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After giving several times to the open RPG, the French studio Spiders changed the course and presents us today Steelrising, a “Souls-like” action-RPG that sets its scene in the midst of the Revolution in 1789 in Paris. Forget your history lesson! Louis XVI counted here his army of automatons to suppress the popular effort. That’s good, because you’re a robot too. In this difficult adventure, you have to do your best not to be afraid. So, Steelrising, the good surprise for Elden Ring fans? It is time for our judgment.

  • Test performed on PS5 | Steelrising will also be available on September 8 on PC and Xbox Series.

In the world of video games, there are studios that make a license or a genre their specialty and others who want to diversify their hobbies! This is for example the case of the Spiders studio which, despite a love for open RPGs, brings us on board today with Steelrising. A role-playing game, yes, but above all an action game that is part of the popular genre like Souls (understand who was inspired by Dark Souls, Elden Ring). An important change in the course seems to be a good negotiation. As mentioned above, French Revolution and an army of automatons meet here as Louis XVI wanted to suppress the popular effort. For your part, you play as “Aegis”, a friendly robot sent by Queen Marie-Antoinette in hopes of resolving the situation. A quest that will lead you to spawns in the History of France as well as less frequent machines.

Tourterobot capital, solid levels and visuals

Because yes, Steelrising is “Like Souls” and therefore applies genre-specific specifications. On the side of a difficult game (which we will discuss later) the adventure takes the form of a series of eight areas of acceptable size, with its share of killer robots, labyrinthine paths, shortcuts to unlock and items to pick up. There’s even a bit of a metroidvania dimension in that getting powers later in development opens up paths to levels that have already been visited. Slowly but surely, you can cross Paris and its surroundings, from Montmartre to Jardin du Luxembourg, with a choice of destination from the map of the capital. Steelrising also offers side quests and secondary areas to explore. A good point, for a lifespan that sails between 16h and 20h game. In each zone, you slowly open checkpoints to reappear after a failure, as required by the genre. Ports of peace where it becomes possible to improve the weapons and characteristics of Aegis (Health, Strength, etc.) and spend “manes” to buy resources.

While visiting the capital of love, we must say something. On the sidelines of a clear perfect technique, the action-RPG according to Spiders offers many beautiful surroundings thanks to a solid art direction. Paris is depicted here in a fascinating and tortured way. The cocktail between historical monuments and different atmospheres is excellent. On the other hand, yes, we feel like Steelrising could have delivered more at this point and that’s a bit of a shame. The textures and 3D models aren’t the latest, and there are some animation, collision, and camera issues (that don’t affect gameplay). But the truth is that these mistakes are easily forgotten. We let ourselves be carried away by the atmosphere, the game.

Three graphics modes for the price of one:

Steelrising offers three graphics modes. The first favors the resolution, the second, the rendering of the graphics – and the third, the number of frames per second. On our side: we chose the second option, which offers beautiful visuals as well as a perfectly stable 30 fps. In our taste, the framerate mode is a little too atmospheric with nice things to offer.

Need some elbow grease? Amazing gameplay

What’s a good Soulmate without a game worthy of the name? At this point, Steelrising puts a lot of things into perspective. Of course – as in any game of the genre – you attack here with the equivalent of R1 | R2 (for light|heavy hit). Each hit consumes energy and if this resource drops to zero, you will no longer be able to land punches and dodge. But in Steelrising, when you’re in this situation, Aegis isn’t sitting still, he’s overheating! So to regain strength, you can either wait or inject yourself with a dose of coolant, which will inflict damage at the same time in addition to increasing your chance of being frozen in the ice area. A choice that can be important depending on your health, your resources, the opponent you have in front of you.

Steelrising – First steps in Paris (Gameplay)

Great genre ideas, Steelrising has more. Each weapon, in addition to being original (explosive mass, fan that opens a spear) offers a powerful charged punch and a special ability that can be offensive or defensive (impossible to have a shield which is permanent). The icing on the cake, this is where you wear it two sets of weapons at the same time and switch from one to another in the blink of an eye, using a simple button. It’s easy to have a complementary duo in all situations, like a blade on one side and a weapon on the other. Spiders also feature secondary moves that deal elemental damage – Fire, Ice, Electricity – as well as variants when Aegis is in the air, after jumping. Among all the weapons, the offensive possibilities, the strategic choices, the battles of Steelrising proved to be complete and stable. Note that the choice of class at the start of the game only influences your basic statistics and that it is possible to make your sauce during the adventure. In short, do what you want!

Collapsed sheet metal, school design with some flaws

There is something beautiful about Steelrising. We feel that the Spiders team has mastered the details of Souls-like without forgetting to bring its own touch. In general, all areas are pleasant to navigate (in addition to a lot of verticality thanks to jumping and grappling) and are constantly changed through action phases and hidden objects. Yes, we’re not in the same category as recent FromSoftware games, but that doesn’t matter. It’s classic that works well, in short. In the end, we only regret a level design that relies too much on locked doors, enemy movements that are sometimes not readable enough, a very small bestiary. In our taste, we wouldn’t say no to a ladle of challenge and so on. By carefully clearing areas and improving our character, we make short work of the “Titans”, the main bosses of the adventure. It should be said that each weapon’s offensive special move can be used at will – as long as you carry ammo – and you can also carry a lot of healing items. There is obviously some balancing to be explored. After all, one mistake can always be fatal and that didn’t spoil our enjoyment of the streets of Paris. All in all, we didn’t see our fifteen hours of game play. Anyway, that says it all.

Help mode for à la carte challenge:

In Steelrising, at any time during the adventure, you can activate the Help mode in the options. Something to speed up your work in case of a glitch with adjustable damage reduction, the possibility to maintain the experience gained after a failure – and even to speed up the speed of stamina recharging. It’s a good thing that makes Steelrising accessible to everyone.

The great History of France, a good narrative

Again, we have not touched the scenario, a pleasant link that connects the game, levels and atmosphere. In Steelrising, you will meet great names in the history of the country (like Lafayette or Robespierre) who will help you unlock the secret of the automatons! Without much show, the whole showsa significant writing effort and gameplay, with memories that will teach you as you go about the fate of the characters. Nothing flamboyant but just enough to give momentum to the adventure. All in all, the Spiders title puts everything it needs to attract Soul-like fans to the table. Come on, let’s finish.

Steelrising – We face a Titan (Gameplay)

Conclusion

Strong points

  • Original and delightful universe
  • A beautiful artistic direction
  • Solid stages of action
  • “Souls” school but successful
  • Great gameplay ideas
  • A gripping story line
  • “Help” mode

Weak points

  • A very backward technique
  • Balancing, review difficulty
  • Crash problems – camera

Without outdoing or establishing itself as a new benchmark in the genre, Steelrising is a solid Souls-like that is sure to please fans of Dark Souls and Elden Ring. Yes, there are pros and cons to both! The technique is behind but the artistic direction wins hands down. The action phases are fun but lack the challenge of the end of the adventure. The level of design in various areas is a bit academic but works well. Despite everything, we easily let ourselves get carried away in this tough action game, with robots, the French Revolution and History. If the atmosphere speaks to you and you like the Elden Ring, you can go there without hesitation.

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