Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. First Look - The Lincoln Initiative - Prima Games

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. First Look — The Lincoln Initiative

by Prima Games Staff

Intelligent Systems is one of Nintendo’s best weapons when it comes to high-quality games. It produced a number of stellar efforts over the years, including the Paper Mario games, the Advanced Wars series and the Fire Emblem franchise, which will come back later this year with a new 3DS adventure and Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem for Wii U.

Before those arrive, however, we’ll get a unique turn-based strategy game for the Nintendo 3DS, which could easily become of the year’s bigger sleeper hits. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. combines all the tactics of battling enemies in real-time with a third-person shooter set-up, so you’re strategically putting your soldiers in place as they attack their adversaries.

The game takes place in an alternate Steampunk version of London, where president Abraham Lincoln has formed Unit S.T.E.A.M. in an attempt to keep Earth safe from an Alien invasion. The lead hero is Henry Fleming, a well-armed soldier who works alongside a number of characters to battle opponents, a list of allies that include the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz and Tom Sawyer from the Adventures book of the same name.

Based on turn-based rules, your job is to maneuver your characters into range against enemies, while setting up which attacks to use. Characters use steam to move around, with only a certain number of units available, so setting up a defensive stance is just as vital as getting into attacking range on an opponent.

That said, there are plenty of cool techniques to embrace. You can launch an attack so that it interrupts a foe’s turn. You can also take advantage of special moves that don’t use steam, with each one being unique for each character. The only downside is you can only use these moves once per battle – so plan accordingly.

The goal is to keep your team alive, so placement is everything. You can hide your allies behind cover in some situations, while moving around others to attack whoever targets them. If you somehow lose an ally in a fight, you can use a medal to revive them. However, if you lose all the members in your party (including Henry), it’s game over.

With each new battle, you’ll have a new amount of steam to work with, as it replenishes so you can start fresh the next time around. That said, you don’t want to stick to the same tactics every time, as enemies may read a pattern and react accordingly. It helps to see what your four-member team has to offer – and place them where they’re best suited for combat.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. has a vintage comic book-style appearance, adding style to the substance. The 3D level layouts are easy to maneuver around, and there’s an overview that lets you plan your next move before you rush head first into battle.

Being victorious, meanwhile, earns you rewards for each of your characters, unlocking new abilities and techniques that could help turn the tide against tougher opponents later on in the game. 

Better still, S.T.E.A.M. has amiibo support through the New 3DS. Fire Emblem characters can be used in the game, including the already available Marth, as well as the forthcoming Ike, Lucina and Robin. They have their own special abilities as well, which you can use until they perish on the battlefield – but they can be revived. The only way you can use these characters in the game are with their respective amiibos – so make sure you keep those figures handy.

With the game’s release not too far off (it’s due to hit stores and the eShop on March 13th), it won’t be long until players see what this cool Steampunk universe has to offer. We’ll have strategy tips for the game closer to its release, so be sure to check back for more Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

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