When you think strategy, you look to your favorite classics such as Warcraft 3, Starcraft 2, or even great current games like XCOM 2. However, I want everyone to turn their attention to a fantastic game that can fulfill anyone’s strategy needs. Hot Brass is a great indie strategy game developed by Walk of Kings and published by Treasure Hunters FanClub and Fellow Traveller. At first, when I heard of this title I didn’t find myself all too excited. There aren’t many reviews on this aside from Steam reviews from players, and overall their score was a 7/10 which is fair. Yet after diving deep into the title, I was nothing short of impressed which the real-life feel it gives, as well as the challenging gameplay. You might ask how a 2D Indie title can produce such feelings, and here I will explain why strategy lovers need to get this game.
In Hot Brass, you play as an elite SWAT operator that goes on various missions where you capture dangerous criminals in bunkers, save hostages, and obtain evidence to put away these criminals. These missions, however, really test your skill in terms of clean arrests and not getting over run by arms individuals. If you take a shot against an armed criminal, this will automatically fail the mission. If you accidentally assault an unarmed individual that is not hostile, this will also fail the mission. Any kills with unhostile individuals will result in a fail, and if you alert targets and they escape you will also fail. Any kills will deduct points even if they are clean, and you also get points deducted based on the time given. You also get a number of extra challenges to complete in the game that contribute points. For every badge met on your mission score, you will unlock more missions in the future or arcade modes. The environment of the game feels insanely life like, where as the individuals actually have dialogue and will say things just like in real life situations. The atmosphere created also gives a sense of urgency and stress, though you need to take your time because rushing will certainly get you killed. The music is also absolutely fantastic, which I tend to look for in any game that I play.
The gameplay and tools given to you in the game are unique in a way that makes it more life-like. You get gear such as a rifle, pistol, and armor. You also get gadgets such as a flashbang, grenade, breaching charge, and more. Various tools are given control-wise like night vision and tactile equipment to help you see in locked rooms. This way you have a number of stealthy ways to infiltrate, take down your enemies, and avoid unwanted altercations that lead to failed missions. My only issue is the controls can feel overwhelming and clunky at times. There were times that I would accidentally taser a criminal that I detained, and it is easy to get caught on random objects in the room. You can use the spacebar to hop over them but depending on the situation it can be extremely inconvenient (example: 3 arms enemies in a medium-size room all shooting at you). The button layout is a bit odd as well, but you get used to it over time. You also get the ability to shout to deter enemies to coerce them into surrendering. My only issue with this, while it is a good tactic, is it seems to rely on RNG for it to work on enemies. Some enemies will ignore completely as you shout, and when you end up in a room of 3 enemies with 1 that surrenders and the other 2 ignoring that are armed you will most likely lose points from having to shoot.
All in all, I do highly recommend Hot Brass for the experience, and to satisfy strategy lovers like me. Though the controls can feel off, and the force system needs some tune up, the game is insanely fun and challenging. It’s definitely a great way to kill time and play when you want to destress from the time-consuming big titles that suck away your soul. I love discovering new Indie games like this game, it’s for sure a hidden gem. To sum this up, go to steam and buy this game for $14.99 and lose yourself in the SWAT operative world. I can not wait to see what this developer has to offer in the future.
DVS Score: 7/10