As promised Nintendo has revealed a new 3DS game at their round-table on the second day of E3 2014. The game in question is called S.T.E.A.M Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace, which may sound familiar as Nintendo has trademarked the game around the world over the past few months.
The game has a steam-punk comic-book presentation inspired by Silver Age comics. The game starts in London but eventually features other locations including North America. Player controls a man named Henry a white male, on a steam-powered motorbike who works for a department created by President Lincoln to combat Aliens. Other characters include an unnamed black male who wears a helmet, a Lion and an unnamed white female. The aliens are inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft and have a theme of “ice creature”. The aliens can also use weapons and machinery, just like the heroes.
The game features an “old-timer” style voice-over explaining about a bridge over the river Thames. Aliens attack. Nintendo’s Hitoshi Yamagami Producer at NCL has taken the stage, he previously worked on Fire Emblem and Xenoblade. The game is billed as a turn based strategy game with action elements inspired by third person shooters. Players can move their character during their turns by using the stylus on the bottom screen. The amount of movement is limited by steam in a gauge on the side of the screen. The touch screen can also be used to aim weapons such as guns.
The demo for E3 has two playable characters, but in the full game there will be four to choose from. The team did experiment with a map on the bottom screen but preferred third-person point of view. The player will need to use all four characters point of views to get a complete view of the level. There are steam pipes dotted across the map to help the players reach their objectives. Gold medals are dotted around the game world, which work with a weapon/item upgrade system in-game. Your characters run on “Time Units” a kind of fuel viewed as Steam, which can be replenished. Attacks use Steam, as does moving - you can’t have both so must work out your strategy. Another experiment the team tried was an “undo” button of sorts to retrace your steps if you made a bad decision but this proved cumbersome and instead was replaced with the “steam lock in” mechanism.
Players can perform “Overwatch Attacks” which deal major damage to the alien menace. These allow you to attack during an enemy turn, and they can be stacked to perform several in unison. This can be achieved by using some steam to stun the enemy. There is however a delay, so the enemy may be able to avoid the Overwatch attack. Henry’s special move is called the “Eagle Strike”, which sees an America-themed eagle swoop in and attack the enemy. Each character can use their special ability once per map, and no two are alike.
The game is coming from Fire Emblem developers Intelligent Systems. Yamagami want’s to “find a way to introduce more people to strategy games and have them fall in love with them” like he has. To progress through the game players will need to solve puzzles in a nonlinear fashion, akin to Fire Emblem: Awakening also on Nintendo 3DS. The developers promised that the game can be enjoyed, even by those who might not be great at math. There will be plenty of characters, weapons without the complicated stats and grinding seen in other games. The game will feature both main and sub weapons.
The game features three save files, and data can be saved at checkpoints in the game. This save points can also heal the team if you collect enough medals on the battlefield. Nintendo have confirmed there will not be any eShop micro-transactions to buy medals outside of the game. The game will feature online multi-player but details are yet to be confirmed. The team are also considering Amiibo compatibility for the game.
More information will be revealed tomorrow as it has been confirmed the game will be demoed on Nintendo’s Treehouse Live @ E3 stage. The game is scheduled to launch in 2015.What do you think to S.T.E.A.M Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace? Did it live up to the hype?