Guns of Glory: The Iron Mask
August 15, 2021
DianDian Interactive Holding
August 16, 2021
DianDian Interactive Holding
Survive and rise to the knighthood, but for a hefty fee!
When you read the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store description of this game, you could be reminded of the movie The Man in The Iron Mask (the one starring Leo Di Caprio, Jeremy Irons, and John Malkovich), and this was likely what the devs wanted to evoke, as seen from the title.
Now, I'm not exactly sure as to when exactly FunPlus added "The Iron Mask" to the title. The game used to simply be called "Guns of Glory", and perhaps they changed the name in the hopes of attracting newcomers to the user base. In any case, it doesn't matter, as you won't really be caring too much about the Three Musketeers here, or your escape from the Bastille. That's all just a backdrop for the core game, which is your "typical" real-time strategy title.
For now, let's go over the most superficial aspects of this game: Graphics and soundtrack.
In terms of graphics, at first glance, this game looks fantastic. Granted, most of the game is just a series of sprites with some 3D models and cardboard character portraits, but all the graphical resources all excellently assembled and laid out. The character models look surprisingly good, and the interface is very pleasant to look at.
Animations are hit-and-miss. Most of the time, the movements seem to flow well, though you'll see some jaggedness here and there. Nothing too immersion-breaking, but you will undoubtedly notice these rougher spots. Moreover, the Pirate Captain and catacomb minigames could definitely benefit from more polished graphics, but they're not that bad, all things considered.
Now, here comes my first complaint about this game, which is related to the soundtrack. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful and soothing, but this is actually a problem in itself! Sure, you'll get a change of pace during the actual marches and specific story scenes but, when on the home base, it's the same darn generic "classical" track looping over and over and over, even during combat! I mean, why? Why couldn't they have added at least a couple more tracks to the playlist? I understand this is nitpicking, but I really care about the music in my games.
On another note, it must be said that a lot of effort was seemingly placed to make the gameplay as feature-packed as possible, with a lot of micro-management to deal with. Throughout your playthrough, you have to be constantly careful that you don't skip anything in your base's development so that you may overcome many of the challenges lying ahead. The amount of stuff you have to do may seem overwhelming and, to be frank, a bit cumbersome on many occasions, but you'll eventually get the gist of it.
We'll be going over the details of the gameplay in the next section, but I have to voice one major complaint here (and my most serious complaint so far): The pay-to-win aspects! Sadly, you have to pay an enormous amount of money if you want to succeed in your Player vs Player showdowns or if you wish to speed things up as you complete the story (otherwise, you'll have to go through a lot of grinding).
Guns of Glory: The Iron Mask is a strategy game - with some role-playing aspects thrown in - that takes place in a historical setting (particularly, 17th century France), but with several fiction elements from Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers and even horror to boot.
The initial cutscene introduces you to the main characters, namely: The "Iron Mask" (you), Milady de Winter, Grimaud, and Captain Treville. After you board the Zeppelin to escape the Bastille and have your "smooth landing" (sarcasm), Captain Treville approaches the group but shows skepticism upon learning that he was summoned by Milady instead of the queen. Milady, in turn, informs the captain that the king has died and that the "evil Cardinal" Richelieu is attempting to seize the throne.
Throughout these initial scenes, you'll be prompted to several tutorials (unskippable, by the way!) that introduce you to some of the game's core mechanics, such as the "marches" (one of the main gameplay features), building, upgrades, and resource gathering. You will also get acquainted with Castle management and the "Research" menu in the Academy, which lists all the improvements you can choose in order to boost the city's economy and military power.
Much of the plot involves marching through enemy bases until you get to the capital. Marches can be sent to attack beast or red guards (the Cardinal's troops). To succeed in these marches, you have to train troops and upgrade facilities to boost stats and gain access to other perks, all the while defending your base.
March slots define how many marches you'll be capable of sending at a given time. To unlock March Slot III, you must upgrade the Academy to level 20. Your airship (the one that crashes at the beginning of the game) is also handy for handling various situations, and you'll be able to upgrade it as well to obtain additional skills and perks.
Parallel to the marches, after you reach Airship level 10, you'll have the chance to traverse the catacombs - accessible via a cave situated outside the city wall - with your "Creation", a character crafted in a building named "Doctors Lab" that can deal with underground monsters. It's a nice Frankenstein twist to the Three Musketeers formula, but the catacombs minigame is not really as compelling as it may sound.
The mazes are traversed by clicking or tapping on some green arrows, and that's all there will be to your exploration! You choose on which floor to start, and at the end of each floor, there is a Guardian Monster. Defeating enemies in the catacomb will earn you Creation EXP, Ancient Coins (which can be traded at the Catacombs Trader for rewards and upgrades), and Creation equipment materials.
As you're able to see, Guns of Glory: The Iron Mask comes packed with several gameplay aspects, some of them well-devised, others half-baked, albeit "workable". Unfortunately, while the game looks promising during the first few chapters, the later part leaves a lot to be desired and will have you grinding quite a lot unless you're willing to pay a good amount of cash. As far as PvP (Player vs Player) clashes, I would not even bother!
Have you tried out Guns of Glory yet? Voice your thoughts about this review or this game in the commentary box below!
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