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July 2019

Iron Harvest

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: KING Art Games
Release Date: 2019

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Iron Harvest'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on June 19, 2019 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

Iron Harvest is a real-time strategy game set in the world of 1920+, an alternate version of our own world where mankind, fascinated by technology, engines and iron, invented powerful walking machines.

I've been interested in Iron Harvest for years, ever since I saw the first concept art: paintings of WWI-era soldiers standing in a field and looking up at towering diesel-punk mechs. At E3 2019, I got my first chance to play the game, and even with my limited time with it, I'm convinced it's a game that I'm going to enjoy when it's released. It is a real-time strategy game inspired by titles like Company of Heroes and Warcraft 3, and it combines some of the better ideas that those games pioneered, but it has a direction all its own.

In development since 2016, Iron Harvest takes a lot of cues from the Company of Heroes franchise. Infantry units are controlled as a squad, take cover behind walls and other objects, and can pick up weapons that are dropped by fallen enemies. Engineer units can build sandbags and barbed wire fences. All infantry units can retreat to the base to heal, and their headcount can be restored to the original size of the squad. It's less a matter of blatantly copying CoH and more that the developers clearly loved that game and recognized how well its revolutionary ideas worked.

The game is set in an alternate history starting in 1920. The game focuses on the single-player campaign, which involves three factions roughly based on Germany, Poland and Russia at the time. Your primary resources during a battle are iron and oil, which you use to not only train squads of infantry but also to produce the towering mechs that the game features so well.

The mechs function like the walking tanks that you'd expect them to be. They stomp through walls and foliage in their way, they can be slow to move, they're somewhat cumbersome, and they carry very large guns. Some smaller mechs move relatively quickly and are armed with mere machine guns to effectively lay waste to enemy infantry. Other mechs are massive and slow to move but launch shells that blast enemy vehicles into tiny bits of smoking metal. They are all vulnerable to attacks from the rear, and the animations and explosions that occur when one is downed is one of the best cases yet to zoom in your camera and watch.

There is no known release date for the game, but if you ever wanted a little more diesel-punk in your Company of Heroes, you really should be tracking Iron Harvest. It's a love letter to both of those inspirations, and even in its current state of development, the build was fun to the point that I was genuinely sad when I had to stop playing it. It was one of my favorite things I saw at E3 2019, and I look forward to seeing more of it down the road.

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