City of Brass — Not Your Classic Arabian Night

There’s this thing they’ve been doing on digital platforms (I use Epic Games Store, so I have no idea what’s up with Steam), and I don’t know how long this has been going on, but it’s pretty effective in its delivery. Of course, I’m talking about the free giveaways, where one can log in at least once a week to get video games… for free! I don’t exactly know how the developers benefit from this, but I’m greatly enjoying it as the consumer. In fact, that’s how I got City of Brass. Was it good? Well…

The game was ok. I mean, the combat was both interesting and boring at the same time. Yes, I’m aware that it’s an oxymoron, but basically, what I mean is while the game encourages you to use the environment to your advantage, and that’s the cool part, there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of variety in how the game creates ways for you to enjoy it in a multitude of different ways and not just the combat. I suppose I could’ve given it more time… if I had the time. But even if I did, it wouldn’t be the main issue.

More so than the combat, I got the impression that the game lacked any personality. There was barely any narrative, and aside from taking place in an ancient Arabian setting (in the style of 1001 Arabian Nights), I had a hard time understanding what the story was about, if it was even there. There seems to have been voice acting, but not something that the developers were interested in… for whatever reason, leaving me wondering how the game would look in an ancient Arabian setting… because Assassin’s Creed doesn’t count.

A game spoken only in Arabic

So I know that Ubisoft once made a game set in the Middle East a thousand years ago, and it’s the game I just mentioned. Regardless, I don’t see a lot of games that take place in ancient Jerusalem (or some other place, I guess). If there were, it would be an excellent opportunity to make a game in Arabic, partially or entirely.

I might just be looking in the wrong places (I always look in the wrong places), but I’m almost sure there aren’t enough video games with Ali Baba and his forty thieves, the Prince of Persia, or, frankly, any other character with a similar theme. I don’t know why this is, but there aren’t many people interested in a game where they mostly speak Arabic. Personally, I think it would be a nice thematic touch to the game, which tries to deliver an authentic depiction of those times and an enjoyable gaming experience.

Or, more easily, you can just add an option for Arabic in the menu, whether it’s the text and/or voices because I don’t see a lot of those either imagine what it would be like when the characters around you speaking fluently in this language you don’t understand. This is a sentiment I repeat too often… or at least I think so.

Everyone gets a turban!

I think that there should be more games with Arabic in them. Just think if Prince of Persia was spoken in the characters’ mother tongue. When they made the game, I knew it wasn’t relevant because the video game industry was still relatively young, so there wasn’t much to expect. But today?

Nowadays, games are a dime a dozen. With so many possibilities, you could say that there is room to explore different cultures (Aboriginal Australian is also a subject I want to touch on… but not now). I think that someone needs to make a game where not only do they speak a lot of Arabic, but also wear a lot of turbans… or fezs… um… fezes? Sorry, I don’t know the plural form of “fez” is. I would do it myself, but I already established that I’m not a game designer… for now.

But if someone is already going to make a game in Arabic, then it needs to focus on the cultures of a millennium ago because back then, everything was shiny.

Did you play… uh… what’s it called again?

Oh right, City of Brass, that’s what the game is called (I forgot for a moment). I can’t imagine that you played because I barely did, and it’s not a game I’ve heard a lot about… or at all. Anyway, you’re probably not here about the game because there isn’t much to it. I suppose you could say what you think about a game with Arabic in it. As usual, this is the place.

In Conclusion…

City of Brass is a decent game, even though I forgot what it’s called for a moment. Fifteen years ago, I probably would’ve finished because I had all the time back then. I suppose I would’ve gotten a somewhat better impression on it if I game it more time, and that’s time I don’t have for myself. I didn’t even get to the first boss. Not only that, but I also didn’t get to talk about how I think that the game is a roguelike even though Wikipedia states that the game is a dungeon crawl… whatever that is. Maybe next time?

As for a game in ancient Arab culture, or a game in Arabic, I would love to see that. I don’t know if it will ever happen because I don’t know the demand for it. After all, if it happens, I will find it interesting… and probably play it too.

I wonder if there was anything else about City of Brass that I could’ve said… because it doesn’t seem like I said much about it.



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