By Kevin Chow from goozernation.com
City of Steam is an industrial-age fantasy browser-based free to play MMORPG that is currently in development by Mechanist Games. Being a browser-based game, it doesn't have a client, which means there is no need to download anything other than a plug-in for a browser. After signing in, and starting the game, the plug-in downloaded almost instantly and was already pretty much ready to play. The first screen, after loading, was very impressive. It was a flythrough around the outside of a huge city and it was very detailed. It's amazing that the frame rate was pretty much constant the whole time. This was also accompanied with awesome music that matched the mood of the flythrough perfectly. I sometimes like to leave it on that screen just for the music. At the end of the flythrough is a platform where a created character stands.
Character Creation for City of Steam
The character creation process is still a work in progress, and for the sneak peek, it was pretty simple and didn't have many appearance options other than for hair. There currently isn't a zoom function during character creation, so it's hard to see appearance differences. For names, it allows a first name and a last name. This was neat because most games only allow a first name. For the available races, there are Aven, Heartlander, Ostenian, Stoigmari, Draug, Riven, Goblin, Hobbe, and Orc. For classes, there are Channeler, Warder, Gunner, and Arcanist.
After the tutorial, it put me in the middle of a huge city. I was immediately overwhelmed and amazed at the same time. I was amazed because the graphics were very good, especially the spell details, for a browser-based game. The textures were also very detailed. I was overwhelmed because most RPG's start the player in a small area. I felt lost and didn't know which direction to go, but was able to find several quests nearby. I'm not sure if it's just because this is the alpha test, but I was able to get quests that were significantly higher level than me. This resulted in me getting a bunch of quests and feeling lost even more because I didn't know where to go to complete those quests. There didn't seem to be any quest tracker on the map, nor was there any kind of large map. To find my way around the city, there was only a minimap. There does seem to be a button for a large map though, but it currently doesn't do anything.
Something else I noticed while in the city are ambient sounds. This really made the city feel alive. There are sounds of steam, trains, voices on loudspeakers, and more.
Final Thoughts on City of Steam Sneak Peek
For an alpha test, I thought it was very smooth and successful. I was expecting there to be server problems and many game breaking bugs, but everything was pretty stable. There is a forum for bug reporting and suggestions and many of the players post there. The developers respond to each thread and it really makes the players feel they are making a difference in the development of the game. This is nice because with games from bigger companies, you simply report bugs and don't get any kind of response. Mechanist Games is a company that really cares for its players and it shows in their game, City of Steam.
You can read full review here.
Subscribe to Daily Browser Games Reviews!