SteamWorld Heist Review

Once in a while get to see some really original games and SteamWorld Heist is one such example. A turn based game, where we control a crew of robot pirates in space, who board ships, destroy bad guys and solve problems. With controls inspired from games such as Worms and XCOM and many roguelike elements,  the spiritual successor of SteamWorld Dig promises to give a nice twist to turn based games.

Our story is set after the destruction of the earth. The only survivors were the steampunk robots which need water to operate. As such water is the most valuable resource in the world of our game and is used as currency. Our characters are a group a robot pirates lead by Piper, who do what pirates do. However, due to some distress caused by a group of bandit robots and the so called “Royalists” our heroes start doing more noble missions, such as rescuing kidnapped robots, recovering stolen goods and eliminating the other bad guys, while they improve their reputation.

We start off with Piper and Seabrass in our crew, since before the first mission the rest are destroyed by the bad guys. As we travel we will have the chance to recruit more robots, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Some robots will do more damage the turn after they are hit while others will do more damage if they don’t move in their turn at all. However, we can improve our crew’s effectiveness by equipping them with special armor, better weapons and explosives or repair kits. Of course, we need to think which member would use better which piece of gear and assign the gear appropriately. These pieces of gear can be found in bags or boxes after you successfully complete a mission and have, of course, collected it. I would suggest collecting every last piece of loot you can find in each level!

The missions are played out with turns. For each crew member we have in a given mission we have that number of moves before the enemy team has the chance to move or attack. The robots can either move or attack, but if they travel bigger distances they will not be able to attack on the same turn. So, observe your surroundings carefully and plan your moves accordingly, because one wrong decision could mean a dead crewmate or a missed opportunity for a good kill. What is more, you must also plan how you are going to shoot your bullets, since many guns have bouncing bullets and can reach places you couldn’t reach with a simple shot. As your characters level up, the gain some abilities which provide them and their team with various bonuses.

The game features several difficulty settings, ranging from casual to hardcore. Casual is targeted towards people who don’t like planning that much and are more interested in the story of the game. Of course, as the difficulty rises, so do the rewards you get after each level. I believe it a great idea to include a difficulty for those who don’t like planning and strategizing too much, so that they will be able to enjoy the game at their own pace. However, there is plenty of challenge for those who are up to it! One important thing to note is that the difficulty of the game can be changed before entering a mission, so if you feel more confident of your abilities after a few missions, you can then go to more “serious” battles.

What impressed me the most in SteamWorld Heist is it’s graphics. The textures and all the environments look extremely well-polished and the work on animation is astonishing. Additionally, the speech of the robots is in robotic sounds which makes sense, but I would prefer it if they spoke the human language with a robotic vibe to it, but that’s just my opinion. As for the soundtrack, it is made by one of my favorite steampunk bands, Steam Powered Giraffe, whose work you can find here and here.

SteamWorld Heist released on the 7th of June and is available on Steam, PS4, PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS shop for 19,99€. Additional information can be found on the game’s official website.


Verdict

SteamWorld Heist i surely an interesting game about robots in space. An excellent combat system which be adjusted to the player’s preference and as such welcomes new players, while it still provides the more seasoned players with a good challenge. Excellent work has also been done on the game’s aesthetics which feature extremely polished environments and smooth animations. Our only complaint is that the game can get quite repetitive over time, because of the similar mission structure and not so unpredictable combat system.


+Solid Combat System
+Extremely Polished
Get eventually repetitive and predictable

Score: 8.8/10
Dimitris “Onel” Zarachanis

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