Real Time Strategy games have changed over the years, but sometimes it's great to get back to basics. Iron Harvest seeks to combine the classic RTS gameplay with modern technology.
My love of old-school RTS games knows no bounds. It's always been my favorite genre and the last few years have seen a resurgence that's had me giddy. Today, another one has launched on Kickstarter (though it appears as if a lot of work has already been put into its development), and it looks like a lot of fun.
Iron Harvest has a unique aesthetic, being set in the same world as the board game, Scythe, which utilizes an alternate reality called 1920+. It looks swanky and in the quick look at gameplay seems to strike a decent balance between the older style gameplay (specifically citing games like Company of Heroes and Warcraft) and modern touches. From the developers:
• We think that in a strategy game, tactics and planning should be more important than action and clicks per second.
o We give players a lot of freedom. The levels are usually “sandbox levels”, which means that there is not “one correct way to play the level” and the player has to figure out what the level-designer wants from him. Instead, we give you a problem and a set of tools to solve the problem any way you come up with.
o There is a wide range of possible tactics, including stealth.
o Iron Harvest gives you time to come up with a plan, execute the plan and adjust it on the fly if necessary.
• Cover and armour plays a big role in the game.
o Rifle bullets can’t penetrate the armour of a huge mech and an infantry unit in a trench or behind cover will get a lot less damage than a unit in an open field.
o Almost everything in the game is destructible – if the weapon is powerful enough. So no cover lasts forever.
• We want units to feel important. There is no “one unit blob fights another unit blob” in Iron Harvest. Instead you have to use your surroundings and unit abilities to win.
o Units can level up twice, get stronger and gain new abilities. You should try to keep experienced units alive.
o Heroes are no god-like super-units. Instead, they offer additional tactical opportunities. They are the most versatile units in the game.
• We think it has been too long since the last really great RTS single player campaign.
o Iron Harvest features a mature story, told from the perspective of the three different factions. In each campaign you play a different hero.
o There is an over-arching story for all three campaigns. Think “Warcraft 3”.
• The World of 1920+ is a truly fresh setting. There are not that many games which take place between WW1 and WW2 and we doubt any of them features giant mechs ;-)
• Iron Harvest is currently in development at KING Art Games and there is a Kickstarter campaign from March 13th to April 13th.
Best of all, the game is not only in development for PCs, but PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well. I know not everyone enjoys RTS games on consoles, but considering my PC rarely works well as a gaming machine (unless they're older titles), I'm always excited to get strategy games on console. If this sounds like something you want to play, be sure to check out their Kickstarter and throw them some support, or just to learn more about the gameplay, factions, and heroes.