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Exclusive Hands On Review : Steel Storm 'Burning Retribution' Released for Linux

Alexander Zubov from Kot-in-Action Creative Artel sent us the announcement news about availability of Steel Storm : Burning Retribution a.k.a Episode II on Steam, Desura, Ubuntu Software Center and Kot-in-Action e-Shoppe for the price of $9.99.

We covered Steel Storm many times in past and we also broke the news that it will be available on Ubuntu Software Center. The response to the game has been great and the first version of Steel Storm : Episode 1 was a hit among Linux community. Episode 1 is free to download so you can grab it now from official website. Trying Episode I will give you a better idea about the game.

About the Game

Steel Storm : Burning Retribution is a top down action shooter with old school spirit and beautiful and rich cel-shaded graphics. It marks the return of top-down shooters with new twists. The game has score oriented competitive gameplay, and is designed for people who like fast paced action, hordes of smart enemies, destructible worlds and ground shaking explosions.

The events take place in an alternative universe where you control an advanced hover tank, packed with the most advanced and sophisticated weapons. Your task is simple, but nevertheless not trivial. In the fight against extraterrestrial invaders, you must prevail.

Kot-in-Action, the company behind Steel Storm had quite a success with Episode I which got a place among Top 100 indie games for the year 2010 by IndieDB. With 25 full missions and a multiplier mode that allows upto 16 players to play together, this is surely a game for Linux you would not like to miss this year.

Game Review

Lead game designer and Kot-in-Action founder Alexander Zubov gave us exclusive access to the new game for review. If you have played the Episode I you will be in familiar territory but everything has been improved greatly. The game contains Episode 1 and Episode 2 totaling 25 campaign missions, along with new DeathMatch (DM) and Captue The Flag (CTF) missions, 2 mighty bosses, new weapons, new enemies, over 10 new interactive environments and lots of things to blow up and annihilate.

New features:
  • Engage in online warfare with up to 16 players in any of the multi-player modes
  • Pave your way to victory with the burning remains of your enemies through 25 different campaign missions
  • Complete Challenges and unlock First-Person camera mode
  • Create new missions or modify existing ones using the unique real-time collaborative mission editor and share them with the world
The in game music, ambiance and other sound effects perfectly blends with the gameplay. Controls are similar to FPS games where in you aim/shoot through mouse and move your ship using keyboard.

Technically, the game has improved a lot too. I remember when I first tried Episode 1, I faced some minor frame rate and mouse movement issues which were later fixed by the team. But Episode II is just sailing smoothly out the box with out any issues.

My favorite feature in the game is the ability to set camera angles any way I want. Camera angles, rotation just works really smoothly. You can set camera modes to four pre-defined styles but you can also tweak them on five different parameters.

The game is based on DarkPlaces engine which includes Windows, Linux and Mac binaries, and the Engine's source code. While the engine is licensed under GNU GPL v2 license, all rights for game assets are reserved under a proprietary license.

Steel Storm is quite addictive and is one of the best Linux games to come this year and for just $9.99 its quite a deal.

Game Trailer

System Requirements:

Operating system: Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Linux / Mac OS X 10.5
Processor: 2.0+ GHz Single Core Processor (Dual-Core Processor recommended)
Memory: 1 Gb RAM (2 Gb or greater recommended)
Hard disk space: 800 Mb
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT+ or ATI Radeon 2400+ HD with 256 Mb of VRAM (512 Mb of VRAM recommended)
Sound: Windows Supported Sound Card
DirectX®: N/A
Other Requirements: latest OpenGL video drivers must be installed
Multiplayer requirements: Internet (TCP/IP) and LAN (TCP/IP) play supported, Internet play requires broadband connection and latest drivers, LAN play requires network interface card and latest drivers

I tested the game on Ubuntu 11.04 with a core i5 processor, 4GB ram, ATI HD 4650 on ultra high settings.

How to Buy the Game

You can buy the Linux version from Official Website or from Ubuntu Software Center.

Many thanks to Alexander Zubov for all the information and for providing us a copy of the game for review.


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