City of Brass is RogueLite action-adventure title developed and published by the fine folks at Uppercut Games. It tells the story of an unnamed thief on his journey though the City of Brass in search for endless riches. Armed with your favorite sword and trusty whip, it’s a race against the clock to decimate enemies and collect treasures beyond your wildest dreams. So, will you be envied for centuries or be left for dead when the clock strikes zero?
The main gameplay mechanics present in this game are pretty simplistic. You begin your adventure with nothing but your sword, a whip, and your cunning wits. Your journey will take your through a variety of environments scattered with deadly skeletons, treacherous traps, and conniving bosses. Now you aren’t really much to these devilish beings, you are just a mere thief. Your success comes from your ability to bait enemies and plan your attack wisely. Luckily for us all, a magical genie will happily share his graces for a small share of your treasure. Whether the sword just isn’t your style, or your armor is a little to weak, he might just have what you need. I really enjoy the shop design that was decided upon for this game. The items are all random and switch out from merchant to merchant. This provides the player with a variety of options and helps keep this title from getting repetitive. Nonetheless, I wish there was a way to purchase any item you wanted even if they had to increase the price due to the fact that early game seems to provide almost nothing worth purchasing.
My favorite aspect of City of Brass would have to come from the Divine Blessing/Burden feature. There are a variety of both that can be selected before you begin each run and, although probably obvious, the blessing provides your character with a boost, while the burdens provide extra obstacles and hinderances. The blessings are pretty straightforward and feel like cheat codes when you activate them. Whether you want extra health, more time, or even complete removal of traps, then you might want to active a few of those blessings. They provide some extra fun when the game gets a little too tough. On the other hand, the burdens must be unlocked by completing challenges. These make the game harder by cutting your time in half, cause the enemies to do more damage, and other wacky things that can turn your fun experience into a living hell. The burdens reminded me a lot of the skulls present in Halo and I felt that it was an amazing way to add difficulty at the player’s request.
Visually, City of Brass shines bright and expresses the Arabian Nights theme that they were striving for. Filled to the brims with traps and treasures alike, the breathtaking atmosphere provides some interesting scenery to traverse. The level layout has an amazing flow to it and the design really makes you plan your next move, you never know what is around that next turn. However, the soundtrack didn’t leave any impressions on me. Not saying that’s really a bad thing, it fit well with the rest of the game, but it was average at best. It takes nothing away from the experience, but, in my opinion, it really doesn’t add much either.
This unique title has been on my radar for quite some time as it’s style really piqued my interest. I mean this game was developed by some of the senior developers on Bioshock, who wouldn’t be intrigued? For anyone familiar with our reviews, you would know that I have played games of this genre before and I usually find enjoyment from them. Most recently would have come from a little title known as Immortal Redneck. I am not here to distinguish between these two titles, they excel in their own unique ways, but I couldn’t help but notice similarities between the two while playing City of Brass. While I looked through both games, I kept seeing more and more content coming from one than the other. The weapons on City of Brass were more limited, it wasn’t as over the top as the genre is known for, and just a few other nitpicks that I noticed along the way. Nonetheless, this title hit just as hard as the others with that amazing Blessing/Burdens system that it added. Without it, this would have been an average title that would have been swept under the rug, but it didn’t take it laying down. Those bonuses made this game truly unique and I feel they warrant this game being played alone.
Overall, City of Brass is a cool game with some amazing qualities. The game is priced at $20, which may be a little pricy depending on how you go about it. While offering a load of content, it does get rather repetitive. If you are ready, grab your whip and fedora, I mean sword, we are going on an adventure.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 8.5/10
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