I’ve mentioned in previous posts as to the difficult relationship I’ve had with strategy games. They can be boring and unexciting at the best of times and unplayable messes at the worst. Only a few strategy games have ever been able to chip past my stone wall of instant abject boredom and actually work with me, but when a strategy game works with me, it really works. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is very much one of those strategy games that instantly appealed to me. I’d had a very brief stint playing the original XCOM games in the lead up to the release of Enemy Unknown and those original games were as tough as nails and balls to the wall that you can get (Fuck Dark Souls, OG XCOM is where the difficulty is at). Enemy Unknown wasn’t as frustratingly difficult but it still offered a good challenge. It was also fun and rewarding to play, and every mission was undoubtedly exciting. XCOM ranks as one of my favorite games of all time, warts and all. While I can’t say that SteamWorld Heist is the best game I’ve ever played, it is definitely a solid and engaging experience that borrows quite a bit from the recent XCOM games.
Now, I never played SteamWorld Dig, it never really interested me. I don’t know how SteamWorld Heist fits into the universe, I’m not sure if Rusty (the main character of SteamWorld Dig) makes an appearance in Heist, I am completely unaware. What I do know is that SteamWorld Heist was something that I’d been considering buying for quite some time. In the early stages of me wanting a 3DS (I do not have 3DS) I pointed to this game as the one that would keep me hooked to the system. When I read that Heist would be arriving to PC in no time, I decided to wait it out and bide my time.
I’m glad I waited.
The PC port for SteamWorld Heist is exceptional. The art design and presentation is something to behold. It reminds me quite a bit of Firefly (Rest In Peace) because of it’s aesthetic and design. The clunky, cobbled together ships that look like they’ll be torn apart by the crushing infiniteness of space is very Firefly in a very good way. One aspect of the game is maneuvering around a space map, that seemed very reminiscent of FTL, in order to get to new missions and bars. The bars work as a shop and recruitment center, where some particularly weird characters lie in wait to assist you on your journey.
The story is nothing particularly special so far, just go around and kill baddies for their loot and water. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that, it’s still incredibly fun. The gameplay is what really holds this game afloat. I have had so much fun playing this game. It’s very much like a lite, 2D XCOM, and it surprisingly works. After putting a good chunk of time into this game, it’s still a great deal of fun and the loot system definitely helps to keep it fresh and entertaining.
If you like strategy games that aren’t overly complicated and shoving intense mechanics down your throat then this may be the game for you. It’s also a great price right now on Steam (which is how I bought it) at $14.99 which is a fantastic price for the game. I can’t wait to spend some more time in SteamWorld