LifeisXbox’s Steelrising review | Normally I don’t write these reviews. It’s more of a Dae Jim thing, but he didn’t have the time to write this one. So, I took it upon myself to write about Steelrising. He was pretty clear on this review, I had to bring my A-game. So, challenge accepted and here we are.
Looked at the trailer and nothing more. My first feeling was, “Ooh this looks like a Soul’s game”. If it’s anything like Elden Ring, I will love this one! Mind you I never played Dark Souls. The mechanics and all are exactly how you suspect this type of game. Once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy the game. This time, I had no guide to guide me on how to be OP at the beginning of the game or travel to this part of the map to farm and more stuff like that. It was just me struggling to get through the game. And struggling I did!! Until a friend of mine told me to use the essence of valiant spirit and other types of this form. I leveled like 5-6 levels at once. Then it was easier to play the game, but… If you saw my stream, I still died A LOT with Steelrising!
The premise of Steelrising is around the French revolution. You are an automaton and your mission is to save Paris on orders of your Queen Marie Antoinette. I don’t like the name automaton, which you basically are, more of a well-crafted mechanical doll. The automatons are more crude versions of mechanical devices. Also having some sort of steampunk vibe during the French revolution is a really cool idea in my opinion. Because I’m Belgian, the battle of Waterloo with automatons, what would that be like? Just use your imagination. The first level was more like the tutorial for the game. Which was nice. I still had to grind a bit to beat the first boss. Mind you, I’m a panic button smasher on my controller. So, I needed to slow things down a bit. After this, you start the real game and things start to get interesting. I will divulge this below.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The main character | I must say that I really loved Aegis, the automaton you are playing with. The design and detail of the character are phenomenal. It was really well drawn and created. Even when you are running around, fighting, or standing still, you can hear the gears that make the automaton tic. It’s really enjoyable and one of the best parts of Steelrising.
- The environment | I really enjoyed running around the map. It felt like the world was ending. Bodies of dead horses, army men, and even destroyed robots, even half the map was on fire. There are some hidden locations to find and explore. I stumbled on one location, but I could figure out the way to go, and had to leave it for now. In those hidden locations you can find upgrades, essences, and other stuff you need to upgrade.
- The Enemies | I must say that the automatons really were well designed. The creators took inspiration and ideas from items from that time period. Which is really cool in my opinion. The bosses are badass. I really enjoyed some bosses. I don’t want to give the names away, as this might contain too many spoilers. Check it out for yourself. If you are well prepared, some bosses will be easy, for others I needed a little grind, I think this is normal in these types of games.
- Weapons | There are different types of weapons you can use from halberds to fans and even hammers. But it all depends on the type of player you are. I chose the soldier setup with the halberd. You max the weapons out at level 5. You will pick up a lot of weapons while playing the game, but as I said before, you need to decide what you want and how you want to play it. I tried the close-range weapons, like the dual swords and fans, but not with great success. The hammer was a greater success for me. Basically, I became a heavy hitter with the halberd and hammer combo. I’m also a player that never blocks.
- Items | The items you pick up to use in your fights are really handy. In Elden Ring, I didn’t even use a single item to boost weapons or incapacitate my enemies. In this game, however, I used it all the time. And yes, they are good. Of course, some items don’t work bosses. Not work is a bad description, more not as effective. For example, one boss if I wanted to freeze him, I think I might have to throw around 40 – 50 ice grenades to freeze him. Instead, I used the petrification grenades instead. I needed 4 for that and then put in your attacks and special moves. You will see his life bar drop fast. The only downside is, that you need to equip this on your tool belt, and the slots are limited. So chose wisely what you equip.
- Audio | I really enjoyed the audio of all the automatons, but sometimes with too many of them around, it can hurt your ears a bit. Also, you know when an enemy is around you. The music was also enjoyable, but I always put that to a minimum.
- The map | This was pretty useless. It’s more of a mission selection and even still, that wasn’t great. You have no idea where you are. The only thing that was handy was buying the compass, so you know where to run to on the level or to get your anima essence back after you died. Anything else was pointless. I guess I got spoiled with other games.
- voice-acting | I know that acting is hard, but if you have people who talk French, make sure the pronunciation is good. I’m a native French speaker, so this a not really enjoyable to hear, but it’s not a deal breaker. It was not great in my opinion. Make of it what you will.
- The mission | In general, the missions are straightforward. You are at A and need to go to B. There is no free roaming. Run through the level and unlock a gate or door as a shortcut. There is nothing wrong with that. I wish I could take a different route to get to a point where I want to go or maybe the sneakier path. That would have been great. What I find annoying is the invisible walls of objects that block your way. I was even able to glitch Aegis on a platform and had to restart the game because she was stuck. When you walked with Aegis, it was weird, like she was about to fall down. Maybe it was designed that way. When she was running around the map, then it was not an issue at all.
- Story | The story is not bad at all, but it was hard to get involved or feel any attachment to the characters in the game. Mainly for me was the acting, but also because of another thing, The NPC cutscenes. But more on that in the next disliked section!
What we Disliked
- NPC cutscenes | OMG this is bad. When you watch the NPC when you are interacting or listening to a piece of the story, it’s annoying. The NPCs felt more like robots than the automatons themself. Everybody has seen robot dance moves from the 80s. The NPCs moved like that. It’s weird, to say the least. I’m not done. Also, the facial expressions are bad. At some point, the Monseigneur looks like the devil. His facial expression turned out like Jim Carrey in the Grinch or they developed rabbit teeth. At some point, it got hilarious when they are all together in the refuge in the city. You talk to one NPC and all the others start joining in the conversation. When done they moved back to their original position. Also, the lack of movement or doing the wrong movement makes it all seems weird. Or they cross the arms through each other and that in combination with the weird facial expressions, you have a gem. In all the cutscenes, the only thing that looked good was Aegis and sometimes you could see her do something weird, but this happened far fewer than the NPC. The only time I caught Aegis in a really weird position, was because she was floating while talking to an NPC and at the end of the encounter when she needed to jump over a balcony. I really hope they will fix this.
How long to beat the story | 15 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 25 hours
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