Hello, my name is Abdullah and this is my short review of Iron Harvest.
I played the beta version, but the final result cannot be very far from this, because the game feels kinda finished and its release date is September 1st.
You can’t remake a game in a month, so it is fair to say that almost everything I will mention will greet you in a final game as well.
Iron Harvest has many great and many annoying things I will definitely talk about.
I played the game for two days, so I have a quite firm opinion.
Let me tell you something about the setting.
The Iron Harvest alternative is a real-time strategy set in the 1920s alternative reality just after the end of World War I.
The game lets you control giant dieselpunk mechs, very cool robots created by the Polish artist Jakub Rozalski.
Storywise Europe is still recovering from the brutal battles of the World War.
Cities are being rebuilt and in the countryside, the Iron Harvest era has begun.
Farmers unveil the remains of a glorious walking machine that fought on the battlefields of World War II.
So, a lot of metal to sell and a lot of vodkas to buy.
But this happy period doesn’t last long.
The new war is already brewing and there is no way to avoid majestic battles and blood-soaked fields.
There are three Iron Harvest campaigns available – you can play Polania, Alternative Poland, for Revit – Alternative for the Soviet Union and Saxonia – Alternative Germany.
Every faction has its own campaign scenario, maps, units, and everything else.
The game is very beautiful graphics wise.
I would dare to say that this is probably the best looking RTS game that exists on this day.
All landscapes, trees, combat troops, and especially your mechs are really detailed – a true eye candy to watch.
Or I should probably say “eye vodka” because we all know that there is nothing more beautiful than vodka.
Sadly this game, apart from graphics, is probably not what every RTS player dreams about, because your units are slow and unresponsive.
That, to be fair, kills the fun and brings a lot of confusion in the first campaign missions, because you are constantly unaware of how to control your troops efficiently.
For example, your main hero Anna has some sniper shot ability that has 40 seconds cooldown, but when you use the ability Anna will not shoot immediately.
After pressing the button she will do nothing.
She just stands like you never ordered anything.
Then she slowly lifts her rifle by her shoulder, says her catchphrase and then… then she will aim for another second before shooting.
That slow lines, that clumsiness just kills the fun for me.
And Anna is not the only one who is doing such things.
If you want your troops to go to one place or another, in many cases, they will not even react to your command.
They will stand there like nothing happened and you will click again and again until they start reacting to your commands.
Everything has a delay.
And how about those majestic mechs, how are they responding to commands?
Take a look.
I’m commanding this cool robot, but when I click on the ground ordering him to go to another direction his reaction is delayed.
The game has momentum implemented everywhere.
I understand that this is made for the reasons to make the game more realistic, but what actually happens, that it invokes the feeling that you are playing with a huge lag.
Or maybe not a lag, but ping of 400.
When you click, but you have a delayed reaction for everything.
To be fair I should say that I’m a fan of Age of Empires and Starcraft – units in those games respond immediately and I think that this should be a standard for any and every RTS game.
Another issue I have with this game, that mechs are just huge units with more HP and more DPS.
They can be killed just as simple as any other unit, they have no special abilities or anything like that.
Of course, some of them are meant to kill infantry, some of them are destined to destroy other vehicles, but besides that, they are just a simple unit.
You know, at first, I was hoping that mechs would have the capability to walk through walls or destroy houses, but in reality, there is nothing like that.
Yeah, they can knock off some electricity poles or specially made destructible fences, but they can’t go over or through the walls.
To be fair they can’t go even where they should go.
See this gap?
It’s an impassable barrier for your mechs.
Look how mister robot is going around to kill some Rusviet soldiers.
That is a problem.
I hope this will be fixed in a final version of the game, but that doesn’t do justice.
You know, I even hoped that a huge robot can destroy infantry when stepping on them, but alas, nothing like that.
Let’s say, if you play with delay, right, then it would be at least interesting to plan, to try to take advantage of your heavy metal by planning the path of destruction through your opponent’s troops.
It would be incredibly fun to squash them and make a blood soup beneath your feet.
But that’s not the case.
Despite all that the campaign felt kinda cool.
I played for Polania because it is implemented in beta and I was pleasantly surprised.
Although the story is kinda generic, evil Rusviets are killing and raping poor unarmed villagers and their animals so you have to stop evil from spreading.
I imagined the raping part because I wanted this game to be more immersive.
Oh silly me.
Missions are very long, it can take about an hour to finish one map, but there are at least several really interesting and engaging ones, where the enemy is constantly keeping you on your tiptoes.
You leave your base – you get guests.
And those guests are tearing apart your base like butter.
So you have to come back and defend, then go and do another blitzkrieg again until your base is under attack again, so you have to go back and so on.
That was really entertaining.
Also, I tried multiplayer.
Here you can build up to 4 different buildings and conquer various mines for getting more money, thus getting more troops and finally victory.
I lost ten times and won twice.
So obviously the lobby is filled with more experienced players and newcomers like me are raped without applying the soap.
Almost every single one of my opponents played as they practiced at least for a few weeks and I felt like a little girl trying to wrestle a bear in the pool filled with my own tears.
My opponents already knew the most efficient build order and made everything by a book.
I was thinking maybe they played Company of Heroes recently, a game that is the inspiration for Iron Harvest.
To be fair, Iron Harvest is basically a clone of Company of Heroes, but I played that game like 10 years ago and can’t remember anything.
Oh, and I should mention the voice acting – I can already see where they made a mistake.
You see, I was working as a scriptwriter for TV shows in my country for many years and I know that sometimes actors cannot say particular phrases realistically, so we often made changes on the spot.
When some phrase sounds silly when spoken by an actor, we have always asked how you would say it in your own words.
And after that, we proceeded with his phrase.
We left the same meaning but changed the wording so the phrase sounded more realistic while spoken.
In Iron Harvest it was never done – actors are reading the script as it is and it often sounds silly, because you can tell that actress or actor would never ever say the phrase like that, and it sounds dumb.
Also, why did they ask the actor to change his voice like that?
It’s not a cartoon network show where every character sounds funny, it’s a game which will be played mostly by grown men.
So, what is the verdict?
I would say for now 6 vodkas out of 10.
If they fix response time it can go up to the nine out of ten.
But if they leave responsiveness like it is now – nothing they could do will change my score of six.
The controlling part in RTS games is the most important thing and if you don’t agree with me I envy you, because you can enjoy the game where I cannot.
Thank you for reading, don’t hesitate to follow on twitter for more reviews, news about upcoming games and much more cool stuff.
Have a nice day and I’ll see you next time.