Nintendo just concluded a reveal at E3 of their new IP for the Nintendo 3DS. No video or pictures have been allowed at this event so unfortunately, for the time being, we’re going off of second hand information.
This new IP is called Codename S.T.E.A.M. and is a turn-based strategy game with some elements taken from the action genre. Mr. Miyamoto was not on stage to announce this title but Hitoshi Yamagami, the game’s developer was present. He revealed that Nintendo is partnering again with Intelligent Systems to make this title. “If Nintendo is making a strategy title, there is a long-term partner we have worked with before: Intelligent Systems”, said Yamagami. At this point, Paul Patraschcu, creative director and Takako Sakai, art director, take to the stage.
In Codename S.T.E.A.M., “Players will take command of the unit steam, a unique fighting force created by Abraham Lincoln to defend against a mysterious invasion from space,” Yamagami said. The game will take place in London, during the 19th century. S.T.E.A.M. stands for Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace.
Now Paul Patraschcu talks about the game, “Turn-based strategy, third-person shooter, steampunk … Codename: S.T.E.A.M. is a quirky little title that came to be from a collusion of all of these elements,” Patraschcu said. “You have several units you can control. You can control a fire team made up of four different characters. You have this view all of the time.” Presumably, when you switch between characters it will give you a different view. The bottom screen on the 3Ds will display your team, it’s abilities, as well as end turn options and more. As usual, gameplay will be on the top of the 3DS screen.
The following quotes are talking about the art style of the game and how it works with offering a unique experience while helping the flow of a turn-based strategy game. “The game never plays the same way twice.” “Everytime you go to a new map, it should feel like a place you’ve never been before,” Sakai said. “We used pixel art for all of the terrain so no matter what distance you see them from they all look beautiful”. “The aliens that are attacking the earth are all original creatures but you can tell the inspiration of HP Lovecraft in our work”, said Sakai. “At the same time it’s quite functional, it makes the map easy to see and the enemies easy to stand out,” Patraschcu said. “I hope you got a sense of how we used the american comic style to help create the art style of the game,” Patraschcu said.
Some of the game’s enemies have been identified as Lion, Devastator, Prowler, and Ripper. There is currently only one difficulty setting in the game. The developers have implemented a checkpoint system, green pillars, which will save your game but also give players a chance to replenish their health and steam. During the course of the game, players will collect medals. At these checkpoints, medals can be cashed in for health and steam. The catch to spending these medals is that further down the line, you won’t be able to afford the more effective weapons. The developers implemented this medal system to allow novice strategy players the chance to go further in the game. The more experienced players probably want to hold on to their medals until they can be used for buying better weapons.
“To summarize, the strategic elements are based on three things: Movement and attacks and how you plan out the overwatch attacks,” Yamagami said.
No information around a release date or price were given during the press conference. They did confirm there is an online component but there is no multiplayer.