The upcoming installment of Image & Form’s popular SteamWorld series brings a spin to the table in the form of SteamWorld Heist. Rather than following up 2013’s successful SteamWorld Dig with a sequel, developers decided to “surprise” fans by thrusting players into steam-powered space travel and X-COM inspired, turn-based action. Expected for launch in spring 2015, this third entry to the SteamWorld series will launch onto a slew of platforms including PS4, PSVITA, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U and 3DS, Steam, as well as unspecified mobile platforms.
Shoot Them Before They Shoot You
Players will follow Captain Piper and his crew of space sailors as they loot and terrorize steampunk clunkers across a 2D cosmos. A gameplay trailer shows off the title’s turn-based battles, cover system, and player-controlled aim, which allows players to exploit environments by performing strategically placed trick shots to reduce enemies to scrap. Characters and enemies garbed in bowlers, stetsons, and trench coats populate the world of Heist, toting with a multitude of vintage, Western-style weapons: a “cowbots in space,” as described by developers.
Image & Form teamed up with San Diego’s Steam Powered Giraffe to produce an entirely original soundtrack for the title. This includes “Prepare for Boarding,” an original track composed as a bonus for the game’s soundtrack to be packaged with the game’s Collector’s Edition.
Timing the Heist
SteamWorld Heist‘s announcement will come as a well-timed relief for many from the market’s recent saturation of block-based, “digging” titles. Image & Form’s decision to venture into the turn-based strategy genre may provide fans of the series with a new insight to the expanding setting of SteamWorld. While the series’ distinct universe shines brightly in early gameplay footage, much has yet to be revealed regarding the title’s features. How will space navigation be conducted? Will environments be procedurally generated or finely crafted by developers? What degree of character and equipment customization, if any, can we expect? More to come as we approach the title’s release.
In a recent Q&A session, Image & Form community manager and CEO sit down to fill in the gaps on Heist.
Characters will each have their own upgradeable skills, and abilities that can be “mix-and-matched” with weapons, utilities, and clothing/armor. A plentiful loot system will make sure inventories see a constant flux as players find better and better loot, a la Borderlands.
Much like SteamWorld Dig, Heist will feature procedurally generated levels and environments. Heist is also slated to include a notably longer campaign than Dig.