Parents' Guide to

Steelrising

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Alternate history action game with robot-vs.-robot combat.

Steelrising box shot.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

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If you have found Souls-like RPGs -- role-playing games inspired by and similar to From Software's punishingly difficult Dark Souls series -- too daunting, this might be a good entry point. Steelrising borrows much from the genre, including combat that requires strategy, precision, and timing; unforgiving penalties when you die; and labyrinthine environments filled with locked doors that eventually become shortcuts. It can make for a brutal but satisfying experience for players who enjoy challenging themselves by analyzing foes, picking the right weapon and tactics for each type, and mastering the use of dodges, light attacks, and heavy attacks. But unlike most such games, Steelrising offers players who are new to (or simply frustrated by) overt difficulty the option of a much easier experience, allowing you to alter settings so that you can focus more on the story and exploration rather than just trying to stay alive.

And the story is worth experiencing. Aside from providing players a truly memorable protagonist in Aegis -- she's stunningly modeled, with moving face and body plates and some fantastic transformation animations and costumes -- the developers have created a compelling alternate history in which they imagine intelligent robots existing some 230 years ago. More than that, the writers explore how such beings might have been manipulated and exploited by some of the most important figures of the time, and what that would have meant for the people who lived under them. The combat isn't as finely honed and the graphics aren't as polished as games from bigger studios, but it's also priced a little less than those games, making it a fair bargain. If you're interested in Souls-like games but are afraid they might be too frustrating, Steelrising might help you sneak your foot in the door.

Game Details

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