The setting is a steampunk airship soaring over a ruin-strewn landscape, manned by you and three crewmates. There are other airships too, and some of them want to knock you out of the sky. One member of the crew pilots the ship; the other three man the guns and fix things when they get broke. Unlike many games featuring ship-to-ship combat, that’s the entire game. Although you play the game in the first person, you do not yourself have so much as a health bar; your only function is to crew the ship. There is no hand-to-hand combat, no economy, no skill progression; it’s all ship combat all the time.
With that much focus on one type of gameplay comes a lot of shine. The action feels as frantic as a shooter when things heat up, but it’s more tactical than twitch. You have enough time to aim your shots and plan your maneuvers, but not enough time to get bored between fights. The skill curve has a gentle entry level but climbs high enough to have hardcore appeal — fixing an engine is a simple mouse click, but configuring and piloting a ship is an art. In public games newbs crew with vets and everyone has fun.
game: guns of icarus online
developer: muse games
publisher: muse games
release date: april 11, 2010
other games like it: team fortress 2 (from valve), pirates of the burning sea (from flying lab software), and battlefield 1942 (from digital illusions ce)