Black Ice: Early Impressions


Black Ice video created on version: 0.4.002

Black Ice may look simple on first impression, but I assure you, the progression and character building system in this game is quite robust and very fulfilling. You can upgrade and customize almost every aspect of your character, including your attacks, traps, and even your jumps and dashes. Almost every aspect of the toon is upgradable. The game draws inspiration from others like Borderlands or Diablo, and the loot system reflects this. There is a giant plethora of items and abilities to collect and upgrade, with various rarity and random stats, and modifiers. It's arguable that Black Ice's robust random loot system is already on par with the game's inspirations, which is saying a lot considering that this is still in early access. I can not praise the progression system of this game enough. It is incredibly addictive.

The aesthetics of the game are striking, and very eye catching, with a pile of visual interest. With that said, it's not perfect and there are room for improvement. The architecture of the digital city is bland, with mostly rectangles with neon outlines. I understand that the game is trying to keep the visuals simple, but that doesn't mean that's an excuse for ignoring all the little details. Bridges, window frames, interesting shaped buildings, street lights, wires, signs, etc, all these sort of accents you would find in any cyber punk city would go a long way for Black Ice, if it wants to keep gamers in awe at it's visuals. The game is not ugly, but once you're past the visual impact of the game, it can get boring to stare at after a while.

As far as game play is concerned, the shooting itself is fairly par. This could also be said about Boarderlands, but like Boarderlands, it's really the progression system, and the loot grind that will keep players interested. It's certainly my main reason to keep playing. Once in combat, out side of a few random boss encounters, you'll run into mostly the same mobs over and over again. This is probably this game's weakest point at the moment. The game does lack a degree of enemy variety, and because of that, also combat variety, and hopefully this will be resolved in the future.

Overall Black Ice is a very strong foundation that features a very well fleshed out progression system, with tons of potential for custom character builds. The loot random generation is some of the best I've ever seen, and will more than likely be your main reason to keep playing. Though not perfect, Black Ice is a great game, that is already a lot of fun, even at it's early stages.

Pros:
- Fantastic progression system
- Excellent random loot generation
- Addictive gameplay
- Eye catching visuals
- Great music

Con:
- Enemy variety is lacking
- Visuals could use some refining with better detailing
- Those sensitive to grinds need to be aware this is fairly grindy (in a good way imo)

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Steam Store page for The Black Ice
http://store.steampowered.com/app/311800/




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