City Of Brass is an Arabian Nights-themed rouge-like game from Uppercut Games, a developer team that contains members who previously worked on Bioshock. City Of Brass features procedurally generated rooms that promise that no two playthroughs will be the same.
As with all rogue-like games I usually start off with a love-hate relationship with them, however, City Of Brass features blessings that you can activate to make the game easier. I highly recommend you use the blessings but if you are a glutton for punishment, there’s also burdens you can activate that make the game more challenging.
There’s not much in the way of a story, you are a thief armed with a scimitar and a whip and your goal is to reach the heart of a city that is constantly changing upon death. The city is made up of a series of rooms and areas that contain various undead enemies and traps that will make escaping the city a challenge. The whip is probably your most useful tool for survival as it can not only be used to stun enemies before dealing a deadly blow with your blade, it can grab loot in out of reach areas and be used to swing past danger and pitfalls.
The loot or treasures you find scattered about is used as currency to buy things from the friendly genies who sell gear, perks, health, and other items that help your play through. Upon death your treasures are set back to zero and anything purchased from genies is lost or replaced once by the basic default whip and blade. You also have three wishes but be careful how you use them, you will want to save them for the not so nice genies or gate keepers.
City Of Brass features an environment that can work to your advantage as well as your demise. There are items you can pickup to throw at enemies to slow them down, you can use the whip to force an enemy into a trap, or my personal favourite, killing them with fire by whipping the braziers that explode a fiery radius of death to anything in its path. Those same traps are your enemy as well, so be sure you are always aware of your surroundings.
- Developer: Uppercut Games
- Release Date: May 4th, 2018
- Price: $19.99/£15.99/€19.99
Combat is mostly fluid and fun but does become a bit redundant and I found myself using the same tactics to defeat all enemies. The melee of the sword could use a boost, after stunning the enemy with the whip you must move in incredibly close and hit the enemy in a very specific area to deal the final blow. It just seems slightly off in contrast to the versatility of the whip especially against the faster moving enemies.
There’s a tutorial that does a good job of going over the essential movements and combat, but some things that weren’t covered in the tutorial like the blessings, curses, items, and upgrades weren’t explained very well. I accidentally stumbled across the blessings after dying multiple times and almost giving up entirely on the game after being trapped in the first level for far too long.
Graphically the game is surprisingly beautiful but at times the lighting in the evening levels was a little too dark. I recommend turning the in-game brightness control up in the settings. Sound plays an important part in judging where your enemies are coming from, and the soundtrack features flute-laden music that compliments the Arabian Nights theme perfectly.
City of Brass PS4 Review
Overall - Fantastic - 8.0/10
Overall the game is fun and offers a lot of entertainment for its modest price tag of $19.99. Rogue-likes aren’t for everyone but City Of Brass might be a good starting point to introducing new players to the genre and the ever-changing environments offers a high replay value.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using a PS4 Pro.