Hunting for valuable loot while trying to survive in a city based off Arabian Nights. If this sounds like a great time to you, then look no further then ex-Bioshock developer’s Uppercut Games, City of Brass.
Traps, Traps, & More Traps
You start City of Brass by choosing a character. Each character has their own weapon along with the signature tool of City of Brass, the whip. You’re goal is to make it to the end of the city, by traversing through 12 different levels.
The city has been overrun by rogue Dijins, that have polluted the place with enemies and traps. The enemies are definitely a concern, but I found the traps to be most dangerous of all.
The traps range from spikes, to darts flying at you, to a floor opening up (and you falling to your room). There’s a great variety, but the real problem with them is their generous placement. It got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t walk anywhere without a trap being there. The excessive amount of traps really hurt the pacing, which is a shame in a game like this.
Each run is made up of procedurally generated levels, which means you’re at the whim of the Dijin of RNG for your trials and tribulations across this forsaken city. This isn’t a bad thing, and does help make sure you don’t see all the same things, through each run.
What is kind of disappointing, is there isn’t much variety in how each level is laid out. The layouts all feel pretty similar after awhile. It becomes very noticeable, after doing a few playthroughs in a row. There definitely could have been more time spent varying how each location is laid out when the level is generated.
Watch Me Whip!
To defend yourselves from the monsters, you will find yourself equipped with a weapon, and a whip. It’s a pretty interesting combination, and it’s nice to see a first-person action game that isn’t so focused on guns. The weapon animations look great, and the combat is really fluid.
The whip is by far the best part of City of Brass, simply because of its versatility. Want to stun an enemy? Momentarily whip him. Want to knock him over?Whip him twice!! You can even disarm enemies, by whipping their weapon out of their hands. There are explosives, all over each level, that you can whip if you want to rain down fire on your foes. The whip works great in conjunction with each of the weapons. Overall, the combat is really entertaining, and is what will keep you coming back to City of Brass.
I think it’s important to mention that the whip is not only used for combat purposes. No, the whip can be used for movement, as well. Across each level, you can find metal hooks hanging high in the air. if you give one a whip, you can swing yourself into the air with it. It’s really satisfying to fly over a mob of enemies, and make a mad dash to the exit of the level. This is definitely one of the aspects of City of Brass that made me realize just how much heart the developers put into it.
Brimming With Treasures
Along your multiple journeys, you will constantly be stumbling across troves of treasures. This treasure is not just simply there to look at, in fact, it plays a big role in each run. Every piece of treasure you collect, adds to your total available funds. You’ll spend this money at the Genies, that are scattered in each level. Genies sell a variety of things such as new passive items, some health, and even the ability to summon a companion. There are a wide variety of items to try out, and they help make every run feel different.
In each run, you also receive 3 wishes. Wishes are used on Genies, to get bonuses to help you during your run. For example, using a wish on a vendor Genie, will make him sell more expensive, but more valuable items. It’s a great resource to have access to, when you’re in need of some help during a run.
City of Brass offers a ton of content, some of which must be unlocked. One of the unlockables include the burdens and blessings, that are available at the start of each run. These allow you to change up certain aspects of a run, to make it either easier or more difficult. It’s a fantastic system to have for those who are new to the genre. The game can be fairly difficult, so a way to smooth this out is very thoughtful on the developers part.
How you unlock different things in City of Brass is through ranking up. At the end of each run, you will gain EXP based on your score. Eventually, once you have received enough, you will rank up. Ranking up nets you these new bonuses, or a new character to play as. City of Brass is filled with tons of content for players, and has the potential to provide hours of entertainment to fans of the first-person genre.
City of Brass is a fantastic looking game. Each level is crafted very accurately, in the Arabian Nights style. Level designs look amazing, and environments have plenty of character.
There’s so much going on in each area, it makes the setting feel very lively. The color pallet also blends very well with the textures and environments. The enemy design has variety, and look like they came right out of a fantasy story. The game’s soundtrack is great, and is also very fitting to the games setting.
All Is Gold, Technically
I can happily say that City of Brass is one of the smoothest ports on Nintendo Switch to date. Resolution and frame rate are near perfect in both handheld and docked mode. I rarely had noticeable frame rate drops, except a few times in handheld mode, when there were a lot of enemies on screen.
Controls felt really good on the Switch, which surprised me considering they were originally crafted for the PC. I never had an issue with them, while using the Joy-Con.
If you’ve been craving a new first person action title to take on the go with you, then City of Brass is definitely for you. While the amount of traps can be frustrating, and the procedural generation causes level layouts not to change a whole lot, the core gameplay is fantastic.
The few issues that make up the negatives of City of Brass aren’t enough to keep this title from being one of the best rogue-lites, and first-person titles, the Switch has to offer.
8/10 Recommended First Person Action RoguelikeSatisfying Arabian Nights Inspired Action
- Fun Combat
- The Whip Is Amazing
- Wide Variety of Items & Unlockables
- Progression System In the Form of Ranks
- Well Detailed Environments
- Great Enemy Variety
- Burden & Blessing System is Great For New Players
- Good Soundtrack
- Level Layouts End Up Too Similar
- Way Too Many Traps, Hurts the Game’s Pace