Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Review

Code Name Steam Nintendo 3DS

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is another strategy game from Intelligent Systems, the same developer behind games such as Fire Emblem: Awakening and the Paper Mario series. Players are set in the year 1865 where steam technology is becoming more and more prominent. After aliens attack planet Earth, you must recruit and fight with other agents of S.T.E.A.M. to remove these forces from Earth and save humanity. However, this is no small task.

As soon as you start your adventure, the first thing you’ll likely notice is the game’s unique comic-book art style. With the 3D effect turned on, the game’s bold art direction definitely pops more. This is especially noticeable during the game’s interesting cinematic cutscenes, shown in the form of animated comic book slides

Enough with the visuals, though! What we’re really here to discuss is the meat and potatoes: the gameplay. And it doesn’t disappoint, but can also be a bit difficult to grasp at first.

When tackling invading alien forces, players assemble a squad of up to four agents to assist in ultimately leading the team to victory. Battles take place across various maps in the United States and UK and are fought in a unique third-person grid-based style. The game isn’t called Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. for nothing, though, as steam plays a big role in battle progression.

Each agent on your team has a signature weapon exclusive to them, a sub-weapon that can be changed between agents and a changeable boiler. Boilers determine how much steam an agent can store and dictate how far they can move or how many times they can fire a weapon in any given turn. Players will want to make sure they come prepared with the right weapons and boilers, otherwise the game may punish you for not managing your steam reserves effectively.

Code Name S.T.E.A.M Screenshot

When at war with aliens, weak spots can usually be spotted somewhere on their bodies. You’ll want to hit these spots to ensure that you deal massive damage and get quick kills with critical hits. When you’re fighting boss aliens, these spots aren’t usually as visible, so you’ll want to make good use of each agent’s special attacks. Special attacks differ between each agent and can be used to rack up raw damage or support the team with buffs and enemy debuffs. These specials can be used once per map and can really help the team out when you’re in a pinch.

Maps in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. are usually divided into multiple sections and players will often rendezvous with other agents during certain parts of each level. These interactions help the game feel fresh and allow you to experiment with different playstyles and see what works best for you.

Another cool feature I got the chance to try out was versus mode. When you’re at the starting menu, you’ll have the chance to choose said mode. After selecting your party members you’ll be shown a selection screen with local and online options available. You’ll get the option to choose between three game modes: Death Match where players try to kill all agents on the opposing team, Medal Battle where each team tries to collect the most coins in 5 turns, and A.B.E. battle where two players can duke it out in a giant mechanical robot battle.

These features really add some meat to the game once you’ve finished the main story and make it quite competitive. Speaking of competitive play, that’s something that Nintendo is really pushing with Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Since they’ll be doing things like hosting their own public tournaments, you can definitely expect this game to have a massive competitive following.

Code Name S.T.E.A.M. Amiibo

One last feature I wanted to cover was the amiibo functionality. If you’re someone who happens to own a New Nintendo 3DS, you’ll be happy to know that Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. now features support for Nintendo’s NFC figurines. If you’ve been able to pick up a Marth amiibo (which is pretty much impossible), an Ike amiibo, or have Robin and Lucina on pre-order, you’ll be able to scan these characters into the game to participate in battles. Keep in mind that if these characters fall in battle, you won’t be able to revive or scan them back in until the next map/match.

All in all, I find it really impressive that a Japanese studio was able to create such an westernized game. This is a risky new IP, but definitely deserves a play from anyone who’s into strategy games such as Fire Emblem: Awakening or any SRPGs for that matter. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. comes out on March 13, 2015 for $39.99 and I award it with an 8/10.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Review
All in all, I find it really impressive that the Japanese were able to create such an westernized game. This is a risky new IP, but definitely deserves a play from anyone who's into strategy games such as Fire Emblem: Awakening or JRPGs of any sort. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. comes out on March 13, 2015 for $39.99 and is awarded with an 8/10.
Pros
  • Challenging and fun gameplay
  • Interesting characters
  • Badass Abe Lincoln Robot
Cons
  • Enemy turns take a long time
  • Enemies hit a little TOO hard at times
8Overall Score
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Lives and breathes competitive Smash. Show me ya moves!