Guns of Icarus Online

Preview

posted 7/10/2012 by Travis Huinker
other articles by Travis Huinker
Platforms: PC
The original Guns of Icarus focused on a single-player campaign that had players manning turrets and fixing parts of an airship, with an included option for four player cooperative online play. With Guns of Icarus Online from Muse Games, the focus has been shifted to a team-based multiplayer experience that has players battling for air supremacy in a post-apocalyptic, steampunk world. Guns of Icarus Online can be considered a spiritual successor to the original game with a more expansive scope in both gameplay and presentation aspects. The project recently completed a successful funding campaign through Kickstarter and is now hosting various beta weekends before its upcoming launch in late August/early September for Windows PC and Mac.

Before entering matches, players will be able to select from the classes of captain, engineer, and gunner. Each of the classes start with equipment that favors their role in battle, but are still allowed to switch roles if one of the other crew members is killed in battle or the circumstance requires for heavy damage repair. Captains have the role of piloting the airship in both its direction and altitude, which is important for gunners in lining up shots against enemy ships. If all else fails, captains can always take the drastic option of ramming their ship with another. Engineers are tasked with using either their hammers or fire extinguishers for when part of the ship is damaged or has caught on fire. Lastly, gunners have the task of manning turrets that range from an assortment of steampunk-inspired weapons from rocket launchers to flame throwers. The three character classes and their specific roles must be utilized as a team if their airship is to survive in battle. Lack of teamwork and communication during battle can result in quick defeat.


The game's multiplayer component titled Skirmish will include the game modes of deathmatch, king of the hill, and resource capture, which are able to host up to 30 players with 3 airships for each team. Maps range in variety from barren deserts to landscapes with towering mountains, and even a night setting that requires the use of flares. Navigation around maps requires the use of a spy glass to spot enemies and landmarks since the game doesn't include a mini-map. At launch, four airships will be included that vary in size, speed, and weapon loadout. Integrated voice communication on each ship allows for communication between the crew and specialized channels for solely the captains. From spotting the location of an enemy airship to extinguishing fires result in hectic battle encounters that require complete cooperation between each member of the crew.

The game supports persistent and customizable characters with various achievements and gameplay challenges for unlocking additional content. Players will be able to unlock new outfits for their characters and decals and parts for their airship. The in-game store only provides further customization options for characters and airships, none of the items for sale affect the game's balance. The developers were firm on their stance that Guns of Icarus Online will not follow the pay-to-win model.


In addition to the game's multiplayer component, the developers discussed a possible future add-on that would include a single-player adventure mode. If the game is successful after launch, development will shift focus to the adventure mode. Multiplayer will also receive an assortment of additional content in future updates including maps and further customization options.

Currently, the development team is fixing various issues discovered during beta weekends and polishing gameplay features before its upcoming launch. The game's presentation incorporates stunning visuals that perfectly match the steampunk and post-apocalyptic themes. During the beta preview, there were a few issues with connecting to matches and finding games through the lobby system, however, the gameplay was balanced and thrilling during tense battle encounters. The gameplay in Guns of Icarus Online is unlike any other current or upcoming game with its unique gameplay concept and steampunk-infused presentation.

Guns of Icarus Online will be available on Steam in late August/early September for Windows PC and Mac. Visit the official website for further information on the game and details regarding pre-order offers.
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