I first spotted City of Brass at PAX East, it caught my attention pretty quickly when the person playing cracked the whip for the first time. I had flashbacks from games like Castlevania and I was super intrigued. I was given a key to review the game, but it appeared to have only been the early access demo, which still held quite a bit of content. I was updated with a code that granted me access to the game in its entirety and also included Mixer integration! So in this review, I’ll be also including a category for Mixer Interactivity because I got to test it out with some of my loyal community.
So, first let’s explain the game a bit. Since it is an indie game and you might not have heard of it until now! I’ll spare you from me trying to explain this game, So here is the explanation coming directly from the Steam page. Where you can grab City of Brass for $24.99.
“Become a daring thief in City of Brass, a first-person action adventure from senior BioShock developers. Armed with scimitar and a versatile whip, you’ll lash and slash, bait and trap your way to the heart of an opulent, Arabian Nights-themed metropolis – or face certain death as time runs out. The rhythmic interplay between sword and whip is carefully tuned along with sprinting, crouching, sliding, leaping and vaulting to give a fluid, balanced and natural feel to the movement and melee. Eternal replayability is granted by a design that encourages combinative gameplay within an ever-changing but logical procedurally generated world. Players will die in the City of Brass – often, and quite horribly – but they will always want to come back for just one more try…”
You can check out the Steam page here if you’re interested in reading more about the game and maybe even purchasing it.
So now that we got past explaining the game a bit, which is a little difficult, to be honest, we can get into the breakdown of City of Brass!
The graphics feel very realistic. Each shiny object you look for seems to glimmer so you’re able to find it a little easier. The enemies and magical projectiles are actually pretty impressive for an Indie game. The only issue I had with graphics, is the spirits/companions. It seems like not much was put into those characters and sometimes it’s a little difficult to make out what you’re looking at.
Controls and Story
I was actually pretty happy with how the tutorial walked you through the controls and teaching you the game. Whatever you do, don’t skip this. Make sure you complete the tutorial, or you’ll die pretty quickly. The controls are easy to get familiar with as you move into different stages of the game.
There is a really awesome cinematic to begin the game. But there isn’t much story as you continue in the game. It is more about getting to the next stage and learning new traps and enemies.
There is quite a bit of content in this game. With each stage being procedurally generated, everything is different and keeps you on your toes. I had a ton of fun using the whip to stun enemies, knock weapons out of their hands, or grab items. The whip in my opinion, is the best part of the game and basically what makes it stand out so much. Swinging to avoid traps, setting traps off as to not be harmed. You can also gain different types of buffs for the whip which range from extended reach, to freezing enemies, or catching them on fire. The gameplay really depends on the whip and the deeper you get in the game, the more you rely on it. Which is awesome. Who doesn’t want to crack a whip in a skeletons face?
This game is meant to be played over…and over…..and over again. You will die. A lot. Since each stage in the game is procedurally generated, every time you play it’s a new experience. Which again is pretty awesome. You can keep revisiting this game over and over and over….until it drives you MAD. Another great addition is the option of “Blessings & Burdens”. With these options, you can make the game easier, or more challenging. Making it customizable to however you want to play. Usually, I have a category for Game Length, but I feel like I’d only be re-writing this category. There’s virtually no end to this game.
Interactivity with Mixer Streaming
I was introduced to this feature only a few days before posting this review. I tested it out with my live stream on Mixer. Since the game has interactivity built in, all you have to do is connect your account in the options and turn it on. It’s very easy to set up. Once you launch the game and hop into the world, viewers have the option to “Help or Hinder.” Viewers can help you by giving you loot, health, or a companion. Or they can sabotage your progress by spawning varying types of enemies, or even playing a fake sound to make you think there is an enemy nearby. All of these things include the viewer’s username, which can be seen as them playing along with you! I love the summon companions feature with each companion having the viewers name. It honestly sets up more possibilities with the stream. As in, possibly rewarding those for helping complete a stage. Or I guess you could reward the opposite as well, like those viewers that spawn an enemy that ends up killing you. This is an awesome addition if you’re a streamer and a super fun option for viewers while playing along with the streamer.
City of Brass is a fun and sometimes frustrating game. But not in a bad way. More like the way Dark Souls players keep coming back for more. You’ll die often to help you understand new enemies and traps. That’s ok. I honestly wasn’t feeling like I was robbed and angry. Whenever I was bested by a trap or enemy, I thought of it more as “Well, that was clever.” Except when a viewer dropped an Executioner on my head I looked up to see his feet and I died. Actually, that was pretty hilarious. I’d actually love to see some sort of PVP mode with other players. Something where you can race other players and possibly sabotage them as you fight to the end. I feel like that would make this game close to perfect. Not every game needs multiplayer, but I feel like it could add another element that could grab a gamer.
Rating out of 10: