I get back from OLF2010 and see an update from Kot-In-Action that they’ve finally got things fixed and posted their Steel Storm Episode 1 Beta. Instead of posting about OLF, I sat down and gave the game a try.

At this point, my only disappointment comes from it being such a short game. It didn’t take long to finish but it’s forgivable being just a Beta. The developers seem motivated to release it in a serialized format so I’m hoping the maps get larger and more complex. To extend the gaming fun, there’s also an ability to mod maps and play online deathmatch and co-op.

Gameplay is very smooth. Even with the video settings on max, my Acer TimelineX AS1830T, which has an Intel Core i5 U430 at 1.20GHz, was able to play the game just as well as my desktop with the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ at 3.2GHz backed up by the GeForce GT240. That might speak more about the netbook’s ability than the game but I was happy either way. The game is built on the Darkplaces engine, a Quake modification by LordHavoc.

The bird’s eye view is neat concept that I have not seen before. I can’t recall another game with a similar aspect. Some areas of the maps are difficult to see at times, especially when some high overhang begins to block some of the action. Fortunately, the developers knew enough to have them go transparent at a certain point. The quality of the graphics and the sounds is very good with ambient background music adding a nice balance to the gameplay.

The strength of the enemies is considerable. At first they seem quite weak in comparison to your firepower, but you often find yourself surrounded by a small horde. If you’re fortunate to escape, you could still find yourself head-to-head with a big ass tank or surrounded by an even bigger horde that spawn out of nowhere.

You can get your own copy for Linux, Windows, and Mac at the official Steel Storm website. Episode 1 is still a Beta and is subject to bugfixes and feature updates. There’s already been a couple so keep up to date by watching Kot-In-Action’s blog.

In the meantime, here’s some game footage I was able to grab while playing.