“Let Them Eat Metal” Think you got it mixed up with Cake Louis!
Steelrising developed by Spiders is an ARPG set in the French revolution. France is currently in ruin due to the revolution and King Louis XVI has ordered the production of automats. Automats are robots with a thirst for blood set to quell the revolution. Souls-like game play is featured and will have to have a differential approach than other souls-like. Therefore, helping it stand out in the already overpopulated genre. Setting the game in an alternate historical period definitely creates a fresh perspective. However, this does not mean it is the right approach.
Additionally, massive shout out to Shinobi. This is one of our other writers who has allowed me to cover this as it’s not normally my area. I have been exceptionally hyped for Steelrising since its announcement due to being an avid history fan. Join us here at VIBE as we check this out. Time to find out if it did indeed live up to the hype.
The French Revolution is a major event in history which saw an uprising against the feudal system of the heavily focused aristocracy in France. The “peasants” had simply had enough and were unhappy with several aspects of life but with heavy focus on the monarchy. Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI were the monarchy at the time and were ruthless and uncaring at the adversities those with lower class status faced. Marie Antoinette is famous for having stated “let them eat cake” in response to the starving peasants as she was oblivious to them not having access to supplies of food. Ultimately, France revolted abolished the monarchy and the feudal system something to which this day has never been restored.
Steelrising takes place in 1789 exactly when the French Revolution commenced. There are several prominent historical figures featured in the game. However, it can be viewed as an alternate historical period game due to the introduction of automats. As a result of this, Steelrising brings a fresh and intriguing perspective to a period of history. History buffs will thoroughly enjoy this. On the other hand, even if you aren’t familiar with the French revolution, you may learn some facts along the way.
Aegis is the main character of this enticing tale. Aegis is a specially crafted automat with the main objective to protect the Queen during the rebellion. The difference with this automat is that it has developed sentience and can speak. Aegis can be customized by players with them choosing her hairstyle, make up, and even the design of her Armor. Aegis is very soft spoken and just does everything with grace and elegance. Overall, this adds to the theme of the game with heavily focus on royals and their luxurious possessions. I personally opted for the traditional French makeup of powder white face and deep red lips for my Aegis.
In most souls-like games, there are checkpoints of safety which allow for the player to regain health and carry out any upgrades. Steelrising includes a vestal where players can sit on. The vestal also asks as a shop in which they can purchase helpful tools such as frost grenades or regenerating health potions. Additionally, all enemies in the area will also respawn sometimes proving tricky for the player, but at least you will have full health to combat them.
Like most souls-like there are always items of healing that come in a variety of different forms. In the renowned dark souls it’s Estus flasks. However, Steelrising sticks with the mechanical theme and introduces oil burettes. Aegis consumes these by sticking them into her core. Additionally, in true souls-like fashion there is a limited amount and there is extra hoops that have to be jumped through to raise the amount Aegis can hold at the one time.
There are four classes to choose from in Steelrising Bodyguard, Soldier, Dancer, and Alchemist. Each class focuses on different styles of game play. As a result of this, certain weapons and fighting moves will be acquired by the player and adapted accordingly to fit the class. Personally, I opted for the alchemist which focused on chemical afflictions for imbuing weapons. These included frost, explosion, fulmination, and fire. As a result of this, players should examine an enemy and use this to their advantage. For example, if an automat with frost is attacking then fire should be imbued or one of the items such as a fire grenade should be deployed. It’s a standard mechanic when dealing with elements, but it does add that interesting layer and requires more thought provoking.
The bodyguard is a lot more “tankier” compared to other classes. Focus is held on strength and high health as opposed to other classes for Aegis. The soldier class deals with the fighting element and focuses on stronger physical attacks. Lastly, the dancer focuses on chain attacks and combos to allow for quick depletion of enemies. Players have deemed this the ‘broken’ class, but I haven’t attempted it yet to comment. Let us know in the comments if you check any of the classes out and your thoughts on them!
Shortcuts are a bit of a hit and miss when being compared to the souls-like genre. However, most souls-likes games feature shortcuts that will help create a less chaotic path to the boss. It’s important for players to be vigilant as some of them are easily missed. For example, if you have not progressed in the story enough, the short cut may say “Blocked” and the player would have to take a mental note of this before returning to the area to acquire the shortcut. As a result of this, it’s incredibly easy to forget. One way to think about it is “Am I close enough to a Vestal?”.
The combat brings a very familiar feeling to the table. However, the style of weapons is unique for the game featuring weapons like alchemical batons and a fan reminiscence of that from Kitana in Mortal Kombat. Throughout my play through, I focused on the alchemical batons which could be imbued with several elements such as frost or fire. I felt the combat to be quite fluid and I enjoyed parading around with my fans in revolution era France. However, the repetitive move sets for automats did become easy to get around and was difficult to not feel bored and that it was becoming tedious. Once you learned the attack pattern for one automat it was easy to crack. Additionally, even the bosses were much of the same and were more or less enhanced versions of the common enemies.
An interesting element to the fighting was the endurance mechanic. When Aegis had reached peak endurance by combat or running the bar went red and then triangle had to be pressed in order for endurance to be restored. As a result of this, it made players cautious of their endurance and vigilant of when it may run out. Last thing you want is to be stun locked by an enemy because you simply can’t move.
The story for Steelrising is intriguing from start to finish. Steelrising boasts a more linear approach rather than open world. The story revolves around Aegis going on a quest for the Queen to unfurl what she deems to be devious plans. Quirky characters can be interacted and with like most souls-like will appear in various locations. The story is not blockbuster worthy, but it certainly has an element of aspiring to know what is next. From what I have experienced of the story is exciting and will have players wanting to know what occurs next.
The world is captivating from the onset with several memorable locations of France. The map is not overly big but is large enough for a fast travel option. The fast travel option is facilitated by several ornate carriages. Personally, the world felt to be the right size for the game play and the story. The graphical design of the world fits with the time period remarkably. The world does have a steam punk vibe to it which goes hand in hand with the theme of killer robots and a futuristic dystopian outcome of the French Revolution.
As always thank you for sticking around for my articles. Steelrising was one of my personal favorites I had been looking forward to. I do believe the game could have reached its full potential with a few additional elements. However, I still rate it extremely high and I’m excited I got to check it out and review. If you’re still not a 100% sure watch the trailer below. Steelrising can be purchased on steam https://store.steampowered.com/app/1283400/Steelrising, Playstation 5 and xbox one S and series X. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles. I usually specialize in indie titles and will be returning to that next week!
25, Scottish, Gaming, writing and cooking 🧑🍳 🎮