; you will be surprised how they can turn the battle around.
Guns of Icarus Online still has a short way to come, but only in terms of finalizing development and polish. Muse Games have a sound gameplay concept which they are so far executing brilliantly, making this a fun and enjoyable experience that has truly forged its own genre. After spending only two weekends with the game, I can’t wait to get back in for more.
Visit the official Guns of Icarus Online site to find out more!