Steamworld Heist (3DS) Review

I loved Steamworld Dig by Image & Form. I played the game on the 3DS and I thought it was a fantastic game.

So when Image & Form announced Steamworld Heist for the 3DS, I was beyond excited. A Steamworld game set in SPACE?! I love outer space. I love science fiction. And it is a turn-based strategy game too? When does it come out?! The answer: tomorrow. Though, thankfully, I got to play the game ahead of time.

I have had high expectations for Steamworld Heist. Did the actual game live up to them? You’re about to find out!

STORY

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Steamworld Heist’s story isn’t perfect, but its pretty good.

I absolutely love the “news reel”-like cut scenes and the dialogue in the game is excellent. You should definitely talk to your crewmates as often as possible. Yes, they do repeat some of their dialogue a lot, but all of the dialogue is well worth reading. I love all the Steambot characters and have to be honest, I wished that there were even more of them. Recruiting them was so much fun. I also wish the game’s story was longer and that the ending was a little better.

Still, Steamworld Heist’s story is better than Steamworld Dig’s and that’s saying a lot.

GAMEPLAY

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In Steamworld Heist, you play the captain of a ship full of robots. Your main mission is to get a lot of swag, especially water, and beat up a lot of bad robots. You’ll travel a map and run into a bunch of different ships to invade. Most of the ships are randomly generated. What does that mean?! It means something really cool. Basically, the layout of (most) of the ships will change every time you visit them; you’ll never know where enemies will be, where the goal is, or what swag you’ll pick up. This adds (a lot) of replay! The battles are turn-based and strategic. That doesn’t mean the battles are slow though. Steamworld Heist’s battles can go pretty fast, sometimes too fast, but the battles are always fun. And its always satisfying seeing your enemy blow up.

Speaking of blowing up enemies, I haven’t mentioned the trick shots. This is one of the coolest things about Steamworld Heist. Instead of just pushing a button and your characters attacking, you have to aim the character’s weapon, carefully, and take your shot. So if you miss, its your fault! Its definitely easier to aim when your character has a laser sight on their weapon. When they don’t have that, you have to really be careful about how you aim. Some bullets/etc in this game will ricochet and (you) might get hurt. I love the trick shots. They really add a lot to the levels. You know what also adds a lot to the levels? SWAG!

There’s a ton of swag to pick up in levels. What’s swag? Weapons, accessories, powerups, random items to sell, water, and of course you can shoot hats off of the enemy and collect them!

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Let me talk about the hats for a moment. There are a lot of hats in this game. You collect them and can put one of them on the head of any of your robot crew. What do the hats do? Well, they don’t do anything expect look cool. I like that the hats on the character’s heads change, but I wish they did do something. Imagine if each of these hats would give you a different ability/power. That would’ve been cool. Still, gotta love the hats.

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I also have to mention how impressed I am by all the weapons and accessories. It is a very impressive list. I do wish that you didn’t have to keep buying more inventory room and that you could just keep all of the weapons that you get, much like you can keep all of the hats. Maybe this would make things too easy? I don’t know about that. I thought the game could get pretty challenging, even on casual. I just hated selling my weapons and accessories. Thankfully there was nothing at all to hate about Steamworld Heist’s controls.

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In Steamworld Heist, you use the D-Pad to control the movement of your ship and direct your character in battle. The D-Pad is excellent for both because it provides more precise control than analog would. The analog is used, however, for the camera and its very handy, especially in battle for seeing if you’ll hit far off enemies. You can use the touch screen or buttons to use weapons and other things in or out of battle. The touch screen controls work well, but there really isn’t any need to use them if you don’t want to. The button controls work great too. The game has a terrific tutorial that’ll teach you all of the button controls, so that might be the best way to play the game.

Also Steamworld Heist makes great use of the 3DS’s second screen. The screen is used to show off characters HP, extra abilities, and also during battle, the ship’s current map. The map is extremely handy for battles. It’ll let you know where your enemy is and where all the swag in the room is. So its not the game’s fault if you miss any of that cool stuff. I’m so very happy with Heist’s controls and use of the 3DS’s second screen. Image & Form did a great job. In fact, they did a great job with a lot of this game. I didn’t want the experience to end.

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Steamworld Heist is a very addictive game and you won’t want to stop playing it. The experience will be over way too soon though. I played the game mostly on Casual and got to the final boss around 16 hours. Sure, I had to level up a bit more and I think it was closer to 20 hours when I beat the game, but not by much. I assume on a higher difficulty, you’ll have to do more grinding and that might take you into the 20-25 range or more.

Still, I felt like the game should have had more areas to explore and more missions to complete. I wasn’t ready to let the game go. There is a New Game Plus mode too, but I have to say I was disappointed with it. I won’t spoil the mode for anybody, but I will say that its not as cool as New Game Plus modes I’ve seen in other games. Oh well.

Steamworld Heist is an amazing game and you should play it as soon as possible.

GRAPHICS

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Steamworld Heist has fantastic graphics! From the backgrounds to the character/enemy designs, you can tell Image & Form took a lot time (and effort) to develop a gorgeous looking 3DS game.

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Speaking of 3D, the outer space map for Heist looks amazing in 3D. The actual levels look fine in 3D, but you definitely don’t need the 3D to enjoy the game. Though, I would highly recommend having the 3D on during the game’s “news reel”-like cut scenes. The illustrations there are very good and look incredible in 3D.

Overall, without or without 3D, Steamworld Heist is a great looking game.

SOUND

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I love this game’s soundtrack. The music, vocal and nonvocal, is a real treat to listen.

Steamworld Heist’s sound effects are even better though! The sounds your weapons make when they shoot is really satisfying. Of course, the sounds your enemy makes when they explode and their (robot) parts scatter along the floor is, without the doubt, the best.

I also really liked the “news reel” voice during the cut scenes. It felt very authentic.

CONCLUSION

Steamworld Heist is one of the best games released for the 3DS eshop this year. It has great graphics, excellent gameplay, and a fantastic soundtrack/sound effects. Yes, the story could have been longer and I wish there made been more areas/missions to explore. I also didn’t care for the New Game Plus mode that much. There are other smaller issues I had with the game, but in end, Steamworld Heist was a lot of fun.

Steamworld Heist is a must buy for strategy rpg fans. They will love the game. Though, people who have never played this type of game may love the game too. Image & Form did really great job here.

I hope we see DLC for this game and a sequel sooner or later. As for now, you should definitely buy this game tomorrow. Need an extra motive for buying the game as soon as possible?!  Steamworld Heist will be on sale till the end of the month and you’ll get a free 3DS background during the sale! What a amazing deal.

Buy this game!

Shigeru Reviews Score: 9.8/10

The Steamworld Heist logo is from Image & Form’s official website. The rest of the pictures were provided by Image & Form. They also provided a copy of the game for review!

One thought on “Steamworld Heist (3DS) Review

  1. Pingback: Steamworld Heist Music Video | Shigeru News and Reviews

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