Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle Review

A final assault as the rebels hold out against the Saxons

Review

Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle Review

May 27, 2021

By: Alex Verdini

View more Games Info
Developer
King Art Games
Publisher
Deep Silver
Platforms
PC
Release Date
September 1, 2020
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After a somewhat brief expansion with its first paid downloadable content, Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle comes back with a weighty DLC that introduces the Americans into the world of steampunk mechs around the fictional Great War time period. Following the events of the main game and subsequent DLC, Operation Eagle delivers big with a ton of new campaign missions and a significant gameplay addition by adding air vehicles. Adding flying blimp steampunk hybrid machines really adds another depth and layer to Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle, and helps fill out the game’s overall playstyles.

Flying High

An epic air battle is underway as they engage with land units
Air units are the star of the show for this expansion

More than just a bunch of new campaign missions, Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle delivers a whole new dimension with the addition of flying vehicles. Moreover, these flying warships add a significant new way to engage in warfare. For those looking for a more mobile and offensive style of combat, these new air units provide speedy delivery of firepower across the battlefield. The sometimes clunky but powerful mechs pale in comparison for mobility, but air units do have some general weakness to offset their mobility. Mechs felt overwhelmingly powerful when compared to infantry units in Iron Harvest, but air units add a significant counter to many mechs and really help balance the game out.

However, throughout the course of the campaign, there were times where I was able to create a powerful death ball with a bunch of American air units to bypass some of the more difficult challenges during the course of a mission. It’s certainly not without fault, as anti-aircraft emplacements are frequent and force the use of land units at chokepoints to add a bit of variety to missions, but it does reduce some of the tension when you can bypass some more difficult moments in a mission this way.

Enter the Eagle

The enemy tries to attack at desert gates but is repelled
Fighting for the independence of Arabia is an interesting new bit of storytelling for the series

A big addition in Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle is the American Union of Usonia. The American Union of Usonia paints a picture as a fledgling upstart oligarch in the making, as demonstrated by the initial mission of trying to flush out the Rusviets in Alaska to protect American business interests. From there, you pivot to the deserts of Arabia, playing as Captain William Mason, who is at the whim of his dubious uncle the admiral.

 
 

Story was by far one of the best aspects of the original Iron Harvest, and it delivered big in the original title with a sweeping tale of global warfare. For a DLC, Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle does a great job of continuing that but on a smaller scale. Instead of a sweeping war across Europa, Arabia’s fight for independence and the influences that wish it to conform are interesting tales as you help an upstart rebel in the Free Tribes of Arabia. The rare story in a real-time strategy game is another breath of fresh air, and Operation Eagle does a good job of picking up where it left off in the original game in this DLC.

A Beautiful World

A winter landscape where mechs and soldiers cross an icy bridge in Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle
Level design, while not always perfect, is certainly a highlight of the new DLC for Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle

Outside of flying units, not much has changed from the original title in terms of mechanics, but the campaign missions themselves are a weighty addition. As a whole, the original campaigns played pretty straightforward, but in Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle, it’s a bit of a different story. Generally, you’re outmanned and outgunned to start off as upstart rebels. As you begin unlocking more powerful mechs and soldiers, it becomes a more consistent experience trying to rid Arabia of the Saxonians.

The missions or maps are one of the best aspects of Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle. The addition of flying units, like troop transports, adds an extra dimension to the maps and can really create new challenges or means to win each mission. Extra secondary objectives should sufficiently challenge most players, and the design of each level is done in a way that really forces multiple approaches over the course of the game. Occasionally, a few of these maps can become a bit linear with walls and natural landscape forcing the player to certain avenues. It’s not so frequent as to cause concern, but it does occasionally limit tactics and choice instead of playing into the openness a traditional real-time strategy game often offers in its maps.

Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle Review | Final Thoughts

Story and a sweeping campaign in the real-time strategy genre have been missing for some time, and the original Iron Harvest was a breath of fresh air. Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle delivers a weighty addition in this new DLC and continues that legacy of lore. The addition of air units spices up combat and adds a new method for players who prefer a more aggressive and faster-paced combat experience. Yet, the story is the real gem in Operation Eagle, as it pushes forward interesting lore for the fictional universe and creates a fantastic experience for players through its tried-and-true real-time strategy gameplay.

TechRaptor reviewed Iron Harvest: Operation Eagle on PC via Steam with a copy provided by the publisher.

Review Summary

Review Summary

8.0
Hefty additions of new story campaign and new air units make this DLC feel like a worthwhile addition to the original.

Pros

  • Air Units Add New Balance and Ways to Engage in Combat
  • Storytelling is King With a Large New Campaign
  • Beautifully Crafted Levels and Landscapes

Cons

  • A Few Maps Can Be a Bit Linear
  • Combat With Mechs Can Still Feel a Bit Clunky
A picture of staff writer Alex A. Verdini
Staff Writer

A gamer since his earliest memory, Alex enjoys practically every video game genre known to humankind (with a particular favoritism toward shooters and RPGs). He's been a long time Dungeons & Dragons player, and he has a fondness for board games and tabletop RPGs.

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