UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Neo Steam Overview
Neo Steam is a unique free-to-play MMORPG with a steampunk theme. Much of the game plays like a traditional fantasy game but the appearance of steam tanks, subway trams, and hot air balloons adds to the atmosphere. New players must choose between two factions who vie for control of a powerful resource called “neosteam”. The Republic of Rogwel is an industrialist nation with powerful machinery, while the Elerd Kingdom preserves its ties with nature and magic. Each nation claims a separate continent while a third landmass, Taxn, is contested territory where large and small battles take place between players. The same seven races and four starting classes are available to both factions, though they have different second classes, which become available at level 10.
Male Races - Human, Pom, Lupine, Tarune,
Female Races - Taxn Human, Lyell, Elf, Pom
Basic Classes - Warrior, Mystic, Scout, Machinist
Rogwel Classes - Crusader, Templar, Arcanist, Evoker, Shadowreaver, Warden, Artificer, Gadgeteer
Elerd Classes - Vanguard, Justicar, Sorcerer, Animator, Nightstalker, Strider, Galvanist, Tinkerer
Neo Steam Screenshots
Neo Steam Featured Video
Neo Steam Review
By Erhan Altay
Neo Steam was first introduced to the West in early 2008 through the GamenGame open beta, but the publisher that picked it up, Game Network, never got around to releasing it. Months went by with little news, and fans of the steampunk MMORPG were left frustrated. When all hope seemed lost, Atlus announced that it had acquired the license. Most of you have probably heard the name Atlus before – they’re a major publisher of console RPGs. Hopefully their professional approach carries over to their new online portal, where Neo Steam is now hosted for the North American market.
Steampunk is a small niche genre inspired by Victorian era machines that were powered by heated water vapor (better known as steam). Clunky land vehicles and airplanes that look as though they are about fall apart give the world of Chrysalis a unique style that can’t be found in any other MMORPG to date. The trouble is that the steampunk elements are not emphasized enough. Besides the mechanist class, all races and classes are generic fantasy stock. Before selecting a race or class, players have to choose between two warring factions – the Republic of Rogwel or the Elerd Kingdom. The difference between the two is mostly cosmetic; Rogwel is more industrial and beginners start in an open plain area, while Elerd is more mystical, with an emphasis on magic and nature. Elerd starting locations are more generally more forested. While each nation has the same set of beginner classes, they provide slightly different bonuses – for example, Elerd Mystics have more intelligence than their Rogwel rivals. Players looking to craft the best possible character should read more about these bonuses in the wiki, but for most players, the only important factor is making sure all your friends are on the same side. While there are multiple servers, your faction pick applies to all servers and characters on the account.
Appearance customization in Neo Steam is rather limited, mainly due to the fact that most races are restricted to one gender. Elves can only be female while humans are all male. The one multi gender race are the Pom, a furry midget race that excel as machinists. There are a few face and hair styles to pick from, but no more than you would find in an old 2D game, which is a shame. The game supports a large range of hardware, which means the game can look either passable or impressive depending on the strength of your machine. While it is only now being officially released, Neo Steam is not a cutting edge game; it was first made available a year ago in the West and was available in Korea even before that. The graphics are not as impressive as other recent Asian free-to-play games like Perfect World or Atlantica Online. Like Knight Online, Neo Steam pulls the classic trick of showing off the classes in high level gear during character creation, so don’t be fooled by the machinist’s cool black/green suit.
A Romp Through the Fields
Neo Steam lacks a formal tutorial, but this is for the best, as the control scheme and interface should be familiar to anyone with prior gaming history. Movement can be done through the classic point-and-click method or with the keyboard, but even players who prefer the keyboard will likely end up using the mouse since keyboard movement feels buggy and unresponsive – turning side to side or going backwards causes more delay than it should. I found myself ‘stuck’ on trees and other obstacles more than once and since the same bug was present during last year’s open beta, I don’t have much hope of it ever being corrected. The interface has a sci-fi feel to it, with sleek silver bars, composed of your standard character, inventory, and skills menus. New characters don’t start with much in terms of gear, but they’re placed next to an NPC that has a short series of quests that stock the player with necessary equipment. The first of these quests simply involve equipping a weapon, while the next two are kill quests. Combat in Neo Steam is generally fast-paced but relies heavily on spells and skills. The starting skills have fast cooldowns and low mana/stamina costs but do nearly ten times as much as regular hits.
Skills that Kill
Spell-casters have an early game advantage since they can one-shot monsters from a distance and move right to the next target. Gold is automatically looted, which is helpful, but items must be looted manually. All classes will be able to take on monsters several levels higher than themselves during the early stages which, along with the fast experience rate, keeps progression brisk. The trouble with this is that things are just too easy for the first dozen levels. After completing the first kill quest, players receive a gift box that contains equipment and accessories, and another gift box which can be opened when a certain level is reached. This is a common feature in MMORPGs and helps all players stay well-equipped, but discourages early level trade and teamwork. As players hunt and complete quests, they receive both experience and TP (training points.) Each level, an SP (stat point) is awarded. TP and SP are required to learn new skills and raise the rank of existing skills, but they cannot be used just anywhere. Trainers are located near cities that place players into odd machines from which the skill menu can be accessed and skills can be trained.
Earning Your Station
At level 10 players can pick their primary class. Each character will have two options depending on their faction and base class. This leads to a total of sixteen classes, though the classes of the two nations are very similar. Each nation is on a separate continent but access to the third, contested continent (Traxn) is made available fairly early on. While on the continent of continent of Traxn, players can be attacked by all members of the opposite faction, regardless of level. This area has monsters of all levels and is actually the starting area of the Traxn Human race. The two factions at war model may be overused, but it works well in Neo Steam. The only times I felt the need to work together with my fellow players was when a higher level Rogwel warrior killed me while I was hunting. PvP may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those looking for a World of Warcraft style RvR (realm vs. realm) experience, Neo Steam is well worth checking out.
Final Verdict: Good
Neo Steam is a solid MMORPG with a unique theme, large game world and enough PvP elements to keep players coming back for more. The occasional bug and balance issue do not prevent Neo Steam from being an enjoyable experience.
Neo Steam Videos
Neo Steam Opening Cinematic
Neo Steam Beginner Footage
Neo Steam Gameplay Footage
Neo Steam Gameplay Trailer
Neo Steam System Requirements
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: Pentium 3 800 MHz
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 2.9 GB
Graphics Card: GeForce 4 MX 64mb
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: Pentium 4 1.0 GHz or better
RAM: 1 GB or more
HDD: 3.5 GB
Graphics Card: GeForce 4 TI or better