Welcome back everyone. Today we’re reviewing Guns of Icarus Online by Muse Games from 2012. In this game, you play as part of a 4 man airship crew, fighting other players and their aircraft in your typical slew of game modes. There’s a good variety of ships and weapons available, with the only restrictions being that light weapons can only be placed on light gun mounts and vice-versa for heavy weapons. I’ve already seen a number of different designs, such as a minelayer, a ship built for high damage broadsides, and so on. There really is something for everyone whether your prefer support, defense, or all out attacks.
There are 3 roles available for players. The captain steers the ship and has access to items that can improve maneuverability and other characteristics. The Engineer has a variety of tools for repairing and buffing the different components of the ship. Lastly, the Gunner has a number of different ammo types that give the guns different traits like bigger explosions or faster firing speed. That said, everybody can bring a wrench, so there’s no excuse for not pitching in when half the ship is blown apart.
You get into a certain rhythm as you play, making laps around the ship, repairing and buffing as needed. It takes a great deal of sustained firepower to bring a ship down completely. You need to destroy the armor, then shoot through the hull of the ship itself while engineers try to bring the armor back online. It once took an enemy an entire match to destroy our ship because we were so quick on the repairs. There’s a couple different game modes, but they all come down to blasting the living daylights out of enemy craft while trying to stop the same from happening to you. Thankfully, there is a practice mode that sets you against training dummies so you can work on your aim and steering.
One thing I’d recommend if you do play is to get a mic anyway you can. Text is just not fast enough to coordinate your team once the shells start flying. Believe me, I’ve tried it that way.
I love the weathered steampunk style the game has going for it. Your ships really feel like they’re just barely holding together. I was surprised the first enemy salvo didn’t obliterate the small-but-nimble ship I was assigned to for my first match. The audio reinforces the rickety feel, with weapons like the gatling gun sounding and feeling clunky yet effective. Also, the sound of the Hwacha firing is intimidating as heck. The music has this “rickety but proud” vibe to it, which suits the ships and battles well.
My biggest complaint on GoI is, even with the supposed skill-based matchmaking, I always end up with the guys who can’t distinguish the business end of the wrench on my team. Meanwhile, the other team is consistently a clan that has, if their skill is any indication, been playing since the game came out. Seriously, I could count the number of fair fights I had on one hand. That said, it’s still a fun game, and I like the mechanics and aesthetics. It’s also impressive that a community still exists 3 years after the game came out.
Guns of Icarus Online is available for $15 on Steam.