Alternate takes on real history have always been fascinating elements of the gaming world. It’s the Assassin’s Creed franchise which has been the leader in this field, with games blending real-world events, places, and characters with a fictionist story. But there have been other reimaginings of the course of history too; like Wolfenstein where the Nazis have actually won World War II, tackling the effects of that on the world.

In Steelrising we are placed in Paris, in the late 18th century at the turning point of the French revolution. But in this world clockwork robots have taken over the running of things and the only thing to stop them is… another robot. Welcome to the wonderful world of Steelrising. 

steelrising review 1

Developers Spiders have previously had a pretty big RPG with the excellent Greedfall. But now they are attempting another ambitious project, borrowing from the Dark Souls templates to deliver a challenging experience mixed with huge bosses and a world in ruins. 

You play the part of Aegis, an automaton who was a gift from the brilliant engineer Vaucanson to the Queen. She was meant to be for her entertainment but ended up as her bodyguard. See, King Louis XVI has gone completely barmy and has taken control of all the robots, destroying Paris along with its army. Your task is to move slowly into Paris taking down these automatons, stopping the mad king and aiding the revolution. I like the ambition of the story and it certainly is an intriguing premise and amazing world to spend some time in. However, I would warn that you do spend a lot of the time walking around an empty world and narrative, before hitting some cut scenes. Yet there are some great pieces of documentation to be found that give insights into what has happened and the rise of the King against his city. 

Steelrising very much comes across like all souls-like games; it is all about the gameplay and the challenge. Strangely (but handy for review), you can turn down all the difficulty settings in the menus if you just want a story-type experience, which maybe defeats the purpose of a game like this. Out of all the souls-like games, this is very much aligned alongside Bloodborne in its aggressive type of approach, and the fact that in your arsenal you have a melee weapon and a gun. Each enemy you meet along the way will see fans of FromSoftware titles getting into a groove, probably much quicker than players who aren’t familiar with the genre. 

steelrising review 2

Success in Steelrising is all focused on how you look at your enemy and are able to read their attacks, learning as you go. This is especially essential when it comes to the tricky boss battles along the way. The Souls-like systems are familiar here, as you go attacking your foe with a light and heavy attack. You also get to use a gun attack but have limited bullets and there is a power attack you can use; again though, limited. Throughout your time, you go about collecting fragments, which are like souls, which can be spent on upgrading your weapons and upping your stats depending on what build you want to focus on. 

You can throw in mechanical safe points too, letting you upgrade everything or buy some new items. When you die you will be thrown back to this point to start again with all the enemies coming back from the dead. 

I’ve really liked the variation of weapons, clothing and the whole steampunk feel to the gameplay found in Steelrising. It’s fast and furious and the enemies that attack you are varied and challenging. It feels great when you kill a boss and exploring the world is interesting throughout; even if that world does feel a tad empty at times. The only problem I have really encountered is in regards the camera – at times it is annoying and not particularly helpful especially when it comes to the boss battles. Steelrising isn’t helped by the fact that by utilising this genre format, it all feels like you are retreading old ground. On the whole though, and overall, I had a very good time in this interesting world of robots and fancy wigs. 

steelrising review 3

Visually, Steelrising does a brilliant job with the design of its autobots and especially in regards to the bosses themselves; some are brilliantly complex and deadly fascinating. Even though the streets of Paris are empty of human life the place looks good with some lovely lighting and brilliantly beautiful skies. The cut scenes are good as well as are some of the interiors, whilst soundwise the game works wonders throughout. There is an excellent score and some great effects and the voiceover work is of a good standard with some great readings of the lines, reimaginings of the famous characters from the past. 

Steelrising is a good game that puts itself in the AA bracket of gaming rather than the AAA settings of a Dark Souls or Elden Ring. But what it does do well is deliver an original concept, an amazing setting and a place occupied by killer robots. The story is very good, even though the world at times can feel a bit empty, yet the combat makes up for that – it is hard, fast, and furious with some incredible boss battles. The leveling-up system is solid with some great weapons that cater to your own fighting and combat style and whilst I had a problem with the camera at times, with it never feeling as reliable as I would want, my experience with the world and the main character has been an extremely positive one. I certainly wouldn’t mind playing through this world in another adventure. 

Steelrising is available on the Xbox Store

Alternate takes on real history have always been fascinating elements of the gaming world. It’s the Assassin’s Creed franchise which has been the leader in this field, with games blending real-world events, places, and characters with a fictionist story. But there have been other reimaginings of the course of history too; like Wolfenstein where the Nazis have actually won World War II, tackling the effects of that on the world. In Steelrising we are placed in Paris, in the late 18th century at the turning point of the French revolution. But in this world clockwork robots have taken over the…

Pros:

  • Original world and story
  • Exciting combat
  • Great boss battles

Cons:

  • That camera can be pretty annoying

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Nacon
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 8 September 2022
  • Launch price from - £49.99
TXH Score

4/5

Pros:

  • Original world and story
  • Exciting combat
  • Great boss battles

Cons:

  • That camera can be pretty annoying

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Nacon
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 8 September 2022
  • Launch price from - £49.99

User Rating: Be the first one !
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments