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As a fan of all that is steampunk, and as a fan of the Emancipation Proclamation (because who doesn't enjoy the abolishment of slavery, outside of a certain University of Oklahoma fraternity), I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Code Name S.T.E.A.M. since it was announced by Nintendo. Developed by Intelligent Systems, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based, third-person strategy game that has you play as some old school American heroes, as well as some famous fictional characters in a steam punk world where President Abe Lincoln never had a mishap at the theatre.
Put together, it is hugely successful, not only offering an accessible strategy adventure with charismatic heroes and a fistful of innovations but one that in doing so refreshes the somewhat tired turn-based genre.
Like the stories from which the characters are borrowed, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. truly is the video game equivalent of a page-turner, and I dare anyone not to be sucked in by its charisma. It may start off slowly, but before you can bellow "STAR SPANGLED SLAMMER!" you'll be telling yourself "just one more level."
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. felt uneven to me. There's a lot of promise here, and the jovial experience was inviting. I loved the multiplayer far more than I expected to and look forward to many more hours playing it. The problem is a campaign that feels like it takes far too long for things to really happen, especially when all aliens move in real time and you have to clear multiple maps before you get a real stopping point. I like the lore and world enough to hope that this isn't the end for this series, and that instead Intelligent Systems will be given an opportunity to build on this foundation.
The premise behind Code Name: STEAM is so ridiculous that I couldn't help but enjoy myself the more I played it. It doesn't go very far beyond a "there are aliens at this location, get rid of them" type of story, but its gameplay, as brutal as it can be at times, can be rewarding when you figure out just the right combination of squad members to use during missions. Its initial playthrough will take around 10 hours to complete, but collecting all of the sub-weapons and boilers will take players way longer to achieve. Throw in a multiplayer experience that offers three different game types to enjoy, and I could see players spending a lot of time with Code Name: Steam for a while.
For the strategy gamer, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a must-grab. But even for those who may not be too familiar or comfortable with strategy games or the genre as a whole, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. still merits a healthy look. The title eases the player into the ideas that relate to both the game itself and the genre as a whole, and highlights necessary details through pointed, yet laughably-bad dialogue. Players will enjoy Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., and I personally guarantee this, or my name isn't ol' "Honest Abe" Lincoln. (Guarantee subject to availability, and void where prohibited, and also, I'm not Abe Lincoln, so that kind of nullifies that guarantee anyway. See what you learn in the fine print?)
That being said, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a solid entry overall in a genre that I certainly would like to see more new games for. It's always nice to see companies taking a chance on a new intellectual property and the nod to Valkyria-style gameplay is much appreciated as well. If you love strategy games and have a need to scratch that Valkyria itch, you'll want to try out Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a fun, quirky new release from Nintendo. While there are a few flaws in the game design, we think that there's enough good here to justify a purchase from any Nintendo fan looking for something different. We'd love to see more of this compelling and riotous new world from Intelligent Systems; it's a great way to learn about classic literature...sort of.
Due to the wonderful mixture of impressive gameplay and beautifully creative artwork, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. brings with it a fresh and new-thinking experience that has the sort of great balance that could only be delivered by the giant in the genre, Intelligent Systems. Whether or not it becomes a classic over time, and maybe something that even becomes a long running franchise, only time will tell, yet right now Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is definitely another great hit from the true masters in the field. Steampunk fans and those that love strategy titles in general should certainly strongly consider this.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a devastatingly unique strategy game with the pedigree to back it up. Fun and challenging, blending turn-based tactics with third-person shooting, there's nothing like it on the market.
This fresh take on tactics games adds a bit of steam, folklore, and shooter action to the turn-based combat. Plus, it's hard to pass up the crazy premise of Abe Lincoln fighting aliens.
There are some things that drive me crazy about Code Name S.T.E.A.M's mission design, and I really think the difficulty balance could have used another pass, but these issues are balanced by the excellent mechanics. Intelligent Systems know their way around the strategy genre, and it shows in Code Name S.T.E.A.M's deep roster and intricate level design. It's more frustrating than it should be in the early going, but stick with it. Silly as it might be, Code Name S.T.E.A.M is ultimately worth it.
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. blazes ahead with entertaining characters, a robust host of missions, and engaging combat. Just the right amount of difficulty will keep any strategy fan engaged, and collectibles and multiplayer will keep you in long after the credits roll. Nintendo's IP is going at only one speed: full S.T.E.A.M. ahead.
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is Nintendo's first true new IP in a long time. Thankfully the experiment worked, proving the old studio still has some magic up its sleeve. It's not perfect, but a sequel could definitely smooth out its rough edges. Here's hoping this won't be the last time players will see Abraham Lincoln and his diverse agents of S.T.E.A.M.
Code Name STEAM is a strange hybrid of turn-based tactics and action, but its simple mechanics create plenty of head-scratching decisions in single or multiplayer. Carefully selecting my squad and positioning them for maximum effect on the battlefield is tense and satisfying, even when I end up watching my goofy team crumble under a brutal counter attack.
Overall, Code Name Steam is an excellent attempt at a new franchise. The premise of the title itself is promising and unique, while the story and characters, no matter how ridiculous and convoluted, can easily be built upon. Code Name Steam is no Fire Emblem; it lacks the character development, RPG elements, and difficulty variation. Code Name Steam is a good game though, one which can be nurtured into a masterpiece when its sequel is inevitably released.
Despite the off-putting steampunk aesthetic, the weird roster of fictional and non-fictional characters, and the relative shallowness of the strategic elements, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. doesn't grow tiresome.
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is a decent action strategy game. It has the makings of a great game in the same vein as Valkryria Chronicles, and while it is executed in a fairly clunky way, I still had a decent time with it.
The game's Japanese release carries the subtitle Lincoln Vs Aliens, and in many ways the game benefits from the schlocky extra tag. The historical and literary figures, married with the silver-age comic book visuals make for an engaging world which begs for you to be a part of it. The downside is that the tactical gameplay simply isn't in the same league as the developer's other work, rewarding drawn-out, cautious play above any more meaningful tactics. Though there is fun to be had here, Codename S.T.E.A.M. disappointingly lacks the purity that made Intelligent Systems' earlier work so essential.
Meanwhile, the gameplay is a heady, engrossing experience. But it's also one that is frequently undermined by the tedious and protracted nature of enemy turns. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a decent, respectable game with some truly euphoric highs amid equitably frustrating lows.
Difficulty spikes, lingering wait times and a weak story filled with flat characters prevents Code Name S.T.E.A.M. from realizing its potential. While still fun and rewarding at times, it just doesn't capture the imagination or hold my attention for long.
This is a game that makes strategic thinking very difficult and the shallow plot and undeveloped character progression further downgrade its RPG credentials. On the other hand, it does have an attractive action component, rich and enticing visual and sound environments and a well-implemented steam-as-fuel mechanic.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. has an interesting premise and an initially appealing aesthetic. But then the gameplay comes along and teams up with a crushing difficulty to deflate what should have been a great piece of hokey Americana.
Code Name S.T.E.A.M. presents a lot of interesting ideas, but never pulls them together to form a cohesive and fun experience. There's certainly a lot here to enjoy, but to get to it you'll have to suffer a little boredom.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M is disappointing because it could have been a far better game. With a developer with such experience in tactical games as Intelligent Systems has, there is no excuse for a game that is this limited, this garish, and this incohesive. If this is to be built into a franchise, it's going to need a dramatic improvement by the next game.
I feel like Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is what happens when you put Fire Emblem and Worms into a blender along with a comic book- so if either of those games tickles your fancy it'll be worth giving the game a try. The turn-based system and third person shooting complement each other, and while it doesn't feel natural at first, maybe in the future you'll find that traditional strategy games just don't quite cut it for you after playing Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. This game is definitely suited to players who play strategy games regularly, and I can't imagine opinions about it being unanimous. It's not a game that I'd usually play, but I don't hate it. It's a solid game, and if you're already interested I it the odds are that you'll enjoy it. If you're unsure about the game, stay away from it.
Codename Steam managed to set expectations high, but ultimately was not able to deliver a captivating game. There are so many great ideas here, but most of them go without being fully utilized. Bland and annoying gameplay mechanics keep this game from being something truly enjoyable.
However, poor design decisions that impact the game's main combat mechanics may make for a much longer trip than anyone could anticipate. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. has the visuals and concept to go the distance, but unfortunately through some of the game's more ill-advised ideas and concepts, it runs out of steam pretty quickly.
'Code Name S.T.E.A.M.'s' biggest strength, its 3D perspective, also leads to its biggest weakness, resulting in gameplay that feels less like a battle and more like an interactive loading screen.
Code Name: STEAM has gone from an unplayable tragedy to something that's not quite as terrible. Nintendo, thankfully, addressed the biggest problem when it enabled fast-forwarding with that recent update, but it shouldn't stop with that. Intelligent Systems needs to patch in a way to get a better understanding of your surroundings. The way it's set up now, this game is like playing chess where certain pawns secretly have the powers of a queen.
Rife with mistakes that should be unacceptable, and squandering all of its potential, Codename STEAM is a game that you should avoid unless you are really desperately looking for a strategy game on your 3DS, and have already completed Shadow War and Fire Emblem Awakening.
If you're going to attempt to make a mark on a genre that already boasts an exacting pedigree you must - one, introduce new ideas, and two, execute the established rules better than your peers. Code Name S.T.E.A.M does neither and, as a result, fails to secure itself a place in its turn-based landscape.