When Iron Marines released around this time last year, I lauded it as one of the best real-time strategy games on mobile, and I still stand by that. The game wasn’t perfect by any means, as it had a relative lack of content and a weird mircotransaction model that felt unnecessary, but it was still a near-perfect execution on how to streamline a genre onto mobile.
This week, Iron Marines dropped a new update that added a bunch of free content to the game. In light of this news, I wanted to take a new look at Iron Marines and assess whether this update makes the game worth jumping into if you decided to skip it initially.
First things first, I want to break down what comes in this Iron Marines update. There’s a new planet, Borealis, which adds 10 new missions to the game. These missions don’t just give you more of the same Iron Marines experience though. There are new enemies, new ally units, and even different mission designs that will have you pushing your tactical skills to their limits.
There are also updates to the game’s upgrade tree and some new hero units added to Iron Marines in this update, but these additions are a little disappointing. The upgrade tree only adds two new upgrades for a deployable Dropgun unit and the heroes added to the game—while interesting—are only available if you purchase them.
How does this change things?
More Iron Marines content might not sound like a big game-changer, but for a game that felt a little short on initial release, having a full, third planet to explore really beefs the game up. If you think about it, it’s like the game got 33% bigger, which is an upgrade that’s nothing to sneeze at.
For anyone who starts Iron Marines thinking it’s a bit easy, this update makes a pretty big difference in that department, too. Borealis is a harsh and unforgiving place, both in that it’s an ice planet and that its missions are quite a bit more challenging than the original two planets in Iron Marines. This added challenge is a really welcome change since you could kind of sail through the first two planets without building out your upgrade tree, but Borealis almost demands you tech up before taking on its missions on anything harder than the casual difficulty.
Should you buy Iron Marines?
Iron Marines was a great game before this update, and now it’s even better. If you had issues or trepidations with the game’s initial length or difficulty, the Borealis update should assuage your fears. It may not give you much to look forward to as far as new heroes or the tech tree, but in mission design and difficulty, Iron Marines has gotten a huge upgrade.