Codename S.T.E.A.M. Blends Steampunk and Strategy

As we reported to you earlier this spring, Nintendo’s previously trademarked “S.T.E.A.M.” title has a name, and it’s “Codename: S.T.E.A.M.” (or Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace).

Unveiled as a turn-based strategy game in the vein of X-Com, players take command of an elite fighting force commanded by President Abraham Lincoln to fight a mysterious alien menace assaulting London in the late 19th century. It’s developed by Intelligent Systems, maker of the much-loved strategy series Advance Wars and Fire Emblem series, with a team lead by Wario Ware: Smooth Moves‘ Paul Patrashcu and with art from Fire Emblem veteran Takaki Sakai.

Code Name STEAM screen 1

The game’s art style takes a few nods from Silver Age American comic books in a juicy blend of sci-fi and steampunk gadgetry. Like Fire Emblem: Awakening, Codename S.T.E.A.M. features fully voice-acted cutscenes in comic book fashion complete with character panels and on-screen dialogue bubbles.

Though the game’s mums the word on story beyond that point, we know that, from the looks of things, London’s in fine hands courtesy of Honest Abe with a colorful mixture of Jack Kirby/Stan Lee costumed heroes and a bunch of aliens to blast.

Code Name STEAM screen 3

Much like its easiest comparison, Code Name: STEAM adopts much of the same gameplay mechanics as Sid Meir’s X-Com series mixed with SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles. The games boasts a blend of real-time strategy amidst a fully 3D environments laid out, of course, like a board game with enemy aliens to eliminate.

Exclusive to the 3DS, the game also uses the handheld’s second screen to maneuver the camera and seamlessly switch between characters via their icons with a tap of your finger or the stylus in the heat of battle. Characters range between snipers, riflemen, and heavier bruisers with a range of customizable weaponry assignable to any of them as you see fit.

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 10.44.31 AMAkin to its name, steam’s more than just a stylistic reference in-game. In Codename S.T.E.A.M., your characters are given “steam” meters to boost their abilities in combat to pull of a variety of stunts, from explosive finisher attacks to landing an incredible jump over barriers in the field. Whether you use up your steam or save it is up to you, and it comes in handy for much of your in-game progress.

Coins and other objects can be collected in-game on the battlefield to boost your steam gauge to land yourself new equipment as well assign save points at which to save your game. Casual players more privy on surviving may rely on playing it safe and spending their cash on save guarantees, or core players might be more liable to go in guns-ablazing and snatch up on more items.

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We can anticipate more to come from the game as the months go by hopefully full of news on when we can launch our own strike on the alien menace abroad.

Codename S.T.E.A.M. arrives to the 3DS in 2015.