TITLE: City of Steam
DEVELOPER: Mechanist Games
PUBLISHER: Mechanist Games
GENRE: F2P Web Browser MMO
PLATFORM: Microsoft Windows
STATUS: Alpha Testing
RELEASE DATE: TBA
City of Steam is a free-to-play web browser MMO based in the industrial age. The game is being developed by Mechanist Games, who describes the game as “An industrial age fantasy set in a mechanical world during an industrial revolution where the boundaries between science and magic have begun to blur, where humanoid steam toilers patrol the streets and leviathan airships float just above the rooftops.”
Mechanist Games hosted an Alpha Sneak Peek Event, where members of the community and media could take a look at the game before it begins its actual testing schedule. I was given an opportunity to participate in this event and wanted to give our readers a preview of this upcoming game.
After logging into the site and loading up the game, you are treated to the opening credits as you see a fly-through of Central City, and then end up at the top of a platform to create your character.
The character creation process is pretty basic and seems unfinished. You can choose from one of nine races consisting of the Aven, Heartlander, Ostenian, Stoigmari, Draug, Riven, Goblin, Hobbe, and Orc. You then have four classes, Channeler, Warder, Gunner, and Arcanist to pick from. Beyond that you choose your character’s first and last name, gender, and hairstyle. One of the most frustrating aspects of the character creation process is that there is no zoom feature, so you never really know what your character looks like.
After the character is finished, you can then choose to play the tutorial or skip it and go straight to the city. I chose to play the tutorial and you are introduced to a bit of history on the loading screen. Your character ends up on a train, where you must fetch your belongings, and along the way are treated to the tutorial of the controls, movement, combat, looting, etc.
Once completed your character is dropped off in the middle of a huge city. With no real direction on what to do next, I ran around collecting quests and completing a wide variety of introduction to the city zones and shops quests. A lot of the quests I was able to pick up were significantly higher than my character’s level and with no navigation; I became frustrated as to where I should be going next. I never found any beginner type quests, most of the dungeon areas were higher level than I was after the initial introduction quests and I never found any beginner type dungeons.
With not knowing what really to do next, I admired the beautiful graphics and music that the game has. I then browsed the UI to see what kind of things I could do. It appears that options have not been implemented into the game yet, so I couldn’t change anything. The full screen button was also grayed out, so the view of the game is very limited. There is no type of quest tracker that I could find and the map is limited to the mini map on screen, with a grayed out option for possibly a full size map. I found no actual camera control, which the game could really use since movement is all point and click. One thing I did think was actually very unique for this type of game is that there are several location signs around the city, you can actually fast travel to a certain location by clicking it on the sign. The ambient sounds of the game make the experience well worth it because you actually feel like you are in an actual city of that time period.
As I never was able to experience combat in the game, because every dungeon I found was higher level than my character was after completing the running around the city quest lines. I can’t really comment on combat, mobs, or the dungeons themselves. The UI in the game is very comparable to most MMOs out today and very easy to navigate.
Overall, for an Alpha test, the game ran smoothly, the servers didn’t crash while I was on, and the forums were abuzz with tips, bug reports, and comments. Mechanist Games seems to have a handle on the development of this game and are very responsive to their community in the forums. The game still needs quite a bit of work before it launches, but I believe that with all the feedback that was received the game will only get better as it goes along. The game definitely needs a dungeon tutorial, full screen option, and touch-ups on the character customization.
You can check out more information and sign up for the City of Steam Newsletter at the Official Website here.