E3 2014: Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is Full of Comic Book Flare and Strategic Depth

Yesterday, Nintendo revealed the identity of its mysterious 3DS title is in fact Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., a turn-based strategy game from the creators of Fire Emblem and Advance Wars. Needless to say, the announcement excited a lot fans; it’s not every day a new Nintendo IP is revealed, especially one from such prestigious minds. Today, we were given our first look at the game in action, and it’s definitely one to look forward to.

While Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. takes obvious cues from Valkyria Chronicles in its movement and battle mechanics, it’s very much its own entity. ┬áCode Name: S.T.E.A.M. looks wonderfully unique, employing an eye-catching combination of steam-punk and comic books style. As implied in the game’s title, steam plays an integral role in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.; each character has a steam gauge that depletes as they move and attack, which means players will have to think carefully about their moves. It’s a strategy title, after all, but the developers are intent on making Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. accessible to a wide range of gamers. One of the most interesting ways they hope to achieve this is by including save points throughout each level, allowing players to save their progress, replenish health and steam, and even revive fallen comrades. Of course, these healing services aren’t free; they come at the cost of medals, which players can collect as they move through each level. However, those medals are also used to purchase new weapons and items that open up new strategic possibilities, so it’s in your best interest not to rely on costly mid-level revival.

The developers of Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. were quick to clarify that their acknowledgement of accessibility didn’t mean the game would be easy. It was clear watching the gameplay that there is a wonderful amount of depth and strategy at work, evident in the complex level maps and multitude of movement and attack options. Players aren’t given an overhead map, either; instead, it’s up to you to find higher ground to scope out the battlefield and enemies. This challenging, strategy-heavy gameplay is complemented by the quirky characters and committed art style, which all combine to create a truly unique package that appears extremely promising. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will be out sometime in 2015, exclusively on 3DS.