City of Steam

Rage Against The Machine In Upcoming Steampunk MMO
by Jack Gardner on Jun 19, 2012 at 08:00 AM
Publisher: Reality Squared Games
Developer: Mechanist Games
Release: TBA
Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: PC


Shoot guns, use magic, swing swords, and grind gears in Mechanist Games’ premier title.

City of Steam is a free-to-play browser-based MMORPG from newcomer indie development studio Mechanist Games. It is being developed on the Unity engine and looks pretty great for a browser game even at its current alpha stage build. 

The world of City of Steam is set upon a massive construction known as the World Machine and is made up of numerous interlocking gears, many of which will probably be visited by players at some point. The base game takes place upon the center gear, called the Major Plate. Surrounding the Major Plate are four spokes made up of the elements of the World Machine: steam, coal, rust, and oil. Each of these spokes cause seasonal change, and are realms in their own rights. Surrounding all the gears is the Periphery, a band that binds everything together. This area is full of rugged terrain and dangerous monsters. Foreign gears are speculated to be floating through the void beyond the World Machine, as is as an underworld full of demons. The hub of City of Steam is called Nexus, a giant city in the center of the Major Plate. There, players will accept missions which will take them to various locations with different tasks. Each region has its own history and the lore of the World Machine appears to be incredibly deep.

Players have nine races and four classes to choose from. The races consist of four different types of humans, two types of elves, and three variations of orcs. Each race has its own backstory and stat adjustments. The four available classes (arcanist, gunner, warder, and channeler) appear to roughly conform to the typical ranged damage, melee damage, tank, and healer character roles.

Gameplay is similar to Diablo III. Players click where they want to go (Edit: WASD controls are available as well) and use various spells to defeat monsters and overcome obstacles. One of the unique things about City of Steam as an MMO is that it does not require you to play with others to progress in the game. You will be able to play through the game solo if you desire, although Mechanist Games has said that some of their dungeons are better suited to multiple players as opposed to a player tackling it by themselves. They describe their game not as an MMO, but as an RPG with MMO elements. 

As previously stated, City of Steam is free to play. It generates revenue through microtransactions involving the premium currency, Electrum. This should only have a slight negative effect for people who opt to not purchase Electrum, since Mechanist Games says that Electrum will not be used for anything other than convenience options like more inventory space, early access to special items, and reduced travel time.

While we don’t typically cover browser-based MMOs, we think this project shows promise. The premise is unique, it has large ambitions, and seems to demonstrate a degree of polish even in the early alpha build we have seen. We wish this indie developer the best of luck.