Published on November 29th, 2012 | by James Kulas
Set Sail For Adventure – Guns of Icarus Online
Avast ye landlubbers, and welcome aboard. Today we’re testing the water with a new video format, we begin by getting to grips with the game as usual, the second half is a more critical discussion weighing good and bad. Let us know what you think.
Guns of Icarus is a curious ol’ sea captain, an odd combination of slow-paced nautical manoeuvring and desperate hardware maintenance is required to succeed, both of which I appear to have failed in spectacular fashion.
There’s only two modes on offer, in addition to the standard deathmatch skirmish is a node-based flag capture, unfortunately with ships moving at such a lethargic pace, I can only liken the latter to the world’s most tedious carousel. An “adventure” mode is planned, which seems a much more appropriate use of the technology.
Adventure mode will add in persistent world features such as player factions, an expansive world map of trade routes and dynamic towns, and an economic system with resource production, commerce, and crafting that will supplement the game’s core combat focus.
With that in mind, what we have at the moment is something of a tech demo, a proof of concept focussed around combat. Muse’s long term vision is significantly more RPG or even MMO, “like a world map with towns, trade, and factions”. It’s an interesting idea unlike anything I’ve experienced, however at this point there isn’t a whole lot for your £14.99. The inclusion of a real money store for cosmetic items does little to soften the blow, and as the video shows, default customisation is conspicuously barren.
Paying upfront for something I would likely pick up on release isn’t a tough decision. I’ve thrown plenty of my hard earned at kickstarters and alphas recently, for me it’s a way to vote with my wallet for games I’d like to encourage. Fifteen quid as an investment seems fair, and micro-transactions are optional. Surprisingly though, Muse have decided to charge extra for “adventure mode”:
We will be charging additionally for Adventure-specific features and content, but we haven’t decided on the precise format, and the final offering may be more flexible than a single DLC bundle.
This changes things. In it’s current state I don’t feel what’s on offer is worth the money, and charging extra for fleshing out the bones pushes me even further away. Perhaps expanding the cosmetic options to include ships would make the store more viable, allowing one of these fees to be dropped.
Overall Guns of Icarus Online caters to an extremely specific niche. What’s here works well for the most part, but it’s difficult to recommend such a bare-bones experience for the cost, add micro-transactions and paid expansions to the mix and the cook might be forced to walk the plank.