Beneath the flashy surface of Iron Wings beats the heart of an old-school PS2 action-adventure game. Well, that’s the impression I got after watching the aerial combat gameplay clips for this WWII-set shooter. The frantic, arcade action is accompanied by a suitably zany narrative that definitely helps it stand out from the crowd. But is the €100,000 ($106,260) goal too ambitious?
I’m not disparaging Iron Wings with the PS2 comparison – some of my favourite games of all time were from that period. And despite the fact that developer Naps Team is an Italian studio I got a distinctly Japanese vibe from it. I found myself thinking of games like Time Crisis and Devil May Cry – and that’s definitely a compliment. But despite the impressive modern graphics (particularly the landscape views) it feels like a game from a previous generation.
That’s not particularly surprising given that Naps Team were most prolific during the days of the PS1 and PS2. The veteran studio may have made their mark with 2D beat ‘em ups on the Amiga, but it’s the later consoles where most of their back catalogue can be found. There’s a wide variety of genres on show, but mostly third person shooters and action games. However, their recent output seems to have generally been simplistic games for mobile devices.
Looking to the Past
Not that I feel backing Iron Wings would be a risk. Naps Team have already been developing it for a year, and it seems in a fairly advanced state. The September 2017 release date therefore seems realistic, and the long-running studio have a reputation for delivering on time. But despite the comprehensive Kickstarter homepage, there are certain areas that are worryingly vague. Xbox One and PS4 versions are planned if certain stretch goals are met, but we aren’t told how much is needed. The same applies for a mooted multiplayer mode.
Of course, that’s not even an issue if Iron Wings doesn’t get funded. And right now I’m not too confident about that. After two days $7,000 has been raised but most of that was right at the start, with a small number of backers pledging high amounts. Admittedly the Kickstarter campaign length is longer than usual, but already things have slowed down. Most of the backers so far are from Italy, and some major media coverage is needed to promote it internationally. However I get the feeling that even if Iron Wings doesn’t get funded, it shouldn’t be too hard for Naps Team to attract a publisher.