E3 2017 – Hands on with Ironcast
Ripstone were at Mix LA, something that I had not expected and while they were showing off Ultra Chess, the game the caught my eye was Ironcast. I had managed to catch some of the announcement stream, but only a little bit, so I went in almost completely blind.
Ironcast is a match-type adventure game, where you need to clear three or more of the same off a board so you can push forward and while games like this might exist in other forms, here the games setting is what helps it stand above the rest. The game is set in the year 1886 and the war between England and France, because they are always fighting, has come to a standstill, neither side is gaining any ground. Enter the Ironcast, new machines of war that are stronger, faster and can deal more damage than anything that came before it and you are a pilot, sent into battle to take back control and win the war.
Battles are fought by generating resource nodes which in turn drive the Ironcast’s various weapons and systems. Players must choose how to spend these nodes wisely; either offensively to cripple and destroy opponents, or defensively, if they suspect a barrage of incoming weapon fire is due. If you want to repair your vehicle, then you need to have the minimum number of green gems matched, which allows a repair to happen and by that same pattern if you wish to attack, you will want to collect purple gems to launch a stronger attack.
Collection is not all you need to do however, when you attack you can choose to target a specific component of the enemies Ironcast, target their treds or feet and you can slow them down or even stop their advance. In a similar way, if you target their shield generation, you can bring it down, letting your next attacks deal even more damage than it would have, if you repeated them many times with the shields still remaining. While you can do all this, the enemy can do it to you as well, so you need to constantly manage your own Ironcast, while creating a plan to take out the enemy Ironcast and do all of that while collecting gems.
If you think that you have enough to do there, once you complete a mission and return to base, you will be awarded with scrap and currency, which you can use to purchase new weapons and items for your Ironcast, or use them to repair your Ironcast, as any damage you don’t repair from the previous battle, will carry across to the next. Of course, if that were not enough, should you die in battle, then you are done for as the game uses permadeath, but should that happen, replaying the game will be a good thing as the missions are generated randomly, keeping the variety alive.
With the games release on Switch, it will support all the playstyles, Tabletop, Handheld and docked and supports both JoyCon and Pro Controller and if there were not enough, you can play the entire game with touch screen controls only. No release date has been announced for the Switch version of the game yet, but they are aiming for a 2017 release.