When the Empire begins its reign of destruction in a thirst for natural resources, it’s up to Max Brawley, a retired Gatling Gears pilot, to stop them.  Together with his niece and his trusty Gatling Gear unit he must fight his way to the heart of the Empire and eliminate the destruction at its source.  A top down rail shooter this game is most unique in it’s theme:  a steam punk land from the past.

A Whole New World:

The game is set in the land of Mistbound which is a rich fictional world that was created as a platform for the studio’s multi-format downloadable games and other media.  Greed Corp is the first in a series of games situated in this universe.  Inspired by the industrial revolutions of the 19th century and its subsequent destructive effects on the environment, Mistbound tells stories of a beautiful world once rich in resources and now on the brink of collapse.  Automated industry has brought great material wealth, but relentless harvesting and mining has forever altered the world and its inhabitants. The last unspoiled lands are at stake in new conflicts between four factions, while the stripped and barren earth around them slowly succumbs to a thick mist that creeps ever closer.  The result of all this in Gatling Gears is vehicles that look like DaVinci may have drawn up but never saw the light of day in reality. But due to industrial development the world progressed faster than technology and beautiful and strange vehicles and buildings result which are terrific examples of steam punk.  I look in wonderment when a new steam punk unit arrives, enemy or ally, and it cost me some lives that I still feel were well worth it.  I see this world being a great launching platform for many, many more games, my greatest hope being a strategy game in the vein of Star Craft where you don’t just fight against the units but get to build them as well!

Come Get Some:

Gatling Gears is a twin-stick top-down shooter for Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC.  It is disguised as an open city environment but if you pay attention it really is a game on rails, you can blast the heck out of the world around you and can move at your own pace but you still go where they want you to go.  You don’t mind too much because of all the eye candy between the vehicles and Mistbound and you are kept pretty busy with the tons of enemies and allies all over the screen.  There is a fairly short tutorial at the beginning which gets you started and gets the general idea of how to play but you still better pay close attention to it otherwise you may find yourself going “wait how do I do that again?” or worse “how do I do that with hundreds of missiles flying at me at once?”  Once you get comfortable with the controls you do fall in love with the weapons and vehicles around you and you just want to push on to see the next enemies and the next boss.  Sure you have to be careful in your game play to stay alive, but honestly it simply comes down to it being a two stick shooter set in an amazing world where even your own vehicle is a beauty to watch.

One Is Great, Two Is Better:

This game is great by yourself and fun to play and amazing to look at, but at soon as you get to throw your niece into another war machine that your buddy or a stranger online controls the game play just goes to the next level and it becomes a whooping good time.  It is a great party game because of the eye candy of the land and the craziness of the game play.  Do yourself a favor and invite a friend over to play with you, if you don’t have any then make one on the network of whatever system you pick it up on and play with them.

Take That!  Or Not!:

When things get kinda hectic, aiming your grenades and missiles can be a little difficult to say the least, especially when you are dodging hundreds of missiles all aimed at you.  You find yourself relying heavier on your Gatling which is just fine for the most part and use your special bomb attack on occasion though it is limited use and can leave you blinded for a moment and vulnerable to anything that showed up on the screen conveniently right after the blast.  So you click on your grenade, start moving the targeting spot and notice hundreds of missiles are about to hit you and you just randomly toss the grenade and hope for the best.  I did that a lot and believe it or not that was more effective than you would think simply because of the massive swarms of enemies you fight sometimes so cover the map that you can’t help but hit some.

My Dreams For Mistbound:

As I mentioned earlier in the article I would really, really, heck one more-really, like to see this beautiful steam punk world made into a strategy game.  I want to build the slightly awkward looking helicopter with gun turrets bulging from strange locations.  I want to make the glider from DaVinci’s drawings and have them bomb bulbous enemy tanks as they cross a beautifully rendered meadow.  I want to see the world taken off the rails, and creation for destruction placed in our hands.  Steam Punk Strategy.  I think it’s time has come!

Last Call:

The game is absolutely a whole lot of fun with steam punk eye candy galore.  I love Mistbound and all the strange and yet familiar creations which populate and destroy it.  This game doesn’t try to be a grand adventure, it is a twin-stick top down shooter on rails and it works very nicely in this niche, giving great game play in a great environment.  I highly recommend it for the $15 that the different systems charge, but I dream of the future possibilities this steam punk world holds.

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Dustin "Ripper71" Thomas has been a staff writer with GamingShogun.com for over 10 years and has taken on the role of Editor with a brief stint as Editor-In-Chief. He is also a co-founder of @IsItOctoberYet where he covers haunt nightmares, amusement park fun and Golden Knights hockey.