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Stompy steam-powered strategy Iron Harvest is out now

Shovel the coals, light the fires, and let’s get this walking affront to nature moving, lads. Dieselpunk army-smasher Iron Harvest is out today – a whimsical alt-history RTS romp that revisits the various imperial death throes of pre-World War 1 Europe and imagines how they’d play out with a few dozen giant robots. The cockpit isn’t ours, but today’s launch means we can finally take command of developer King Art’s hulking iron mechs.

Set in artist Jakub Rozalski’s 1920+ universe (a well also drawn upon by the fantastic board game Scythe), Iron Harvest has a pretty strong foundation to build on. But then, what world wouldn’t be improved with a few hundred mechs?

Iron Harvest paints an alternate turn-of-the-century Europe – pastoral, imperial, and flooded with stonking great killer robots. Each side – the Republic, Tsardom and Empire respectively – has their own outfit of massive metal men to unleash, alongside crowds of squishier foot-soldiers with more conventional tools.

With the mood set by a cinematic at the start of the game’s beta, Iron Harvest’s campaign takes the spotlight in today’s launch trailer. Yes, there’s still plenty of mud n’ banners warfare with steam-powered Gundams, but we also see a few shots of flamboyantly-dressed generals riding horseback into battle and engaging in old-fashioned fisticuffs. Top stuff.

But more than just an aesthetic, Iron Harvest looks to be a proper solid strategy game – one that harkens back to brilliant Relic ctrl-a ’em ups like Company Of Heroes and Dawn Of War. Army sizes are small but not tiny, duking it out over control points on tightly-paced maps while building up smoggy bases in the corners. Our Nate had a bash back in the Steam Summer Festival, calling it an “absolute belter of an RTS”.

“It’s challenging, but not hectic: even basic infantry units can take a while to wipe each other out, and your building-sized industrial colossi can take a hell of a pounding before getting knocked down, in epic, minutes-long exchanges of artillery fire,” Nate reckoned. “Honestly, play this, if you’ve got any love for the genre or the art style. September can’t come soon enough.”

Well, September has indeed come. Iron Harvest is out now on Steam, GOG and the Epic Games Store for £47/€50/$50.

Correction: The game has not yet hit the Epic Games Store. The publishers explain that “The year 2020 has been a challenge for all teams” working on the game, and “due to the unique situation the game is not yet ready to launch” there. So they’re offering full refunds on pre-orders.

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Natalie Clayton

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