City of Brass Nintendo Switch Review
Title – City of Brass
Platform – Nintendo Switch
Developer – Uppercut Games
Publisher – Uppercut Games
Release Date – February 8, 2019
Also Available on – PS4, XBOX ONE, and STEAM
First Person Perspective
In this “Arabian Nights” inspired fps rogue-lite, you choose between the role of 6 adventurers that come with their own weapons, equipment, and strengths/weaknesses which allows the player to get a feel for which style they prefer and suits them best.
These six adventurers are the thieving Fool, vengeful Traveler, spear-wielding Soldier, knife-throwing Brigand, the magical Hellion and the crossbow-toting Revenant.
When you first begin the game you will only have access to the Fool and Traveler, however the other adventurers are earned through a ranking system that you gain progress through simply by playing the game.
Collecting treasure/loot, upgrading weapons/armour via the Hellion, and level clear time, all play a factor in this. Like many rogue-lites, this game proves to be a challenge with its one chance life system causing you to start from the beginning should you perish. However, this is nothing to worry about as your rank goes up regardless.
There are also randomised potions of either positive or negative effects that are scattered about throughout the compounds and they are optional. Some of these effects include localised thunderstorms that shock nearby enemies that are in your radius leaving them stunned, flying light daggers that continuously scatter from all directions of your character, and then there are some that can poison you so it’s definitely a gamble especially when you first start the game.
Thankfully there is a helpful system that keeps record of all items that you encounter or acquire and it can be accessed in the pause menu at any time.
The style of play varies by character so I will be referencing the Fool and Traveler who use a whip in the left hand and swords in the right. The combination of the two really works well and feels smooth when in transition as you can not only whip enemies in their face and stun them for a set up attack but you can also pull them towards you for a close quarters setup as well.
You can collect treasure, grab throwable items, sweep enemies by the legs, disarm enemies, latch onto certain areas above and pull yourself up, and trigger traps with it as well. It’s probably one of the best uses of whip mechanics I’ve seen in a game in years. Speaking of traps you really have to keep an eye on them, as it was the main cause of my many deaths.
The different enemy types and randomisation of the level layouts will definitely keep you on your feet and keep your mind sharp as you figure out how to defeat or overcome certain situations. What also adds a nice touch is the developer’s commitment to free updates that are added regularly and feature new areas, enemies and so forth.
Using either Joy-Cons in the grip or Pro Controller, the game feels very smooth in regards to the input and everything you need is mapped in the most comfortable place. The movement and melee have a natural flow and balance from the sprinting, sliding, jumping, vaulting, crouching etcetera. This does differ between characters, with different layouts, so you really are encouraged to play as the new ones as you unlock them.
As far as the visuals, this is another example of the recent Nintendo Switch games that make excellent use of the Unreal engine’s graphical capabilities and really captures that Arabian ambience right through to the realistic ripples in the sand and highly detailed environments, items, weapons, character models and so forth. Hitting the explosive vases and using the lanterns to throw at enemies, that cause huge balls of flames look very realistic. Seeing this world of Brass and Gold with all of the Arabian decor in the way that its portrayed in this game really is a visual treat and scrumptious candy to the eyes.
Sound effects are crisp, authentic and strong delivering an even more quality-rich and immersive experience. The soundtrack hits the nail right on the head with its dramatic Arabian style and live orchestrated quality which feels as if your playing a part in an Arabian action film.
Upon launch there are no issues with equalisation or mastering. The music definitely kicks it up a notch once you encounter enemies and engage in battle then subsides and mellows out while you are exploring and looting.
City of Brass is an interestingly immersive game that puts a nice spin on the FPS/Rogue-lite genres. The games controls are simple and straight to the point, with little to no learning curve and the whip mechanics are smooth and fun to play around with.
The fact that the level layouts are different every time, really makes for a fresh approach on strategy and exploration in each gameplay session and the ranking system along with developers commitment to constant free updates really gives us a breath of fresh air from the now prevalent times of paid DLC.
The quality of this game really shows… and it makes sense that the talented senior BioShock developers are behind this masterpiece. For the asking price of £13.49/$19.99, I highly recommend this one!
My final score for City of Brass is 9.5 out of 10
- Different experience every time
- Fast, fluid, and fun gameplay mechanics
- All in game unlocks (NO PAID DLC)
- Lovely and immersive visuals and sound design
- FREE updates added regularly (levels, enemies, items etc)
Review by Zuryel Davenport AKA ZmanTheTech (Snoley Games)