steam3Well as far as premises go, you have to admit that this one’s really not bad.

A surprise announcement following their 2014 media briefing, Codename: STEAM is a new turn-based strategy game coming to 3DS in 2015. Set in a steam-powered London, you play as a special force running on steam technology set up by Abraham Lincoln to repel an alien invasion. Developed by Fire Emblem/Advance Wars creators Intelligent Systems, it’s set up like a third-person shooter, with moving and shooting consuming turn points.

steam1As appropriate for steampunk, your fighters are equipped with boilers that give you a limited supply of steam to fuel their actions and attacks. Interestingly, the game does not have an overhead map, forcing players to only operate from their units’ perspective – an interesting take on turn-based strategy that could have a lot of potential, provided that the level design creates interesting spaces in which to fight.Some information was available on visual design, with the STEAM (Standing for ‘Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace’, natch) characters sporting animal-inspired looks, and the aliens drawing inspiration from Lovecraft (In other words: tentacles). The game’s main visual influence is heavily inspired by American comic artists Jack Kirby and Bruce Timm.

So, a turn-based Kirby/Timm/Lovecraft inspired strategy game starring Abraham Lincoln’s alien-killing steampunk army? I’d call that ‘sold’. Between this, Bloodborne and The Order: 1886, this seems to be the E3 of the steampunky olde-worlde supernatural game. Given the equal emphasis on the future of gaming and retooling the franchises of the past, that seems rather appropriate.