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Game Info:

Guns of Icarus Online
Developed by: Muse Games
Published by: Muse Games
Release date: October 29, 2012
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: Action
Number of Players: Up to 32 players online
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $14.99

Thank you Muse Games for providing us with a review code for this game!

Guns of Icarus was originally created by Muse Games in 2010, but despite the single and multiplayer gameplay, it was not well received.  Two years later Muse Games successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign for Guns of Icarus Online and received 3.5X their funding goal.  In October of 2012, the skirmish mode of Guns of Icarus Online was released and has gotten positive reviews after some major patches have been applied.  In 2013, Muse Game launched another successful Kickstarter campaign for the Adventure mode to create an online world with towns, trading, and factions. As of this review, both the Adventure mode and PS4 versions of this game are in development.

As the title suggests, GoIO (Guns of Icarus Online) is an online only game. The tutorial to teach you the basics is offline and there are competent AI bots available in the tutorial mode and online if needed.  GoIO is a 3D action game where you try to keep your ship in the air while  capturing areas or shooting down enemy zeppelins.  Teamwork and strategy are key in winning matches.  While there are a fair amount of players online at any given time, this game is the most fun when you're flying with people you know.  Flying with strangers can lead to some colorful language, but most of the people I have played online with have been courteous.  

GoIO takes place in an apocalyptic steampunk universe.  The game maps are often devoid of life other than the people running around on the airships trying to keep them afloat.  The zeppelins are nicely detailed and the cloud effects are both clever and annoying at the same time.  While the polluted clouds can damage the ship a little, they do provide valuable cover to hide from enemies who have not spotted your zeppelin yet.   

Guns of Icarus Online
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun combination of Star Trek and steam punk with teamwork being required for your ship's survival
Weak Points: In game purchases; like many multiplayer games, this one is best enjoyed with friends
Moral Warnings: Combat violence; some players use foul language

There are many ships to choose from, but in the beginning your options are limited.  Each ship has multiple weapon load-outs, armor, and health values.  One thing they have in common is the number of personnel on them.  That number is four, and the only required position is a captain.  Besides steering the zeppelin, the captain is in charge of leading the crew.  The captain can also offer suggested load-outs to the crew before the match begins.  One of the captains I flew with shared his music with the whole team.  Besides microphone communication, you can text chat with the entire group of players, your crew, or allies.

I spent most of my time as an engineer.  It's the engineer job's to put out fires and repair or rebuild the ship's balloons, engines, guns, and armor.  If the ship's armor is destroyed the ship's integrity will go down until it falls, bursts into flames, and takes the crew down with it.    When  the engines are down the ship will no longer move and if the balloon gets destroyed the zeppelin loses its ability to float.  Most crews consist of a pilot, two engineers and a dedicated gunner.    The engineers can fire guns if needed, but they won't have as many ammo choices as the dedicated gunners do.  

There's a decent variety of ammunition including rapid firing greased rounds that suffer a 20% damage reduction and projection speed in exchange for its 60% rate of fire boost.   Heavy clips are more accurate, but have a -25% clip size compared to the others.  Fortunately, the guns will auto reload, but there is a slight delay.  Flame throwers can do a lot of damage when the enemies are nearby.  Each weapon has a limited range and the rounds are good for taking out specific parts of the ship (hull, balloon, weapons).  

Guns of Icarus Online
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 84%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

There's a lot to learn and until you reach level eight, your match making settings will be set to novice by default.  There are three game modes: Death Match, King of the Hill and Crazy King.  In team Death Match you and your ally must take down your opponents five times to claim victory.  King of the Hill and Crazy King are similar but in Crazy King, you have multiple points to control.  In both of those modes killing is necessary, but not the focus.  Your main objective is to hold onto your point(s) as long as possible to accumulate the predetermined score to win.  When the matches are over you have the option to give commendations to your team mates.

Matchmaking can take several minutes or longer depending on the conditions and limitations in place.  By un-checking Novice, I was able to join other matchers faster.  When I have played there have been between 1-200 players online at any given time.  

If you like Steam achievements, this game is for you.  There are over four hundred and sixty achievements to unlock!  Many of them are class restricted, but you can switch classes as often as you like.  As you unlock in-game achievements, you'll earn medals, outfits and dyes to customize your characters.  There are in game purchases available as well and they add cosmetic changes to your character and ship. The developers are against pay to win games and all of the items are cosmetic only. The profits from the sales go towards maintaining the servers. 

I look forward to watching Guns of Icarus Online expand and grow with the upcoming platforms and Adventure DLC.  If you enjoy playing games with your friends online, Guns of Icarus Online is a lot of fun and worth looking into.  Because of the rowdiness of some of the players, I don't recommend this game for younger kids.     

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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