Release Date: Febuary 8th, 2019 (Nintendo Switch, PC)
Publisher: Uppercut Games
Developer: Uppercut Games
ESRB: Teen (Violence)
There has been a LOT of games that have come from former BioShock developers. The newest one to have that marketing phrasing is City of Brass. The game was originally released into Early Access on PC back in 2017 before seeing a full release last year, that even brought it to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Now Uppercut Games is bringing the game, a beautifully detailed Arabian-Night themed first-person dungeon crawler, to the Nintendo Switch. The game seemingly has it all with swords and whips as weapons, loot to grab, and many challenging enemies to be defeated. I was primed to sit down for a challenging, yet rewarding experience.
Sadly what I experienced was far from the joy I experience with Soulsborne games. My first try saw me entering through the gate ready to destroy the two skeletons I had set my eyes on as I entered. My strategy was to sneak up to one of them an attempt to hit them with my whip. My end result was a miss while alerting the skeleton that I was there. The skeleton was moving at about half my character’s speed so I decided to back up and try with my whip a second time. I missed for a second time so I switched to the sword and gave it a swing. Strike three! To make matters worse, I now had the other skeleton I initially saw plus his friend that I had not seen attacking me from both sides.
I quickly succumbed to my inevitable death before taking a breath and regrouping before deciding to try again, and again, and again….you get the point. Luckily after many more tries I was finally able to make my way further into the level, but by this time I was beyond frustrated. This feeling was nothing like the joy I feel when I complete a challenge in Bloodborne, it was more that I was finally over with the level. That is quickly washed away, though, as the feeling of dread came once I realized I had to move on to the next level. Like clockwork, I was once again met with a lot of the similar obstacles.
So you might be saying, “What is the big issue? That is what happens in a game,” and I agree to an extent. It becomes an issue when the main mechanic of the game is also its biggest downfall. The player seemingly has to be almost on top of an enemy to hit them with their sword, and the preciseness of the whip is ever so frustrating that it started to take away from the game. Another frustration is the fact that the left controller vibrates every time the player picks up an artifact or treasure. Vibration may be turned off in the menu; however, that stops all vibrations and makes combat progressively more difficulty.
One bright spot is that Uppercut Games did an amazing job of pulling in color and detail that immediately pulls in the player. The orange of a fire and blue during dusk looks gorgeous. As does the sun reflecting off of the sand during the day to pull the tans and browns out to make the player feel the heat as if they were in the desert. With that said, the game begs to be played on a bigger screen with all the things crammed onto the screen. In fact, the crowded screen detracts greatly from what is actually happening in the part that actually matters.
I would like to clarify though that most of my gameplay was done in portable mode as I have already experienced the game on PC. In fact, my PC experience was far different due to it being on a bigger screen. When played in docked mode, the experience is akin to the PC and helps bring the game’s score up a few ticks. That is not to say City Of Brass is a bad game, as fans of challenging dungeon crawlers will be kept the most occupied. The game is just better experienced in docked mode and primarily portable players may not be too enthralled with this game. (Dan Landuyt; Gaming Staff Writer)
Review copy provided by Uppercut Games.