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City of Brass – Review

City of Brass

As Anakin Skywalker once said “ I hate sand. It rough and coarse and gets everywhere.” Sand is itchy and uncomfortable, but also a testament to Earth’s ancient history. Each grain of sand is the result of millions of years of prehistoric change, as the powerful forces water and wind have worn down the mightiest of rocks and mountains. Sand tells a history, and in the case of City of Brass, it tells the tale of a massive reward. Beneath the sand lies a city of untold riches that will make any man wealthy of generations upon generations. 

This city is filled with deadly enemies and deadly traps. None have survived this terrible city, but for those that dare, the challenge of the City Of Brass has emerged from the sands. Only your wits, skill and luck will see you survive. This is City of Brass, from Australia-based Uppercut Games. Created by veterans of Bioshock, City Of Brass features a unique combat system and open-ended level design, set against procedural generation and roguelike gameplay mechanics. For those willing to take the plunge, patience is in order, but it leaves for immense reward.

City of Brass is a pure roguelike experience. Players choose their class of warrior, from soldier to scavenger, and take to the labyrinths of the City of Brass. However, players rely on two weapon mechanics. In their left hand is a sword and their right is a whip. The objective is for players to make their way to the end of the level and beat the clock. Along the way, players will encounter a multitude of enemies and traps. Defeating these enemies and interacting with their environment will be the key to unlocking new weapons and items.

City of Brass contains an incredibly unique and thrilling combat mechanics. The sword and whip combat gameplay greatly emulate the unique combat seen by Indiana Jones in Raiders of The Lost Ark. With the sword, players will be able to swipe and destroy enemies, but the whip can disable and distract the enemy. Using the whip on a limb will either trip a charging enemy or disarm them. Using the whip towards the head will blind the enemy long enough to move closer and take down the enemy. The whip can also be used to grab throwable pots or explode fireplaces to further disrupt and eliminate enemies.

The sword and whip combination is both rewarding and different, yielding a unique gameplay experience that is different from other games. It is thrilling to use a whip similar to Dr. Jones to defeat waves of enemies and narrowly stay alive. Using the sword and whip is also rewarding, especially as players can upgrade their weapons. One such combination is the ability to use a barbed whip and an electrified dagger, which contain unique offensive abilities. During the course of the level, players can upgrade their other items as well, such as their feet and chest, to allow more agility and speed, among many other attributes.

City of Brass is not an easy game, but each run provides a strong sense of reward. Players will encounter the remains of the undead, brought to life to defend their city once more. These include armless charging skeleton warriors, armored soldiers, and female archers, along with genies. Complicating matters are an array of traps, both evident and hidden. Trap doors, blasting sand, pneumatic spikes, blowing fire, and many other traps dot the paths ahead of the player. 

Players will find themselves dying from sudden traps, especially pneumatic spikes shooting from the ground. Some of these traps can be triggered with the whip, but the danger still persists as the traps are nearly at every corner of a level. Despite the repeated deaths, the XP gained can be placed towards rewards, unlocks, and more attributes. Players can even unlock mods that will make the experience easier, without penalizing the player. Overall, City Of Brass Provides a solid experience that is worth investing in.

Presentation wise, City Of Brass moves swiftly and smoothly. The game clearly evokes the imaginations of Arabian Nights, as well as Ali Baba & The Forty Thieves. Sunlight and moonlight cut through the city blocks and colors and glows  There is little music to highlight the momentum or danger of the player, but players can use Spotify to heighten the mood.  City Of Brass is a sharp looking game.

While City Of Brass is strictly a procedural generation and roguelike experience, it is still one of the most intriguing and distinctive combat experiences on digital storefronts today. It’s setting is unique, its enemies are fascinating, and its gameplay is incredibly entertaining to use. City Of Brass is a solidly crafted experience with a unique world and exciting combat mechanics. Don’t miss it!

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