I know that many PS4 gamers looked on with envy when Rare’s Sea of Thieves released on Microsoft’s Xbox One. The idea of captaining a ship with a bunch of mates is a great one, but rarely seen put to good use.
Guns of Icarus Alliance isn’t quite Sea of Thieves, but it brings enough co-op fun to push the rival console to the back of your mind.
It should be noted that Guns of Icarus Alliance is primarily a multiplayer game, and as such you’ll need an internet connection good enough for online gaming, as well as an active PlayStation Plus subscription to play. There is the option to play with A.I characters but it pales poorly in comparison to the fully fledged online offerings. Naturally, then, I spent most of my time fighting (and losing) online.
It’s a complicated game to get into, that’s for sure, but there’s a decent enough tutorial to bring you up to speed on the game’s mechanics, features, and gameplay. I highly recommend that you play through the tutorial completely and pay close attention to what is being taught, otherwise you’ll be the weak link in the chain when you finally get online.
Once you’ve gone through your basic training you’ll pick which faction you’ll stand for and then get to work by jumping into your first battle. It’s here that everything comes together and your training should come in handy.
You’ll be given the choice between a small selection of fighters. You can choose to be a Pilot, Engineer, or Gunner. Each character has their own special abilities and tasks that need to be performed in order to give you the best possible chance of victory. Guns of Icarus Alliance is a game where you really do need to work together to succeed, otherwise you’ll all fail miserably and that’s how fights are started amongst friends. Nobody wants that now, do they?
Coordinating with your crew is best done via the in-game voice-chat that allows you to talk to other PS4 players, as well as players playing the PC version of the game. Yes, in a nice touch that’ll surely keep the game going a little longer, the developers have made Guns of Icarus Alliance a cross-platform game with PC players using Steam. Hey, it’s a start…
Battles generally consist of eight airships carrying a maximum of 32 players. Naturally, then, I worried about actually being able to find a full game weeks after the game’s release. I’m happy to say that on the day of writing this review (20.05.2018) I was able to get into a full game with no problem. The player population is healthy, and long may it continue to be.
- Developer: Muse Games
- Release Date: May 1st, 2018
- Price: £9.49/$14.99/€11.99
In the heat of aerial warfare it’s easy to get lost. With each player having their own role within the team, it’s vital that everyone knows what they’re doing. Whether you’re tasked with carrying out repairs or manning controls, every job is important. I found this out the hard way early on when I wasn’t pulling my weight. I was still new to the game and, naturally, I was fiddling with the controls and trying out the different perspectives – there’s the option between third and first-person view – when my team mates were yelling at me to get on the guns and defend. I quickly wised up to my role and it wasn’t long before I was barking orders to the newbies who joined in later matches.
It’s not often that I get attached to online multiplayer games, but when I do, I get properly invested. There’s an immense satisfaction to pulling off a tight victory with a bunch of friends, and even more so with strangers. Seeing online strangers coming together and helping each other out is a rarity, but I’ve witnessed it so much in Guns of Icarus Alliance that a tiny bit of my faith in humanity has been restored. Not much, mind, but a tiny bit.
Longevity is a key factor in online multiplayer games, without a doubt. As we all saw with Sea of Thieves, if there’s nothing to come back to, nothing to give you a sense of purpose and reward, what’s the point? Thankfully Guns of Icarus Alliance has a decent progression system where you’ll level up your character, as well as plenty of unlocks when it comes to air ships. There’s a lot to do, then, and that’s always nice. We gamers do love seeing those numbers get bigger, don’t we?
On the technical side of things, I haven’t really got much to complain about. Guns of Icarus Alliance is a nice-looking game, for sure, but it’s not a graphical showcase by any means. Its cheerful, cartoony design helps keep things light, even when the fan is getting covered in shit.
Draw distances are the highlight here, and rightly so as without being able to see off into the distance, Guns of Icarus Alliance would be a very, very narrow game. Sound design gets a nod from me, too, with the crackles and pop of sky war bursting spectacularly in tandem with the game’s vibrant graphics.
There’s a lot to like about Guns of Icarus Alliance, but for me the stand-out point is that it’s a fun game to play. Whether you’re winning or losing (I lost a lot), the thrill of battle is what will keep you coming back for more, not the promise of stolen booty and levelling up your characters.
Guns of Icarus Alliance PS4 Review
If you enjoyed Star Trek Bridge Crew, you’ll no doubt get a kick out of Guns of Icarus Alliance on PS4. There’s nothing quite like it available to us PS4 players at the moment, but it’s not just great by default – it’s great full stop.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.
Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)