How to play
Imagine playing a first-person shooter, but with top-down view. That's pretty much how you play Steel Storm: Burning Retribution.
Core gameplay mechanics
The concept of playing Steel Storm: Burning Retribution is simple at its core. However, don't be mislead into believing that Steel Storm: Burning Retribution is a brainless shooter. AI is pretty smart and strong in the game and you have to develop and try various tactics to beat the game. The game is broken down into several campaigns, with several missions in the each of the campaigns. The main campaign titled Burning Retribution tells, in its own way, the story of the game.
Every mission has a drop point and exit pad. Your task is to make it from point A to point B executing various tasks along the way. Before every mission you get a briefing where you provided with bits and pieces of the story, your objectives and suggestions on how to accomplish the mission in the best way possible. If you forgot what the briefing was about, you can read it while in-game. Some missions are timed and have to be completed before timer expires.
Since the game is score driven, it makes sense to explore and destroy objects that can be destroyed. Some of the equipment may contain valuable items. As every shot counts, make sure each of them reaches its destination.
You are driving advanced hovertank packed with powerful weapons and unlimited ammo, armored with steel and energy shields. As you tank gets damage in the battle, you need to replenish your shield and armor, otherwise you will be killed. You have limited number of tanks (lives) in the garage, so be brave, but at the same time careful. There are no progress saving is performed during the game, you have to complete a mission to save the progress.
Steel Storm implements the concept of so called earned weapons. In essence, you have to beat mission without dying to earn the weapons you've obtained during your mission. Once you beat a mission with newly acquired weapons, you earn them for the duration of the campaign. However, if you acquire a new weapon, and die, you loose that weapon(s). Try completing missions from the first try and grow your arsenal. All earned weapons are accessible through the Weapon Shop (a.k.a. Loadout Terminal) which can be found next you the drop point. Weapon has to be earned before it can appear in the Weapon Shop. The hovertank can be reequipped with weapons on the spot as fits the mission.
During multi-player game, killed player drops all his weapons on death which can be either picked up by another player or can remain in place until player respawns and come back to pick them up.
This is a typical view of the game as seen on your screen:
- Amount of the current energy shield layer (as it drains, you loose one shield)
- Hovertank's energy shield layers
- Hovertank's armor
- Kills score panel
- Weapons and their cool-down indicators
- Score and mission timer panel
- Player's lives
- Compound aim reticle. Blue color represents plasma, yellow - bullets, red - rockets (not shown on the image)
- Short list of objectives (press I or B while in-game to view full description)
Once you press M, the main map will be displayed on the screen:
- One of the objectives
- Map legend (explains icons for Exit pad, Pylons, Forcefields, Teleports, etc.)
You may want to learn the map's legend. It will help you to identify the situation on the map quicker and will add clarity to what's going on in the mission.
Pay attention to the messages you see on the screen while playing. When you check your map promptly (if possible) you will identify newly opened Forcefields much easier. Corresponding Teleports are usually connected with lines to make it easier for you to understand which way you will be teleported.
Mission objectives are usually marked with bigger icons and are recognizable appearance.
Challenges (a.k.a Achievements)
After each mission you may be awarded a Challenge depending on your style of combat and performance. The game has following Challenges:
Annihilator - awarded when you kill a boss without dying.
Berserker - get this one by performing 5 kills in a row or more.
Death Hammer - a tricky one. Kill all enemies and beat a mission in under 180 seconds without dying (all objectives completed).
Marksman - awarded when accuracy is more than 80% at the end of the mission.
Morbid Blanket - awarded if you perform 20 or more kills in a row with the MIRV.
Perforator - kill 3 or more players, or enemies with 1 beam shot and get this challenge awarded to you.
Scout - finish a mission in less than 180 seconds to get it.
Steel Titan - awarded when you kill all the enemies and beat the mission.
Key bindings (default)
Move ↑ ← ↓ → = WASD Turn / Aim = Mouse Engage Booster(Weapon Pack DLC) / Shockwave blast = SPACE Switch secondary weapons = SHIFT
Primary weapon attack = MOUSE 1 Secondary weapon attack = MOUSE 2 Show map = M Show briefing info = I or B Chat = T Team chat = Y Switch to third-person view = Q (unlockable in single-player; instantly available in multi-player)
Show menu = Esc Pause the game = PAUSE Show development console = SHIFT ESC Screenshot = F12
Xbox360 gamepad binding (default)
Move ↑ ← ↓ → = Left Analog Stick Turn / Aim = Right Analog Stick