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Turn-based tactical steampunk combat arrives with Steam Marines 2 now in Early Access

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Worthless Bums has just recently released the followup to their 2014 title Steam Marines, now in 3D and with an aim to be a more complex game than the original. Note: Key provided by the developer.

Steam Marines 2 brings you to distant star systems and planetoids square in the path of conflict between the Tor alien race and the banner of sentient machines. Build your crew of marines to deactivate the station shields and take it from enemy hands.

The biggest change here of course is the graphical style. The original has some rather lovely pixel art, which has been thrown out in favour of going fully 3D and it's much shinier. Since it's in Early Access, it's not yet finished but you can play through a full repeatable campaign.

Feature Highlight:

  • Permadeath - take care of your marines or die trying.
  • Turn-based combat - master movement and fire tactics.
  • Procedural generation - ship interiors and planetside levels.
  • Factions - human, alien, and robot units with their own gear and tactics.
  • Customization - marines with names, portraits, and gear.

I've been playing Steam Marines 2 on and off for a while and it certainly gives some XCOM-like vibes, although the feel of it and the setup is vastly different. The eerie music, with enemies moving in the shadows during their turn and even the aiming camera certainly looks a bit like XCOM:

There's no tutorial currently, so you have to learn as you go and it's a little rough around then edges, however I can see the promise as a big fan of squad-building and turn-based tactical battles. I've given the developer some honest feedback on what needs improving. It's the little things mostly, but it's a solid and fun start once you really get going.

You can pick up Steam Marines 2 on itch.io or Steam. Their plan is to release in full sometime next year.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
3 Likes, Who?
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Tchey 20 November 2019 at 12:31 pm UTC
Following the development since a couple of years i think, this game is a mess.

Thi GUI is quite terrible, controls are not well responding, squad managment is not intuitive, starting a campaign is weird, and other things.

Also it's slow and small between each update.

I want to like it, but so far, i don't.

Maybe with Steam EA it will get better attention.
Nanobang 20 November 2019 at 12:49 pm UTC
I really like the look of this. I mean artistically. Look at those character portraits. What I find interesting is that it looks like Worthless Bums is planning a trilogy where each iteration is done in a different style, and every one in Linux!!
Liam Dawe 20 November 2019 at 1:17 pm UTC
TcheyFollowing the development since a couple of years i think, this game is a mess.

Thi GUI is quite terrible, controls are not well responding, squad managment is not intuitive, starting a campaign is weird, and other things.

Also it's slow and small between each update.

I want to like it, but so far, i don't.

Maybe with Steam EA it will get better attention.
You do have to keep in mind before now, it wasn't even classed as enough for Early Access on Steam. The whole idea of Early Access is for games that aren't finished - with some developers muddying that by putting almost finished games in it.

As for controls, they've always been highly responsive for me? Weird.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 20 November 2019 at 1:41 pm UTC
da_habakuk 20 November 2019 at 1:32 pm UTC
looks a bit like incubation and xcom... eager to try it out
Tchey 20 November 2019 at 3:47 pm UTC
I actually didn't play it for a few months, and starting a new game now, it's still very counter intuitive in my opinion.

Creating the main character you have barely no information, you have to browse between classes instead of seeing them all in one ordered screen, adjusting stat points without option to cancel but redo it all...

The main mission screen, you see 2 marines, and it's confusing to do anything. Select the galaxy map, manage the squad, recruit, know what kind of marines you have, what is the mission etc.

The tactical part do feels better to be honest, even if i don't like the camera and GUI.

I mean, the game could be great later, but after seeing several updates and their results, i'm not fully confident.
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