The turn-based strategy genre is a difficult one to market, but it’s managed to thrive in an industry that’s filled with Triple-A blockbusters and a copious number of sequels. While the prospect of a new intellectual property based around turn-based tactics may not appear to be a sound investment for a big company at this point in time, Nintendo has opted to put a wholly originally spin on it by creating a new game called Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. for its 3DS system.
Nintendo held a roundtable for the (then unannounced) game during E3 2014 and finally unveiled the new project to the masses. Being headed by Intelligent Systems — the same studio responsible for Advance Wars and Fire Emblem — Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a drastically different take on a genre that the developer has essentially mastered. Based off of American comic books, this new adventure takes place on a steam punk-inspired version of Earth as it’s being invaded by some sort of alien menace.
Ditching the standard method of issuing attack orders, players are now thrown into the boots of each soldier themselves. Taking on a third-person camera view (and utilizing the touchscreen to aim) during action segments, the ground will alight with tiles. This is the limited movement that each character has, and it’s measured by the amount of steam spent while traversing. Each character has a finite amount of steam that can be put towards attacking and moving, so strategy quickly comes to the forefront of gameplay.
After players have moved their available troops, the alien opponents will take their turn attacking and moving. Taking inspiration from other successful turn-based games, users are also capable of placing characters into an ‘Overwatch’ mode so that they may instantly attack creatures that wander into the sights of their steam-powered weapon.
Despite being made by the same studio as Fire Emblem, we were assured that the game will not support perma-death in any form. This design choice was integrated because the game wants to focus on squad play — something not possible if the characters are dropping like flies. S.T.E.A.M. will also support multiplayer in some fashion, but Nintendo is saving those details for a later date.
The story was given a very brief description, and will apparently star a task force created by president Abraham Lincoln. This task force is responsible for going head-to-head with the hostile creatures descending upon Earth, and the story will escalate from there. Oh, and for those wondering: S.T.E.A.M. stands for ‘Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace’.
Aside from the goofy aesthetic, plot, and name, strategy aficionados have a lot to look forward to from a game that could aptly be described as XCOM meets Gears of War. Stay tuned to Game Rant for more details on this new game from Intelligent Systems.
What do you think of Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.? Will you be picking it up for 3DS in 2015?
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will be arriving on the Nintendo 3DS in 2015.
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