Реальная военная хроника с железными великанами ― впечатляющий режиссерский ход

Iron Harvest – War never changes. Review / Games


Genre Strategy
Publisher Deep silver
Publisher in Russia “Buka”
Developer KING Art
Minimum Requirements Intel Core i5-4460 3.4 GHz / AMD Ryzen 3 1200 3.1 GHz, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 4 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 / AMD Radeon R9 380, 30 GB storage, internet connection, Windows 10 operating system
Recommended Requirements Intel Core i7-8700k 3.7 GHz / AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 3.6 GHz, 16 GB RAM, DirectX 12 graphics card and 6 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 / AMD Radeon RX 5700
release date September 1, 2020
Age qualification from 16 years old
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PS4
Official site

Played on PC

It is the twentieth year of the twentieth century of alternative historical reality. The development of mankind has come to industrial wonders, embodied in diesel mechanical giants and incredible models of electric weapons, but not to the prevailing ideas of humanism and constructive international dialogue. And therefore, quite naturally, the world of Iron Harvest is suffocating in the smoke of incessant wars. The terrible picture of non-stop mutual destruction is interrupted by a dilapidated truce. But even this is not a hindrance to local conflicts that are about to flare up into a new large-scale war …

A real war chronicle with iron giants - an impressive directorial move

A real war chronicle with iron giants – an impressive directorial move

⇡ #Life for the Tsar (Kaiser, Motherland)!

The extraordinary dieselpunk entourage (with moderate patches of teslapunk), serving as the atmospheric context of the collision of world orders, ideally stood on the principles of the classic real-time strategy. The seasoned RTS commander won’t have to re-learn the craft of war – the basics of Iron Harvest are familiar and familiar: construction, exploration, mining, maneuvers. And a few factional nuances …

Three global forces are involved in the conflicts in the Iron Harvest fields: Saxony with recognizable features of the German Empire; Rusvet embodying an alternative Russian empire; Polania, reminiscent of isolated Poland, on whose lands neighbors constantly encroach. The general tactical algorithm of all factions is more or less similar: each has a certain set of combat measures and countermeasures with a slight advantage in one or another strategic idea. The buildings are the same for all, and the infantry, for example, that some, that of others, that of others, is represented by an identical set of engineers, shooters (except that Saxony has their improved version – attack aircraft), grenadiers, flamethrowers and armor-piercing units.

Combat feature of local soldiers: the ability to take cover and fight with minimal losses. Before technology appears in battle, of course ...

The combat feature of local soldiers is the ability to take cover and fight with minimal losses. Before technology appears in battle, of course …

On the other hand, noticeable differences are present among the infantrymen in exoskeletons – an intermediate force between ordinary employees and mech-giants! Take the Russian military forces: in this category they have at their disposal powerful melee fighters, whose blades can cope with almost equal efficiency both with simple soldier’s gymnastics and with the reinforced iron plating of mechanized giants. The Saxons boast devastating ramming squads and extremely long-range mortars at the ready. And at Polania, the soldiers, reinforced with an iron frame, carry heavy weapons of crushing defeat – appropriate in most skirmishes.

Far more tangible factional differences in a completely different weighting category, where key faction traits can be traced in the lineup of the giants of the industrial revolution. Polania, being at the junction of the warring highly developed powers, gained access to advanced technologies. But the Polan mechs look handicraft, their power is modest, and in size they are noticeably inferior to the diesel giants of the opponents, but they are mobile and well suited to the partisan way of waging war.

The huge monstrous mechanisms of Rusvet reflect imperial appetites and immeasurable industrial strength, expressed, for example, in the gigantic weapon complex “Gulyai-Gorod” (the name, no doubt, speaking). The Saxons, having no less technical potential, rely on effective artillery and long-range tactics. They also have at their disposal cunning combat units, such as the MWF 28 “Stiefmutter”, capable of firing homing rounds. But the main feature of Saxon cars is that they look the most aesthetically pleasing!

As the Russian folk wisdom says: everything in the world will become more beautiful if you add giant fur

As the Russian folk wisdom says, everything in the world will become more beautiful if you add a giant fur

⇡ #Salt of war

It may seem that when such objects converge in battle, the participation of the infantry is completely meaningless. But that was not the case: without ordinary soldiers it will not be possible to capture resource and control points, without them it will be difficult to conduct reconnaissance. And armor-piercing squads, with competent command, are capable of destroying single mechanical monsters, and a squad of engineers will repair allied giants.

The key participants in hostilities are heroes who are able not only to change the course of the battle, helping the troops, but sometimes even to win small battles alone. Each side is allocated three such characters, divided among themselves into three classes, like ordinary units: light infantrymen, heavy diesel fighters, and an intermediate medium variant. According to subjective feelings, Rusvet got the most powerful heroes – what is only Lev Zubov in a huge mech, full-face like a frightening cruiser and restoring his health by inflicting damage (and he does pretty much damage).

It's easy to see where the inspiration for this scene came from ...

It’s easy to see where the inspiration for this scene came from …

Among the Polan heroes, the partisan Anna Kos is very strong, armed with a sniper rifle, with which she can easily destroy soldiers, cars, and buildings. A tame bear named Voytek helps her to maintain a comfortable distance from the enemy. The Saxons, on the other hand, surprised by the “Brunhilde” – a huge clumsy walker, clearly reminiscent of an AT-AT from one distant, distant galaxy.

The heroes bring a pleasant strategic variety to the game, and, if we talk about the campaign, they are well designed, have bright personalities and clearly defined motivation. That is why it is worth starting your acquaintance with the Iron Harvest universe with a story that offers a solid variety of missions – from secret infiltrations into a closed reception to escorting an armored train, as well as an eventful plot!

Iron Harvest's coolness is the same as our universe: no look at explosions!

Iron Harvest’s coolness is the same as our universe: no look at explosions!

⇡ #The harsh twentieth year

Most of Iron Harvest’s narrative takes place in 1920 and is divided into three campaigns (based on the number of countries involved in the conflict), united by one cross-cutting plot. The characters are constantly changing, and the story is gaining serious momentum: here the Polan partisan Anna Kos is fighting against the interventionists and trying to prevent unnecessary bloodshed, but now we are in St. Petersburg, the capital of Rusvet, where, in the role of intelligence agent Olga Morozova, we are trying to uncover and disrupt the plans of the mysterious organization “Fenris”, in parallel moving towards the secret man-made city of Nikola Tesla. The third act, dedicated to Gunther von Duisburg, a retired Saxon commander, suddenly slows down the pace of the epic, moving on to reminiscences of the past war, self-digging and torment of an old soldier. Then – a small epic about how he found himself where he found himself (in order to avoid spoilers, we will do without details), and now the grand finale gets nothing at all.

But as it soon turns out, the developers decided not to put an end to the story, keeping almost all the storylines suspended. Having finished the Iron Harvest campaign where the main action was supposed to begin, and having created an obvious reserve for the continuation in the additions, KING Art, alas, deprived the main story of its independence. Hopefully, there is at least StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void ending in the scenario bins.

Iron Harvest has a lot of references to real military events: here, for example, an allusion to the Christmas truces that took place during the First World War, when the soldiers of the warring parties temporarily ceased their fire and celebrated Christmas Eve together

Iron Harvest has a lot of references to real military events: here, for example, an allusion to the Christmas truces that took place during the First World War, when the soldiers of the warring parties temporarily ceased their fire and celebrated Christmas Eve together

And there is reason to think so: that part of the plot that entered the main game is executed perfectly and touches upon important painful topics of humanity. Iron Harvest does not try to romanticize the war and avoids militaristic bravado by focusing on its tragedy. In each chapter of the story, the authors emphasize that the clash of civilizations is a hell in which the concepts of humanity disappear, the lines between the permissible and the unthinkable are erased (the episode with the military use of gas is a vivid example of this), and ordinary people suffer from all this first of all. Many characters in the story are ambiguous: there is a convinced idealist who is ready to sacrifice the civilian population in the name of the “great good”; another – for the sake of achieving a goal, he is ready to make an alliance with a hated enemy; and someone, disappointed in their fundamental values, nevertheless finds the strength to fight for what is really important, stepping on the throat of their own prejudices. And the main moral: one must live for ideals, not die!

***

Iron Harvest is clearly at the beginning of its journey: in addition to continuing the main story, the developers from KING Art are obviously preparing to introduce other countries and new conflicts. The game casually mentions both wars on other continents (on the American ones, for example, there is a campaign to capture Mexico by its northern neighbor), and other geopolitical players like the Shogunate, Franks, Albion and others. Air and naval units, new modes and much more will surely appear with them. Even so, Iron Harvest is a great strategy!

Advantages:

  • deep story with well-written characters;
  • fresh and unusual surroundings;
  • excellent implementation and development of classic strategic mechanics;
  • giant diesel giants in battle are an unambiguous advantage.

Disadvantages:

  • engine Unity is not always ready for the scale of events – during particularly intense battle scenes, the frame rate drops noticeably;
  • the network part of Iron Harvest is still incomplete.

Graphic arts

The world of Iron Harvest is perfect: the cities, farms, forests and fields are colorful and perfectly capture the mood of Eastern Europe. The units are drawn in a detailed and impressive manner. But facial animation in cut-scenes falls short of the overall quality level.

Sound

The roar of explosions, heavy footsteps of diesel mechs, shots of artillery and simple rifles – the noise of war is conveyed atmospheric. And the solemn-militaristic musical themes are beneficial to the surroundings of the game.

Single player game

Iron Harvest offers not the most extensive, but still entertaining set of strategic challenges: a campaign with versatile missions, battles in 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 formats, and challenges.

Collective game

So far, it will be possible to play a quick game (there were no problems with finding matches after the release), but the announced rating matches and the cooperative mode, unfortunately, have not yet been presented. The developers promise more information about them in the near future.

General impression

Unique surroundings, excellent strategic component, strong history and colossal potential, like “Walk-City”, make Iron Harvest one of the most worthy representatives of the genre of recent years.

More about the grading system

Rating: 9.0 / 10

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