First Impressions: Codename S.T.E.A.M.

Published March 17, 2015 by Amanda B. Greene

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Codename S.T.E.A.M. is a fun strategy title created by Intelligent Systems, the studio behind the Fire Emblem series. It is a turn-based, third-person shooter that has a strange twist on history as well as some unique characters from John Henry to the Lion from the Wizard of Oz. It has its flaws, but overall it’s a great new IP that I hope does well with sales.

Story

London is about to hold a celebration for the opening of a new bridge thanks to the advancements in steam technology. Everything is going well, until blimps are blown out of the sky and destruction of the city follows. It’s an alien invasion! Henry Fleming must find his way out of the wreckage – which is when the tutorial begins.

Trying to find survivors, he comes across John Henry who has an awesome bear grenade launcher. As soon as you join with him, you see a smoke signal and someone’s voice over the intercom. Once your reach the destination, you then again met with a giant monster – all the sudden there is an airship that drops down a ladder and they manage to escape.

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It turns out that Abraham Lincoln was the one who called! This is when Henry and John are recruited into S.T.E.A.M., an elite, secret strike team on the eradication of the alien menace. That’s all I’ll say about the beginning of the game.

The dialogue is alright so far, but not great. It’s not as clever or witty as you would want it to be with all these odd characters all coming together to save the day. Some catchphrases are repeated too much during combat, but it doesn’t take away from the experience.

The story itself does some unexpected twists and turns, which is nice. You’re not just jumping from one place to another. Plus, the quirkiness of everything strangely works well.

Gameplay

The best part of the game: the strategy. You’re always thinking about the next move, consciously making decisions for everything. Which four people make the best team? Who should I send out to explore? Which subweapons are the best for which person? You always need to check around corners as well as above you for aliens can be anywhere. Being careless one turn can easily kill the whole mission.

The difficulty is great how steadily high it gets. And the checkpoints are forgiving at first, but then they become more scarce the farther you are in the game.

Music

The background music is good, not great, but it does the job. If it was unbearable, then waiting around for the aliens to finish making their movements would be even worse to deal with. I think it all fits in the already odd adventure.

Final Note

Codename S.T.E.A.M. is worth getting since it is different than a lot of games out there. It could be polished better, maybe there’ll be an update to fix some of the issues. I’ll post a review soon, so stay tuned! 🙂

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