Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. review round-up

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Those in Europe will have to wait until May, but today sees the launch of the intrepid Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. across North America.

Our review will come closer to the Nintendo 3DS exclusive’s European arrival, but we were keen to share what critics have been saying about Intelligent Systems latest take on the turn-based strategy genre. So, here we go!

* Destructoid – 6.5 / 10
“Truth be told, I feel incredibly conflicted about Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. The idea of a Nintendo studio authoring a western comicbook-inspired steampunk tale about American folk heroes is just so off the wall it’s enthralling. However in practice, it really underdelivers. Meanwhile, the gameplay is a heady, engrossing experience. But it’s also one that is frequently undermined by the tedious and protracted nature of enemy turns. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a decent, respectable game with some truly euphoric highs amid equitably frustrating lows.”

* Game Informer – 8 / 10
“During my time in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., I globetrotted to cool places like Buckingham Palace, Washington D.C., and fictional places I won’t mention to avoid spoilers. At times, I felt overwhelmed with unexpected reinforcements or extra mission requests, but then reveled in persevering. The world is cool and exciting, it kept me thinking more about my actions than most games, and yet some things really hinder the adventure. The game could use a bit more personality, and the long enemy turn time can ruin the experience. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M has plenty to love, but it also falls short in keeping all moments thrilling and tense.”

* GameSpot – 4 / 10
“Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. offers the most frustrating kind of steampunk: It brushes up against potent themes, but then turns its back on them in favor of pure aestheticization. When used well, steampunk can be great: Games like 80 Days and Dishonored use steampunk to examine the complexity of emerging technology and massive social change. But in S.T.E.A.M., all we have is American exceptionalism, technological fetishism, and the tiniest dash of diversity training. Yet there is one upside in all this: because all of these characters exist in the public domain, one day, someone will return to this idea. I only hope that they’ll spend a little more time fleshing out the world and its inhabitants. And making a targeting system that works.”

* GamesRadar+ – 4 / 5
“Strategy games can be a bit staid, and Code Name S.T.E.A.M. does a fantastic job of bucking those expectations. The odd team of steampunk weirdos really mixes up the gameplay to make for some impactful action, and the dense maps belie a raft of colorful design. With far more hits than misses, this game is a blast. Then again, I feel like I’m wasting my time praising it any more, because you were immediately onboard with the Lincoln vs. Aliens, right?”

* IGN – 7.9 / 10
“Code Name STEAM is a strange hybrid of turn-based tactics and action, but its simple mechanics create plenty of head-scratching decisions in single or multiplayer. Carefully selecting my squad and positioning them for maximum effect on the battlefield is tense and satisfying, even when I end up watching my goofy team crumble under a brutal counter attack.”

* Nintendo Enthusiast – 7.5 / 10
“Overall, Code Name Steam is an excellent attempt at a new franchise. The premise of the title itself is promising and unique, while the story and characters, no matter how ridiculous and convoluted, can easily be built upon. Code Name Steam is no Fire Emblem; it lacks the character development, RPG elements, and difficulty variation. Code Name Steam is a good game though, one which can be nurtured into a masterpiece when its sequel is inevitably released.”

* Nintendo Life – 8
“Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a fun, quirky new release from Nintendo. While there are a few flaws in the game design, we think that there’s enough good here to justify a purchase from any Nintendo fan looking for something different. We’d love to see more of this compelling and riotous new world from Intelligent Systems; it’s a great way to learn about classic literature…sort of.”

* Shack News – 8
“The premise behind Code Name: STEAM is so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but enjoy myself the more I played it. It doesn’t go very far beyond a “there are aliens at this location, get rid of them” type of story, but its gameplay, as brutal as it can be at times, can be rewarding when you figure out just the right combination of squad members to use during missions. Its initial playthrough will take around 10 hours to complete, but collecting all of the sub-weapons and boilers will take players way longer to achieve. Throw in a multiplayer experience that offers three different game types to enjoy, and I could see players spending a lot of time with Code Name: Steam for a while.”

* USGamer – 4 / 5
“There are some things that drive me crazy about Code Name S.T.E.A.M’s mission design, and I really think the difficulty balance could have used another pass, but these issues are balanced by the excellent mechanics. Intelligent Systems know their way around the strategy genre, and it shows in Code Name S.T.E.A.M’s deep roster and intricate level design. It’s more frustrating than it should be in the early going, but stick with it. Silly as it might be, Code Name S.T.E.A.M is ultimately worth it.”

Written by
After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

1 Comment

  1. Lol at gamestops 4/10 -no examination, -fetishes. Anyways looks interesting though I do hope they expound the story a bit in dlc, I might get this. Too bad my friends that I usually play with prefer to keep turn based gameplay in the mario role playing games (can’t say I blame them).

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