Iron Soul Review

Iron Soul Featured

Iron Soul Boxart

Developer: BluBee Games
Publisher: BluBee Games
Platform: PC
Review code provided

The ideas behind Iron Soul are great. The game is a mix of 3rd person shooter and platformer in a sci-fi future filled with robots. Developer BluBee Games even name-dropped MDK as one source of inspiration for their title. With that being the case, they have some big shoes to fill. But it doesn’t seem to reach that lofty goal, or perhaps MDK is just not that fun in the modern era.

Players interact with the game through a robot by the name of H-25. H-25 is equipped with a laser gun (to start) and able to jump pitiful distances before obtaining double jump. With that said, the bot does look pretty snazzy in its cab-colored paint job. In the beginning, players are simply tasked with following orders from omnipotent voices – presumably, one is your creator.

Iron Soul Featured

One thing that Iron Soul gets right is the visuals. It’s rare to see independent developers create fully 3D environments but that’s exactly what they’ve done. Once you get out of the lab, things start to look quite pretty as well. Robot designs are a little silly though as your main enemies are orb-shaped bots that either walk on the ground or zip about in the air.

So what brings this game down from being great? Despite the serious work on visuals, the world itself is hard to traverse during platforming segments. Super Mario 64 was not the first game to attempt 3D platforming, but it was the first time it was done well. Iron Soul falls into many of the pitfalls of a bad platformer. It is hard to tell where H-25 will land! Thankfully, most platforming segments are brief, but they can be incredibly painful.

Firefights suffer as well, unfortunately. Perhaps in regards to keeping this game “authentic” to older PC titles, there is no automatic cover system in place. You can cover, but it requires pressing CTRL twice by a wall. This adheres you to it, allowing you to pop up for shots. With this half implementation of a feature it adds more annoyance to fights than there needs to be. After all, you just want to run into cover, not focus on making sure you’ve set it up right.

Iron Soul Screenshot

 

Shootouts are also usually not massive but they can be incredibly annoying as well. For example, an early boss fight features an enemy with an instant kill laser attack. It’s easy to dodge if you can see it coming. However, little enemies will scatter behind you, making you need to face them to shoot. Doing so turns your back to the big enemy though leaving you entirely prone to unexpected laser deaths. Overall, fights are more frustrating than fun, but at least health is plentiful.

This is such a shame because Iron Soul looks great. It just feels bogged down with the worst aspects of older games. There’s nothing wrong with chasing a hard, authentic experience (see another game with the name “Souls” in it) except when it will primarily alienate the players. With that said, Iron Soul may find an audience thanks to fairly good (and unintentionally campy?) writing that is marred by oddball voice actors. There’s something to the game that is intriguing, but you have to get through all the frustrating bits to see it.


Score: 1.5

1 1/2 out of 5 alpacas


About our rating system

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.