An awesome RTS by the Ironhide Game Studio team. It has a lot of easter eggs and references to other games. It has challenging achievements, for example playing through the game on the Veteran difficulty, but nothing compared to playing bodyguard for a merchant… ~15h to 100%.
Approximate amount of time to 100%: ~15h
Estimated achievement difficulty: 7/10
Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1
Is there a good guide available: Yes, there is this video guide for all the achievements, and a guide to easily spot the monkeys/plants.
Multiplayer achievements: No
Missable achievements: No
Grinding Achievements: No
DLC-Only achievements: No
Speedrun achievements: No
Time-gated achievements: No
Does difficulty affect achievements: Yes, you have to beat each level of the campaign on veteran for an achievement
Unobtainable/glitched achievements: No
I have been looking forward to this title for a while. I loved the first Iron Marines game in this series and when I learned about the second title I was hoping it would come to Steam and gladly it did. Ironhide Game Studio is known a lot for their Tower Defense titles, but I suck at TD games, sadly (I have no idea why). However, I prefer their RTS titles. It has the same style of artwork, a lot of references to other games in the environment, and is just so much fun to play.
The game has 27 levels and some random special missions to earn more money/experience. The objectives of the missions are different. sometimes you have to defend something, other times you have to search for something or fight a scary boss. There is a story in this title, and with that the missions make sense. I highly recommend reading the briefing and watching the cutscenes before/after the levels. Otherwise, it might be more confusing, and the story is good.
The game runs very smoothly. I didn’t have any lag while playing the game. Which is quite important in an RTS title. I did encounter 2 bugs, but not game-breaking. One of them has already been fixed and I’m sure the other one will be fixed soon as well. It is awesome to see the developers so active on the Steam forum and on bug fixing.
The achievements are very challenging. The game has a lot of achievements and gladly most of them you can do on casual, but I recommend playing through the game in Veteran on your first try because most levels are very doable on veteran. Personally, I was quite surprised I managed to get through the game on Veteran, I wouldn’t have guessed I would be able to as I’m not an expert in RTS games. The achievements in the achievement menu are in the order you can encounter them, so before each level, I checked what the next achievement was. Tried to do it while playing through the level on Veteran and if I didn’t manage to get it that run, I played the same level again but this time on Casual.
I would highly recommend checking out weird-looking plants and monkeys, and writing the level numbers down when you find one, this way the cleanup phase for those achievements takes less long. However, if you didn’t manage to do this, getting through the specific item and then quite the level also works fine. This way just checking the specific levels for them only takes a little bit of time, even faster if you use a flying unit.
What surprised me the most is that the two achievements for special missions and that you have to do something were the hardest. Even on casual. Not letting the merchant get damaged was more challenging than playing the whole campaign on Veteran. If you fail at it, use the retry option in the pause menu to have the same level, so you can learn from your mistakes. Also, check out the video linked above, that person gives a good description of how to manage this specific achievement.
Iron Marines Invasion was a challenging but awesome game and I hope Ironhide Game Studio will make and release more RTS type of games on Steam as well.
This review for Iron Marines Invasion was written on 5 November 2023, based on the current Steam version of the game which has 34 achievements at the time of writing this review. This information can be outdated, for example, when the developer adds or removes achievements or releases (new) DLC.