Everyone has a genre or two that simply does not appeal to them as a video game fan. For me, it is roguelikes (please direct your hate-mail to @joshennor). However, give me a stupidly versatile whip and a bunch of spooky skeletons, and you best believe I’m going to do my best to come out on top.
City of Brass is the newest game from Uppercut Games. A team of veteran AAA developers that have worked on the likes of Bioshock, Fallout and XCOM, and have since released such titles as EPOCH and Submerged.
But City of Brass is wholly different from all of these.
A first-person, procedurally generated roguelike set in an awesome Arabian Nights themed world, will have you frantically dashing about, avoiding traps, swinging from the roof and helping your foes eat a faceful of sand.
The main defining feature of City of Brass is the whip. It acts as a traversal tool, a disarming tool, a knockdown tool, a trap trigger and a whole bunch of other stuff that I didn’t get to experience. Where City of Brass will ultimately succeed or fail is in the execution of this mechanic. A satisfying, fun and free-form implication of the whip will benefit City of Brass dramatically. However, a janky or poor implication is going to hurt the game beyond reckoning.
After speaking with Ed Orman the creative director of Uppercut Games, he told me:
…it’s been a big challenge for us, trying to make that [whip] feedback really work well for the first-person, but we really have a lot of fun with it.
It is nice to hear that the team is aware of this high risk/reward implication of the whip in a first-person setting. Other than that, the game felt fun and fluid. It suffered many of the same issues that we’ve come to expect with pre-release games and did not do much to draw in those who, like me, are none too fond of the procedurally generated roguelike gameplay styles. But with the pedigree of the minds behind the game, it would be foolish of me to expect anything less than a highly polished, wildly expansive first-person experience.
City of Brass is currently in Early Access on Steam and is hoping to see a full release by Q2 2018.