Steel Storm is a retro styled shoot'em up with good controls and reasonable AI that actively tries to avoid your fire. It's fast and fun with a need for good reflexes.
The addition of a level and full map design tool is also a boon though there are only a few extra campigns out there. Which do vary in quailty but also offer a good challenge for when you've finished the official campaign.
If you prefer a different challenge then you can also change the view to more like quake and games of that ilk. This change of view angle makes the 360 field of attack much harder to cover. Often the tactic you have used to survive in the more top down view will not save you here.
The visual effects and sound effects suit the game perfectly as does the music for the most part. As with anything however music is down to personal taste and you can always turn it off and play your own if your hardware can handle it.
I've played this on both aging AMD units and state of the art Intel gaming rigs and it played perfectly on all. For those who have discovered issues there are work arounds which I've also used successfully on some rigs. Find these on the forums.
Now I'm not going to indicate that the game is perfect. It does for sure have its flaws. While it does have plenty of different weapons to sate most play styles the number of types of enemy is limited.
1x Fast and light tank that can zap you and disable all but your starting loadout. The handicap is temporary of course.
1x Light tank that fires a single plama shot in each volley.
1x Medium tank that fires 4 shots in a volley, as the class implies has more hit points than the light variant.
2x Heavy tanks - one with a plasma turret and minigun turrets and the other with three rapid fire heavy plasma turrets.
4x Types of fixed turrets, plasma, laser, missile, repair.
2x big bads, a carrier and a super heavy tank.
The AI also has a few other problems that occur when there are player friendly or other players in a game. Often the AI has problems locking on to a target and will constantly change target while never firing a shot. On occation in multiplayer mobs will spawn and not attack making them easy pickings. Thankfully a recent patch looks to have reduced these annoyances to virtually zero.
As for DLC, the extra weapons are a nice touch but too few. The second DLC is a better addition with a whole new campaign with some new game twists which I'll not spoil if you've not tried it.
Overall I found the game to be enjoyable if not a touch repetitive. If you don't like shoot em' ups this game is not going to change your mind about them. If you do then give this little overlooked gem a blast.