Review: Steamworld Heist

Does Image & Form’s latest title run out of steam? Find out in our review!

PlayStation 4 update

When I originally reviewed SteamWorld Heist on the Nintendo 3DS, I gave it a 9/10, and called it amazing. Now that the PlayStation 4 version is out in the wild, I can tell you that the experience on Sony’s latest console is relatively the same as the version found on the Nintendo 3DS. The only difference, however, is that SteamWorld Heist on PlayStation 4 has been updated to address the title’s only real issue: storage management.

Last December, I reviewed SteamWorld Heist and I couldn’t put it down. I played it in bed. I played it while transit. And I even played it at work. But every time I played SteamWorld Heist on Nintendo 3DS, I constantly grew angry and frustrated with the title’s poor inventory management system which constantly had me discarding precious weapons and items. Thankfully, independent studio Image & Form, has rectified that issue with an all new update that makes inventory management a whole lot easier.

After every single mission on 3DS, I found myself parting ways from my newly beloved, and really awesome looking, weapons and specialty items. This was due to a limitation placed upon initial inventory space. In order to gain more room, one must purchase additional slots, but those don’t come cheap. Now, additional inventory slots are given to you, typically, after each mission as a reward. You’re also given more bang for your buck after each mission as a reward, should you decide to purchase more slots.

With the update now fully implemented into SteamWorld Heist on PlayStation 4, I find myself having more of an enjoyable time. I now look forward to receiving rewards after each mission, and knowing that, if I so choose, I can hoard my newly purchased guns and items the same way a squirrel hoards nuts in preparation for Winter.

Indeed, SteamWorld Heist is an awesome video game to play, and the fact that the title’s new update addresses the inventory management issue only serves as icing on the cake. But is the title a better game for it? Oh, hell yeah it is.

Original SteamWorld Heist review on Nintendo 3DS from December 23, 2015

Steamworld Heist possesses a simple, yet forgettable story. It’s no “Fist full of Dollars,” nor is it “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Instead, the latest title by independent game studio, Image and Form, provides individuals with a generic wild-west premise. Players assume the role of Captain Piper Faraday and her hired group of robotic mercenaries as they must stop enemy scrappers from causing mayhem throughout the galaxy.

The gameplay found in Steamworld Heist is simplistic and happens to be anything but daunting to first-time tactical RPG players. Steamworld Heist allows the individual to plan each attack before executing, and gives one the option to cycle around playable characters if need be. No more will individuals have to wait a turn to operate a desired character as Image and Form rips-apart the monotony found in most RPG experiences.

Before each battle, Captain Piper and her hired muscle must jump on-board enemy spaceships with only 1 ½ objectives in mind: Take out the enemy by any means necessary, and if possible, grab their loot as well. Collecting enemy loot is an optional objective, however, pursuing these items will grant the individual additional weapons, armor, and abilities. Over the course of my experience I constantly found myself grabbing as much loot as I possibly could, but I also found myself throwing much of it away do to insufficient inventory space.

inventory space

Although Steamworld Heist boasts over 100 weapons throughout the experience, much of it goes to waste due to the fact that the title lacks an adequate amount of space to place your findings. Should one desire additional inventory slots, one must purchase storage containers at exponential rates later down the road. Paying for additional inventory slots isn’t exactly a problem, in fact, it isn’t a problem at all. What is the problem, however, is the fact that the inventory space increases by 1 or 2, which to be honest is inconceivable considering the player is responsible for multiple character at once.


Like most RPG experiences, Steamworld Heist allows the user to access multiple characters during each turn, and each commando brings some form of pain to the firefight. For instance, not only can Piper fire shots off walls with her scope-pistol, she also possesses the ability to inspire near-by team-mates during battle. Ivanski doesn’t take $#@$ from scrappers, that said, this brute can activate invulnerability for one-turn during a fight, which will keep him alive and provide enough time to form an effective game plan. Steamworld Heist is very much like a game of chess where every move – and shot – can play a factor in defeating the enemy, and each mistake – or misfire – can potentially end the match in the enemy’s favor.

The Final Say-So

Although my only gripe with the video game is its inventory management system, Steamworld Heist is a wonderful video game to play, and quite possibly my favorite tactical RPG experience on the Nintendo 3DS. It’s story may be generic, and quite possibly a snooze-fest, but the gameplay found in Steamworld Heist is exciting and challenges your desire for enemy loot. Playable characters brought their own form of pain to the table, which kept things interesting, and far away from being dull or monotonous. Image and Form knocked it out of the park with Steamworld Heist and I suspect this will be a title I return to sometime in the near future.

Score: 9.0/10 Amazing!

Steamworld Heist was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS utilizing review code sent to VG News Wire via Image and Form. 

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