Iron Harvest Review. Alternative history of armored vehicles

It is no longer fashionable to complain about the crisis in the strategic genre. Strategies are published more or less regularly, their quality is more often pleasing than sad. Good news for those who like to command and conquer: Iron Harvest from German developers from the F95zone studio confidently sets the bar for quality above average.


For the very fact of the birth of the game Iron Harvest, we must thank the Polish artist  Jakub Rozalski . He has long and successfully created very cool paintings on the topic of alternative history of the early twentieth century. According to Rosalski, the military engineering thought of those years went to the side of giant walking machines. The political map of the world has changed slightly, and the battlefields are trampled by noisy and smoke-filled 'Mechs. Yakub's paintings (in the game they adorn the loading screens) turned out to be so popular that a whole fantastic universe called 1920+ soon grew out of them. There was a successful board game in the 1920+ world, and now it's time for computer strategy. There is a chance that soon we will see the birth and expansion of a whole series of RTS based on the work of Yakub. And that would be wonderful. 

In addition to the presence of mechanical monsters, this world differs from the one described in textbooks in some important details. At the time of the events of Iron Harvest, there was a big war, the First World War, apparently. The consequences of the war still haunt the citizens of the whole world, the killed are not mourned, the truce is shaky and ghostly. And when the soldiers of Rusvet invade Polania with not at all peaceful intentions, the Polanians quickly retrieve the rifles hidden in the hayloft. Rusvets hunt for the works of Nikola Tesla, the famous Serb, who discovered even more wonders in the world of Iron Harvest than in our real world. 

And the plot of the plot really invigorates and sets an intriguing tone for the whole story. The reason for this was the developers' attention to the characters and the presence of long and at the same time not boring videos between missions. Yes, all the characters in this story love to talk and do not hide their emotions. But the fatigue that the chatter of JRPG heroes sometimes causes you will not experience. Even the central villain, despite some stereotypes, is remembered for the flight: the Russian colonel sprinkles witticisms and loves to wave at the enemies with the severed hand of his captive.  

Take training. 

The basics of the gameplay are given to us by scenes from the childhood of one of the main characters, Anna Kos. Here is a girl playing snowballs with hooligan boys, and we are learning to attack and hide from enemy shells. Then we have a winter hunt in front of us, Anna's older brother under our control is chasing a deer, and the girl is training to make a sniper shot. Such attention to the setting and ingenuity in the design of the first tasks immediately sets the right tone, it is clear that they worked on the game with feeling and sense.

When, in fact, the story begins, you will not be bored. You are unlikely to find script revelations in the spirit of the HBO channel for yourself, but the overall performance of the narrative part is not bad at all. If we are talking about family secrets, these are world secrets. If there is an attack on a peaceful village in the frame, then numerous NPCs in the scenes on the engine will definitely express their opinion. And if the drama begins, then the drama in Iron Harvest is not  strained, you are unlikely to start clapping your hands when the minor character dies. Special respect to the developers for the videos, stylized as black-and-white newsreels of those years. And this is with huge awkward robots! 

After a few hours of active play, an understanding comes: Iron Harvest  is like a dozen hit genre projects. And this is her strength and her weakness. Each nation has heroes here, units gain experience, missions will definitely have side missions, shelters for infantry are generously scattered on the maps, buildings can be captured and fired through windows, and control over the position indicated by the flag will give access to resources. We've seen all of this in the strategies of the last twenty years, from Huniepop 2 to the blockbusters of the Canadian team Relic - Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Company of Heroes . All these proven mechanics in the new game work properly, without any squeak. Fans of the genre will get comfortable withI Iron Harvest  instantly and enjoy the process. But soon a slight bewilderment comes: the German strategy lacks individuality, its own ideas are sorely lacking in mechanics. It can be confused with Relic games .

Iron Harvest's tactical gimmicks quickly come to the fore, overshadowing the strategic part of the gameplay. Yes, there is also base construction, resources, and improvements. But fine control of units in battle is more important and simply more interesting. Mech stern armor is easier to penetrate, even with rifles. Shelters can be destroyed with an accurate shot from a cannon. Hand grenades explode with a delay, you can have time to escape to a safe distance. Heavy machine guns need to manually specify the sector of fire. Finally, right in the heat of battle, you can grab captured weapons and change the class of infantrymen, turning engineers into machine gunners, and shooters into grenadiers, this is a really fresh solution. 


A number of minor flaws do not spoil the overall positive impression, but the final grade is slightly lowered. So, long downloads are absolutely incomprehensible; you will not see thousands of warriors in the frame, as in Total War . Models of civilians are often repeated, clones roam the streets of settlements. Soldiers from different countries speak English with a ridiculous accent, and this is against the background of the general seriousness of the project, when they do not hesitate to show us corpses and pools of blood. Finally, the phrases your units respond to when you click them quickly start to repeat and sound out of place at times. Just like in the first parts of the difficult person test  

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