Nintendo revealed a brand new 3DS title as an original IP named Code Name S.T.E.A.M. during tonight’s 3DS round-table. It will be a new turn-based strategy game with real-time action-elements developed by a team led by Hitoshi Yamagami (Xenoblade Chronicles, Fire Emblem: Awakening) with Intelligent Systems. The game has a unique visual style, and in the words of our own Jonathan Higgins:
Super comic booky. Blam bang boom.
— Jonathan Higgins (@radical_defect) June 12, 2014
The game definitely seems to have a steampunk feel, with nearly everything in the fictional society powered by steam and references to it everywhere in the game’s setting, which takes place in an alternate 19th century London. We’ve been blogging details about this game as the updates roll in, so expect the information below to come in at rapid pace.
The gameplay will be a hybrid of turn-based strategy with action elements. There will be sequences of gameplay that range from exploration, strategy, to third person shooter, all against the back drop of a comic book art style. The developers said that Jack Kirby, Bruce Timm, Mike Mignola, and the positive nature of comics inspired the design. The developers insist that the fusion of different genres is integral to the gameplay, rather than fleeting distractions.
The story is just as wild. Players will lead a special squad created by Abraham Lincoln to fight off aliens from space. This squad uses steam technology to their advantage, which powers their movement. The aliens that serve as the primary antagonists of the game were inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. The S.T.E.A.M. in Code Name S.T.E.A.M. stands for “Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace.”
The main character of the game is named Henry. Many of the characters and weapons show an animal motif. This ranges anywhere from a woman with face paint named “The Fox,” to a lion that is named, literally, “Lion.” When asked to describe the overall size of the cast, they said “quite a few.”
“Overwatch attacks” enable the player to attack during the enemy’s turn, and are a big part of the gameplay. You use steam to stun the enemy, but they will have a chance to evade. Rest assured, steam can be regenerated, and multiple characters can overwatch attack a single enemy. Each character has a unique special attack. Despite all the intensity described, and deviating from Intelligent Systems’ other recent strategy games, there will only be one difficulty level.
Sorry Fire Emblem fans, no perma-death. But for fans of other Intelligent Systems games, they promise that Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is still challenging, and the soundtrack is composed by the same man responsible for the Advance Wars series music: Yoshito Hirano. They also assured journalists that this game is not delaying the development of Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem or any potential Advance Wars game. Intelligent Systems and Nintendo told journalists they are always considering the next game in the Advance Wars and Fire Emblem series.
Check back later at oprainfall for more complete impressions from the round table event, and follow Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3 tomorrow for video coverage.