PAX Aus Highlight – Hot Brass

Posted on October 18, 2019

Hot Brass with its top down view from photos may look a bit old school Grand Theft Auto… but it ain’t. If anything it is more like what Rainbow Six would look like top down in two player mode with a bit of an arcade flavour. One of many packed PAX Rising booths for most of the weekend, I managed to get in during a brief quiet moment and play co op with one of the booth crew holding my hand through the tutorial and first level of the game.

The official Hot Brass line goes something like this. When SWAT gets the call, everything else has failed. Experience the high-risk world of the elite SWAT operator. The job is tense, and every split-second decision has consequences. From infiltration to de-escalation: keen awareness, expert tactics and a strategic use of equipment will mean the difference between life and death for you, the criminals and any innocents caught in the middle.

Top down, SWAT team action greatness kapow. Hot Brass is pretty involved gameplay-wise and the tutorial was essential to learn the mechanics. How to turn a flashlight on and off, firing and reloading, opening, unlocking or breaching doors for example. A unique lesson to be learnt was a unique negotiation interface with enemies. If the character is green they can be arrested. If they are orange, you can press a button to yell orders and depending on the situation they may turn green or red. If they turn red they are about to open fire. The rules are, you cannot shoot a green or orange suspect.

Tutorials are all good, but when we got into the first level of the game it really did a great job of testing those reflexes. You can choose entry points; do you want the door or the window? My skilled assistant of course let me make those calls, at the same time telling me nobody had made it through the first level.  So I decided the window was for us, I like an entrance. The use of lighting and team work is pretty excellent. Plus there is a handy indicator of noise around your character, which will let you know how far the sound you are making will travel. If the lines run into an enemy, the effect is obvious.

Hot Brass gameplay

We made it through the first floor okay, arresting suspects as we went. Then it comes time to go upstairs or down. Again I got to make the call, we went upstairs and things didn’t go well for us, I guess some terrorists cannot be negotiated with. With a crowd gathering behind wanting to play, noting the time we had already spent. He asked if I wanted another quick go and one more life – how could I say no?

It had saved our progress, so we went downstairs to the car park. I must say, the placing of the enemies are excellent, there was one to our right and upper right next to cars. It was clear in hindsight we should have planned and taken them out. But I jumped the gun, got one and got the other got me.

So with that, I reluctantly put down my game pad so the waiting gamers could have their own experience. I was lucky to have one of the staff with me, but I don’t know how i would have gone if I was playing with another newbie. No word on a full release date yet but you can sign up for the Alpha here and even if it’s only the first parts of the game it’s worth a go for sure.