Real-Time Strategy is long from gone

Iron Harvest Test: A Furious Steampunk RTS

Iron Harvest is one of the greatest games representing its genre

Mechs, bears and an outstanding campaign make Iron Harvest a celebration for RTS fans. (Image credit: Deep Silver)

The real-time strategy genre is dead? Please, you haven’t looked at Iron Harvest. KING Art Games, the developers from Bremen have one of the best solo campaigns in years to offer you and maybe even the best RTS games to come out in a long time. We’ve put the game to the test to prove these claims.

Iron Harvest Test: Likeable characters, a gripping storyline and stunning fight-mechs are the focus of the new real-time strategy game from KING Art Games. This is the game for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in a great solo game.

Quick Facts about Iron Harvest

  • Developer: KING Art Games
  • Publisher: Deep Silver
  • Genre: Strategy Game
  • Release: September 9, 2020

Video credit: Deep Silver via YouTube

Iron Harvest Test: From Mechs to Bears

Iron Harvest wants to bring back the real-time strategy genre. Long gone are the heydays of Command & Conquer, StarCraft, and company. Most thought the genre has completely disappeared with the decline in the once strong titles. But then?

There came the developers of KING Art Games around the corner with their newest game and bring back new passion for the genre. Iron Harvest offers one of the best single-player campaigns since Company of Heroes 2.

As is normal with the genre, the game begins amidst a battle. There is something different about this one though. Instead of fighting with tanks and guns you’re battling it out with snowballs. The player slips into the skin of the young Anna Kos who has to fight alone against her male counterparts in her village. Thankfully, our brother comes to our rescue quite quickly.

The tutorial forms the prelude of the 25-hour solo campaign which we’ve seen in the genre in the last few years. Shortly after the introduction, Anna has grown and become an outstanding sharpshooter who has to defend her homeland of Polonia against the forces of Rusviet and Saxony. Weird names? Well, there’s a reason for that.

The intense fights just make you want to play more and more

The campaign is packed full of diverse missions and gripping storylines (Image credit: Deep Silver)

Europa 1920 – Just a Bit Different

Iron Harvest plays in an alternate reality of the 1920’s. The difference isn’t just in the names which we find in our history books, but also in the way they interact and go into battle with one another. Giant, oil dripping mechs are what is being used to do battle. And if we’re being honest here this is much cooler than a generic tank or fighter jet no?

The campaign of Iron Harvest convinces players through a thrillingly produced story and a successful mission design. We slowly slip into the skin of the heroes Anna Kos (Polonia), Olga Romanova (Rusviet) and Gunther von Duisburg (Saxony) whom have all been equipped with unique abilities and create vastly different atmospheres from one another.

We’ve already commended the unique mission design of Iron Harvest, but just as much praise has to be given to the fact that the story is not just dramatic but also balanced with lightness at times which adds another unique twist for those who are fans of the genre.

Iron Harvest Hero Gunther is going to war for his country of Saxony

The story around the three heroes Anna, Olga and Gunther is through and through convincing (Image Credit: Deep Silver)

Strong Gameplay, A Little Stagnating Gameplay

Iron Harvest does a lot right in regard to gameplay as well by staging thrilling battles on the screen. We hide in the high grass to sneak past enemies or take cover behind walls in order not to be defenseless against our enemies.

The true excitement begins when the mechs get introduced into the game. Especially when we get to pilot one of the giant metal beasts. Nevertheless, Iron Harvest cannot quite keep up with genre heavyweights like Company of Heroes or StarCraft 2 in terms of tactical depth.

The game simply offers too few unit types and puts the base building (including fewer options) too much into the background. This doesn’t deter the fun though, since the infantry battles satisfy players with its accomplished dynamic and well-implemented Rock-Paper-Scissors principle. In the long run it lacks some options though, at least for now.

A Battle in snowy Polonia

The Battles are fun and thanks to precise controls by players (Image credit: Deep Silver)

Iron Harvest Multiplayer: It's Still Developing

Iron Harvest still has to iron out some kinks when it comes to their multiplayer mode. Currently, there are only six maps available and the co-op mode for the campaign is yet to follow. So even though the fights against other players are convincing, there is still a lot lacking in the multiplayer mode.

This is going to change with time though. There is already new content in the works which is going to follow in the form of different seasons. The game offered insight into its potential as an esport during the Iron Harvest esports tournament at Gamescom 2020. This is only going to expand with the additions planned within the coming seasons.

Video credit: 2SK3TCHY via YouTube

Our Iron Harvest Final Thoughts

Iron Harvest revives the real-time strategy genre once more. Especially fans of single player games can get lost in the gripping story, intense atmosphere, and varied missions.

The fierce battles really mesmerize the player. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of the variety of units and construction options. This doesn’t take away from the game though and the developers are going to work on various expansions which will alleviate these problems. The base which Iron Harvest has impressed and therefore we can say that it is one of the best RTS games of the last decade.

Any information on the DIRT 5 Playground mode as well as when the Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War Beta will start can be found EarlyGame.

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Sabrina Ahn

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