From Intelligent Systems, the studio best-known for the Fire Emblem series comes the steampunk-packed, comic-styled Code Name: S.T.E.A.M! Fight off the alien menace, unlock powerful weapons, and even take control of a gigantic mecha-Abraham Lincoln to save the planet from total annihilation!
From Intelligent Systems, the studio best-known for the Fire Emblem series comes the steampunk-packed, comic-styled Code Name: S.T.E.A.M! Fight off the alien menace, unlock powerful weapons, and even take control of a gigantic mecha-Abraham Lincoln to save the planet from total annihilation!Henry Fleming (named after the protagonist of the novel The Red Badge of Courage) oversees security detail in the American Embassy in fair Victorian London during the opening of the Steamgate Bridge, when alien invaders begin attacking the city. Fighting through the chaos and meeting up with John Henry (named after an African-American folk hero, and you’re going to want to get used to these references!), the pair are rescued by none other than President Abraham Lincoln himself, piloting the state-of-the-art airship Lady Liberty.Here the pair are recruited to Lincoln’s task force, known as S.T.E.A.M (Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace), and discover that the aliens seek the Necronomicon (H.P. Lovecraft’s textbook of magic) to awaken their leader, the Shugguth. Along the way the team makes the shocking discovery that the beast itself resides under the surface of the South Pole, as it had been left behind millions of years ago.
Recruiting some familiar fictional and folklore-inspired heroes such as Lion, Tin-Man and Dorothy, as well as Tom Sawyer and Queequeg (Moby Dick), the agents of S.T.E.A.M fight their way across America and even traversing to the magical Land of Oz in order to stop the alien menace and save the planet from being frozen over.Code Name S.T.E.A.M is presented to players through a comic book aesthetic; with each level of the game representing a new chapter of the comic. Cutscenes are rendered as comic panels, right down to the onomatopoeic action words and speech bubbles for characters. This look is retained for the gameplay segments too; a sort of partially-modeled comic book cel come to life. The visuals are bright and entertaining; the consistent use of golds and browns to highlight the steampunk influence on the game helps it to stand out, which is coupled with an abundance of steam pipes and valves littered throughout environments.
The vibrancy of colours isn’t limited to environments and playable characters either; the alien enemies are contrast to the protagonists; shades of blue and purple highlighting how cold and evil they are compared to the warm and heroic good guys. (It was hard not to describe them as ‘steamy’).
Those familiar with Star Trek will notice that the characters of John Henry and Abraham Lincoln are voiced by none other than Michael Dorn and Wil Wheaton respectively. And the voice talent doesn’t suffer like other games either; each character is given a voice, and the acting is actually half-decent. The only gripe is that after a while, each character’s catch-phrases begin to get repetitive and annoying, making you wish they had have just recorded that bit extra.The game also draws from so many forms of lore; almost all characters are representations from books or novels from literature history. The biggest influence is H.P. Lovecraft; things such as the Shugguth and the Necronomicon coming straight from his works, as well as Professor Randolph Carter. Add this to the likes of the Wizard of Oz references and classic literature throwbacks and you get a mish-mash that works really well.