There are many real-time strategy games out there today, but this has to be one of the most in-depth ones that I have played story-wise. Imagine if World War I was fought with giant robots and other weapons that had been invented in an alternate timeline. Survival would be a lot different if that were the case. King Art Games decided to go there and show us what the time after the war would have looked like in this dieselpunk-style RTS and here is our review of Iron Harvest 1920.
Many things are right with this title. For starters, it is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on Windows PC which is a win for almost everyone who wants to play. This RTS has some of the deepest stories that I have seen in a campaign of its type. Featuring Polania, Rusviet, and Saxony as the three main powers in Europe fighting for their lives, or power. The way the story plays out is so seamless with the missions themselves. It goes from cut scenes to gameplay and back to cut scenes at the appropriate times with highly detailed voice acting and character movements. Some RTS games are broken in this way where they don’t merge the two in a manner that works well. You start as a young girl having a snowball fight with boys who don’t want you around. Graphically the first little story mission hooks you in as you see the detail levels of the rocks, trees, and even the footprints in the snow. The details are so good that they added terrain effects. One step beyond that comes as you start using mechs because they walk through building walls and destroy things all around them. This is what hooked me fully.
Several game modes are available in Iron Harvest 1920 including the campaign, challenges, skirmishes, and multiplayer. We already know a little bit about the campaign so we will skip over that slightly and go into everything else. There are challenges that you can take part in. One such example is called “Hold the line”. In this mode, you play as the Polania forces. Your objective is to survive through ten waves of Saxony invaders while building up your army. You can also collect resource points to give you the ability for building up your forces. Skirmishes are when you play solo or with a co-op partner against AI in any of the titles difficulty levels and from any map used in the multiplayer. Finally, multiplayer mode allows you to play against other people online and takes all of your built up knowledge of the game to the next level. Quickplay will allow you to get into matches very fast, but if you decided to invite your friends to play then you can just create a lobby for them as well. These modes are definitely fun and I suggest you try out the campaign to learn the basics of Iron Harvest 1920 before you take them on.
One thing I don’t like about this title is just how long some of the missions take to complete, and couple that with limits on how many forces you can build at any one time. Early on in the campaign for instance you are tasked with building up your base and taking on a couple of enemy strongholds while capturing a supply train. You can build as many buildings as you can in the space provided but it doesn’t increase your troop supply by much. The enemy can replenish their troops and try to take over your resource points to prevent you from building as well. At the same time, it took me about an hour it seems like to beat the first part of the mission and then you get a magical cut scene that informs you that you still have longer to go. Other RTS games have missions that go much quicker unless you choose to drag them out, so I guess I have just gotten used to being able to move the story forward a lot faster. Base size restrictions are a bit stingy as well because you can only build within designated areas instead of anywhere that you want to like in other RTS games. I didn’t like this at all.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on PC with a code provided by PR.