Hornblower meets Steampunk in Guns of Icarus Online

I REPLACED my monocle and stood up from the deck. Staggering back to the helm I was blasted by steam from our props.

We'd been hit by a full broadside from an enemy airship. They'd taken out our balloon and we were sinking fast.

Lord Frumpleton charged past me with his wrench in hand. His goggles were covered in soot. I kept my eye on the tiller but could hear him beat furiously against the steam engines behind me.

If he fixed them in time, we wouldn't plummet to the desert floor, 500 feet below.

Then we'd only be at the mercy of the three other airships circling us for the kill.

I'll have to add Guns of Icarus Online to my list of games that have fulfilled a lifelong fantasy of mine.

Being an air-pirate.

You and three team-mates co-operatively pilot a steampunkesque airship in combat reminiscent of Hornblower crossed with WWI zeppelins.

Imagine if, instead of sails, Captain Jack Sparrow had a blimp attached to his ship and fought running battles with other similarly-equipped ships at 500 feet.

Step one to aerial glory is to pick a role you'd like to play. Pilots are better at steering airships, gunners better at ship-to-ship combat and engineers are best at repairing damaged or destroyed ship parts.

Each role can do each other's job, mind you, and you'll often have to, even though you're terrible at it.

There's a lot to love about this game, from the surprisingly friendly community to the frenetic and immersive gameplay. The graphics aren't Crysis 3 level gorgeous, but they certainly add to the experience.

A gun of Icarus is also notable for having a character progression system that doesn't mean newbies start at a severe disadvantage. You don't get any extra abilities or equipment for being a higher level (yet).

What you do get, however, is recognition from other players that actually means a damn. The achievement-based system for rising through the ranks means that other players know you have actually had to achieve something to progress, not that you just ground away at the game for hours more than anyone else.

Keep in mind the game needs to be played with a microphone, as voice chat is the only way to co-ordinate with your shipmates fast enough to avoid destruction.



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