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News & Features Discussion  » [Review] City of Steam: Lacking the Inspiration to Be Something More

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16298

OP  7/24/13 8:48:07 PM#1

We've been playing Mechanist Games' City of Steam for the past few weeks and have been sharing some thoughts in our Review in Progress articles. Both articles were preparation for today's official review. See what we think of City of Steam and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.

City of Steam grabs players aesthetically right from the start with one of the most beautiful original soundtracks in the MMO space today. Daniel Sadowski's work is simply magnificent and evokes a sense of steampunk. If you've heard any of his work, you understand what is meant by that statement. It's got a haunting and spectral quality that also prods players to action with a sense of urgency underlying the peaceful overtones.

Read more of Suzie Ford's City of Steam Review.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Novice Member

Joined: 7/13/12
Posts: 9

7/25/13 10:43:12 AM#2

I totally agree with you Suzie (omg did a donkey just fly?). As a steampunk fan, I've been trying my hardest to like this game. Sadly, there's not much to like after the first hour. Everything just feels the same. I found myself going afk for long periods of time, because the game just could not hold my attention.

I think the straw that broke the camels back for me was the cash shop. The game has no shame. One look at the cash shop and you immediately know what they're all about. This is the stereotypical cash grabbing, steal your mom's credit card, f2p game that give the genre a bad rep.

I waited so long to play this game and the only good thing I found out because of it is that I will never play another f2p game again. I'd rather pay $15 a month and get all the content and professionalism of AAA mmo. Reference Final Fantasy XIV



Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/04
Posts: 176

7/25/13 10:53:55 AM#3

I would have to agree about your overview and rating of the game.


Some things that I have seen that are game rating down grades for me.

     They are seem to be slow in patching fixes for quest breaking bugs, such at the gate opener in last part of Break Eggs quest where instead of opening the gate it acts like a vault drop box giving you items and money.  This has been happening for last two or three weeks.


     Around levels 8 you start to run out of new quests and are sent on guests that are two to five levels above you.  I am now seeing this happening with my level 20 being sent to level 22 to 24 dungeons.


Over all the game is fun but could be so much better.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/28/13
Posts: 79

7/25/13 11:08:46 AM#4

Extremely low budget World of Warcraft knock-off. How is it, that humanity's taste and desire has slipped to the very bottom? Do we not have standards anymore? Has anyone not seen the latest games, game engines that are available in 2013?

Well, as they say, appeal to the dumbest person in the room, you know everyone can do it.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2980

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

7/25/13 11:12:13 AM#5
Originally posted by Krighton

Extremely low budget World of Warcraft knock-off. How is it, that humanity's taste and desire has slipped to the very bottom? Do we not have standards anymore? Has anyone not seen the latest games, game engines that are available in 2013?

Well, as they say, appeal to the dumbest person in the room, you know everyone can do it.

... so according to this logic, I should assume an auto mobile is a cheap knock off of a postage envelop? Since they both can be used to hold something despite being VASTLY different? Just curious since that WoW remark seemed just as far fetched and silly and made absolutely NO SENSE.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

7/25/13 11:12:53 AM#6

I probably agree with the article. I thought the world was cool. More than cool in fact. If you have a chance, watch the fly through of the gear driven world. The steam punk element was pretty well done too. Steam punk is largely a visual, artistic thing, and they've pretty much got it nailed.

The game play just feels like any other game though. Even if the world and the quests are pretty inspired, the rest of the game play feels like I've "been there and done that". Only it was in the browser with a kind of wonky control scheme.

I think they did a good job, and I think they could take the game someplace good, especially with the open world areas, but I don't think it's there yet.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.


MMO Business Correspondent

Joined: 2/16/09
Posts: 1151

7/25/13 11:15:06 AM#7
Originally posted by Krighton

Extremely low budget World of Warcraft knock-off. How is it, that humanity's taste and desire has slipped to the very bottom? Do we not have standards anymore? Has anyone not seen the latest games, game engines that are available in 2013?

Well, as they say, appeal to the dumbest person in the room, you know everyone can do it.

I think I need a nap after trying to wrap my brain around this stretch.

Check out my monthly column on


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/21/04
Posts: 205

7/25/13 11:33:47 AM#8

Sadly I agree. Actually alot of the pitfalls and downsides in this game, ie character customization and boring combat were quite the opposite in closed beta. I had more fun in the beta versions than the final release for COS. They changed and homogenized so much of the game that it lost its spark and in turn lost me.

I was disappointed because I really was rooting for this indie steampunk game to work. It seems when Reality Squared picked up COS  it is also when all the joy and excitement was taken out as well. The cash shop, the repetitive scenery and grind, the inclusion of the energy system ( a finite resource that once used up must be refilled by finding rare dropping energy potions or purchasing in store). Another example of business models and the bottom line overriding and erasing enjoyable gameplay.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 1012

7/25/13 11:38:28 AM#9
Plays like a poorly made Diablo or Torchlight.  Looks, feels, and plays like a very cheap game.  Another neat concept used as a cheap money grab. 


Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 3774

7/25/13 11:58:18 AM#10

"Game has quite nice music and doesn't crash. Play is repetitive and boring and the Cash Shop is horrendous."

But, it is F2P !!

So suddenly an awful game get's an above average score (6/10) because, being free, it gives "good value for money" ?

wtf ?


This is the worst side-effect of F2P, imho. Nobody cares if the game is good or bad anymore, just as long as it's F2P...


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 2233

May the game be ever in your favor.

7/25/13 11:58:34 AM#11
I so wanted to like this game because I've been waiting for a good steampunk MMO forever... It looks like that's just a dream as no gaming company wants to create an AAA steampunk MMO... The saddest part of it all is this game was actually fun to play in CB, but when R2Games started hosting it the game was completely changed. The developers should be ashamed of themselves for such an obvious sell out such as this.




Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 7148

7/25/13 12:48:11 PM#12

Good review Suzie.  Thanks.

I'm still disappointed in the title.  Everyone has already hit on the main problems of repetition and blandness.   Like you and others have said it was a lot more fun in the alpha and early beta stages than it is now and it had far less content to enjoy at that point.

Somewhere something went horribly wrong.  Mechanist has made a few key and abysmal design changes.  R2 is one of the worst publishers in the industry and has adversely affected the design and feel of the game despite claims otherwise by Mechanist.  Seriously, if R2 can make Nexon and Frogster look generous, something is very wrong.

The deeper problem is that Mechanist has chosen to stubbornly keep some of their worst feature changes.  The "energy" system is a direct design ripoff of Facebook / Zynga style energy depletion schemes they use as a monetizing angle.  They shifted from a world where you could solo, group, craft, collect, or pvp and basically do what you want to a very linear funneled "force-group" gear treadmill style.  I think the latter, combined with the gutting of features from key systems (armour mods, collections, etc) really took the devotion and drive out of the core supporters.

This is one of a few Indie titles that have left me feeling burnt.  I'm not so enthusiastic about Indies now and am even more cautious about claims they make.


Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 3480

I actually still like MMORPGs

7/25/13 2:47:28 PM#13

Originally posted by SpottyGekko

"Game has quite nice music and doesn't crash. Play is repetitive and boring and the Cash Shop is horrendous."

But, it is F2P !!

So suddenly an awful game get's an above average score (6/10) because, being free, it gives "good value for money" ?

wtf ?


This is the worst side-effect of F2P, imho. Nobody cares if the game is good or bad anymore, just as long as it's F2P...

If you think 6/10 is an above average don't read a lot of reviews. a 5.9/10 would be considered mediocre by most sites. While 5 is the median score, it is not the average.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/13
Posts: 77

7/25/13 7:13:32 PM#14
Thanks for the review Suzie nice read. How many hours did you put in BTW out of curiosity? Haven't tried it out yet, not sure if I want to now hehe. Well written, industry needs to step it up, glad MMORPG keeps it real with the reviews.

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/06
Posts: 1014

7/25/13 7:44:50 PM#15

"It's hard to underrate a free-to-play title and for that reason alone, the game scores above average"


there is something wrong here


Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/11
Posts: 350

"Antherea Online will see the light, eventually"

7/25/13 8:24:58 PM#16
another example of why developers should sell their games by their own, isntead of selling it like a slave to a publisher........

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/11/10
Posts: 50

7/25/13 11:23:34 PM#17

The cash shop made me leave 5 minutes into the game. Free to play games are quickly turning into "free, but dude, you won't get anything fun unless you pay" games.  Either that or they just flat out pay to win rubbish.


Cash grab junk


/next game


Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/05
Posts: 141

7/26/13 5:29:19 AM#18

It was actually good in cb and needed just more tuning and content.

But after the sell out to r2 the game went to shit


Novice Member

Joined: 3/25/13
Posts: 22

7/26/13 1:10:29 PM#19
R2 killed CoS. 

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 3

7/27/13 3:24:15 AM#20
Originally posted by Tryn2behave2
R2 killed CoS. 

This is the reason.Before R2,game was nice with more quests,nice game concepts ready to be in game.Now is so plain,that is a shame because game would have potential

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