LifeisXbox’s Fire & Steel review | Ever wondered what it would have looked like if a dragon would’ve fought against the forces of World War II? Wonder no more, because in this arcade-like shooter developed and published by Kreatin Studios, you’ll be taking the role of a furious dragon who’s fighting for revenge against the humans that had destroyed the Great Dragon Houses. Fire & Steel has everything that one would need from an arcade-like experience; difficulty modes, scores, leaderboards, you name it…
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- Music & Sound design | Fire & Steel had quite some epic music that certainly fit the theme of the game. When it comes to the sound design, it was pretty great! Nearby and distant explosions sounded realistic, and as a bullet would pass by your camera or dragon, you’d hear a woosh sound on whichever side of your headphones it would fly past. It’s really recommended that you play this with headphones though, you’d not want to get shot from behind while you’re not paying attention to that specific area (as you’d come to expect from a shooter, obviously) – it also makes the game all that more immersive.
- Achievements | While the main game itself is pretty short, those looking for a more expansive/challenging experience will have quite a fun time with the added benefit of 31 achievements. There are only a few grindy achievements in the game, like killing 1500 soldiers, but if you’re going for the other achievements anyway, you’re guaranteed to get these. The 2 kinds of challenging achievements are; “complete the game on nightmare difficulty” and “complete [select level] without taking damage”. I really enjoyed the achievements where I wasn’t allowed to take any damage – it made me play the game more actively, and it tested my reflexes, which was really epic, to be honest!
- Decent Graphics | With 3 acts and 12 levels to fight your way through, I’m glad to say that all of these levels are completely unique! While the levels’ themes remain a little too similar throughout the game, the last few levels in act 3 do look different compared to previous levels. Shadows reached quite a distance and pop-in was little to not noticeable, but that comes with a price, more on that later.
- Controls | The game is playable on both keyboard and with controllers. Playing the game with controller felt very nice, but it did take some getting used to. When it comes to keyboard, however, that felt a little more clunky. The flight controls felt pretty good, but the camera was the issue. While aiming was pretty good, I found looking around to be more difficult on keyboard – you have to move your cursor (almost) completely to the side of the screen in order to start turning, which didn’t really feel good. I would’ve preferred a locked cursor, just like how the controller plays.
- Storytelling | This game also did an attempt at storytelling. At the end of each level, you’re presented with a news broadcast from the human’s point of view. The humans are questioning what this beast is and why it is attacking them. There are also segments in the dragons’ points of view, but those cutscenes are rather confusing due to the lack of dialogue.
What we Disliked
- Performance Issues | As mentioned before, the game has a pretty good viewing distance; shadows are visible from afar, and objects don’t seem to pop in noticeably. This does come with its fair share of issues, though. While my laptop is well above the system requirements, it struggled with the medium settings, and the high graphics settings were completely unplayable for whatever reason.
How long to beat the story | About 1 to 2 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | About 5-6 hours, depending on your skill
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