Iron Harvest’s story is mostly told through its lengthy single-player campaign, which consists of about twenty missions. The game features three different factions: Polania, Rusviet, and the Saxony Empire. Each faction comes with unique perks and quirks, as well as characters that function like hero units on the battlefield. As you progress through the story campaign, you’ll get to play as different factions’ hero characters while learning more about each faction’s backstory. The most interesting part in the story campaign for me was definitely Anna Kos’s, the Polanian resistance fighter who you control at the start of a playthrough. Sandwiched between the Saxony Empire and Rusviet, Polania is fighting two territory-hungry nations to survive and stay independent. After Anna’s brother Janek joins the Polanian forces at the front, Anna has to save her hometown from Rusviet invasion. Without wanting to spoil anything, things rapidly become more interesting from that point on.
While the voice acting is naff here and there, and some of the story beats feel generic, faction hero characters feel suitably badass for the world they’re in. Olga Romanov of the Rusviet faction, for example, has a pet tiger that she can ride into battle, while Anna Kos of Polania has a killer sniper and a bear that can maul hordes of enemies. This, coupled with the game’s mech units – giant tank-like robots – really brought Iron Harvest’s world to life for me. The mechs are introduced in a suitably impressive way: for the game’s opening trailer, the developers used archival war footage and added mechs in the background. The result is impressive and conveys how powerful and intimidating mechs are supposed to feel on the battlefield.
Visually, Iron Harvest does a wonderful job of creating an engaging world for players to lose themselves in. The units and landscapes look stunning, the battlefield animations look and sound great, and the variety of units will keep you on your toes in battle. Through its single-player campaign, you’ll start your first several missions with a few infantry units, before gradually controlling more powerful and complex ones. When you finally get to a point where you’ve got a plethora of units running around the map and mechs stomping along in the background, it’s an incredibly satisfying sight.