We must be living in a golden age of videogames, because in no other era would I have let something as immediately enticing as City of Brass escape my grasp. While I've been aware of the Arabian-themed first-person Spelunky-like's presence since its debut in early access, I've just not found the time to give it a try. Perhaps the time is finally right, as the game just left early access today.
For those late to the party, City of Thieves is the debut from Uppercut Games, a team that largely cut their teeth working on the Bioshock series. The polish and sheen even in early builds of the game makes the family resemblance clear. It's a fast-paced first-person action roguelike, with you playing as a sword-swinging, whip-cracking adventurer after treasure and glory in a cursed city full of scimitar-swinging skellingtons, hard-bargaining Djinn and other such creatures of middle-eastern myth.
After a relatively short trip through early access (less than a year, which is practically a blink of an eye when it comes to modern game development), Uppercut Games reckon that the time is right to sand off the sharp edges and buff up the game to a mirror sheen. John took a look at the game during its first few months in public testing and was initially caught off-guard by how fast and arcadey it was. Thief Of Persia this is not, but rather a hell-for-leather dash through the undead, grabbing treasure as you go. Still, reviews from those who played it over early access are very positive on the whole.
The release version of the game includes a few new features and some extra content over the early access build. Most importantly, the final boss fight is now in the game. This key little extension to the campaign necessitates a complete wipe of the leaderboards, although that was only to be expected with the game coming out of early access.
Less vitally (although still amusing) is Twitch/Mixer integration, introduced in this final update. As with a few other games such as Clustertruck, this lets Twitch audiences vote on tweaks to be made to the game when played and broadcast live, either to torment or support their streamer of choice. I've even seen mods for The Binding Of Isaac to do similar things, so it's a nice feature to have, especially in a game as inherently random as this.
City of Brass is out now via Steam for £15.49/16.79€/$20. Those who picked it up in early access get the soundtrack free, as well as a unique sword skin.