Sunday - November 10, 2013
Steam Marines - Alpha Preview @ IndieRPGs
IndieRPGs has a new video with his impression on the Alpha build of the Squad-Based Tactical Roguelike Steam Marines.
So: first impressions! Steam Marines is basically what would happen if someone turned Space Hulk into a roguelike, made the Genestealers way slower, and gave the Terminators greater tactical diversity. The cramped spaces and incredibly dire consequences for screwing up are in perfect keeping with roguelike tradition, lending every decision a flavor of risk and an aftertaste of dread.
I didn’t really show the character creation screen much in this video, so you should know that you can actually select the character class of all four of your starting squad members. (Which is good, because if I had this to do over, I would swap out my grenadier for a second shotgun-wielder in a heartbeat.)
I only noticed a few issues during this playthrough, mostly fairly minor ones having to do with missing UI elements. (For instance: the game really ought to provide a visual indication of where a grenade is going to explode before you click it, and a visual indication of which rank your units are currently at on the promotion screen would be welcome.) It probably shouldn’t be possible to spawn directly in the exit to a level, and I question the balance on some of your unit upgrade options (does gaining 0.25 action points actually do anything for you?)
But really? These issues are relatively minor. And considering that the game is still in alpha, I can only assume that these are transitory problems already on Seow’s To-Fix List. In any event, whatever minor complaints I have about this build are far outweighed by the sense of glee I get when a well-conceived series of tactical decisions comes to fruition. Shotgun-blasting enemies into space is a particular delight.
I’m looking forward to the final release of this game. Until then, if you want to try it for yourself, you can snag the alpha for yourself for $7.99 right here.
Wednesday - November 06, 2013
Steam Marines - Review @ Strategy Informer
Strategy Informer reviews Steam Marines and gives the game a 6/10. I mentioned the game a few months back it's a Squad-Based Tactical Roguelike.
The gameplay is compelling from a strategic and discovery perspective; in addition the game can move at a fairly fast-pace thanks to the ability to reduce the AI move-delay in the options menu. The combination of deadly enemies, ambushes through the walls, and a short standard weapon-range all adds up to an experience which could be rather charming for a certain type of tactical geek. It’s far from Fire Emblem, but for an indie effort it does a decent job of capturing that turn-by-turn tension which tactical games are known for.
Conversely, the storyline is rather weak and doesn’t offer the kind of compulsion that, say, the space rouge-like Faster Than Light offered. Aside from a few Christmas cracker jokes from the marines and scraps of semi-nonsensical text discovered on computer consoles – which are really just acting as XP boosts – there really isn’t much plot to speak of. On top of that the game doesn’t offer an awful lot of customization. New weapons are few and far between and the four classes aren’t all that diverse; at least not to the extent of other roguelikes.
Putting it all together, Steam Marines may be a tasty little challenge for some, but it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps it’ll be a nice addition to a rogue fan’s collection, and maybe a few indie diehards would like to pick it up to see what it’s all about. However, it doesn’t do a sufficient number of things in a new way or provide enough of a compelling experience to make it a hit for everyone; it’s nothing special, but it’s alright.
Information aboutSteam Marines
Play-time: 10-20 hours
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Unknown