Steampunk is a fictional aesthetic and genre based on steam technology. It is a form of science fiction combining futuristic science with Victorian era technology, appearance and social mores. Steampunk has proven surprisingly popular in recent years and has carved out a place for itself in many media outlets.
Video games are particularly accommodating to steampunk. Its emphasis on weird technology is well suited to gaming. Its aesthetic helps a game stand out. A focus on mysterious technology can serve gameplay in the form of gear and powers, or it can provide plot devices for the story. As such, many games make full use of the conventions and aesthetics of the steampunk genre.
10/10 These are billions of pits Steampunk technology against zombies
The zombie apocalypse genre and steampunk both enjoyed a period of popularity at the same time. The combination of the two is therefore natural. It’s billions is a survival strategy game set in a steampunk world overrun by zombies. The game plays with the conventions of the genre, established in the 22nd century.
The zombie apocalypse has caused technology to regress and change. The world’s last humans must fight back using outdated and bizarre technology. The unique combination of genres pays off. It’s billions is a tight, asymmetrical strategy game that tests the limits of a player’s skill and Victorian technology.
9/10 Dark Cloud 2 is a classic Steampunk RPG
black cloud 2 – also known as dark chronicle in some markets – is an action RPG from 2003. It actually predates the boom in popularity of steampunk, using the aesthetic in games very early on. However, it’s unafraid of its steampunk roots, set in an entirely Victorian-inspired world.
The game mixes steampunk and fantasy well. The divide is best seen in his characters. Princess Monika fights with a sword and magic. Mechanic Max uses a wrench and a gun. The game combines fantasy magic and storytelling in a steampunk world, and the combination works perfectly.
8/10 Civ V’s Empires Of The Smokey Skies Overhauls Its Base Game
Civilization V eschews steampunk for the most part. Its technology is based on real-world science or predictions of the future. The only exceptions are things like the giant death robot, obviously a lighthearted vision of future technology. A scenario in gods and kings expansion embraces the genre wholeheartedly.
Smoky Skies Empires is one of the most popular scenarios in gods and kings. Players enter an alternate Europe, undergoing an unusual and strange industrial revolution. It overhauls several core game mechanics, including the tech tree, to create an all-new experience. Although this is just a scenario, it will still take a player several hours to complete, and it offers great replayability.
7/10 Bioshock Infinite uses late Steampunk aesthetics
The Bioshock The series has always used alternate and futuristic versions of earlier technology. Bioshock and its direct sequel use Dieselpunk, specifically the Decopunk subgenre. Bioshock Infinitehowever, takes a much more Victorian-inspired and steampunk-inspired approach.
The game takes place just after the Victorian era, at the beginning of the 20th century. However, Columbia’s setting is deliberately separated from the world and from all social progress. Later in the game, his technology is revealed to be powered by quantum physics, with steam taking over the backseat. Nevertheless, the visuals and social conflicts of Bioshock Infinite are heavily indebted to the steampunk genre.
6/10 The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks Advances Hyrule Tech
The Legend of Zelda series is a classic example of fantasy. It uses swords, sorcery, magic, and demons in a world loosely inspired by medieval times. However, later games in the franchise change the genre somewhat. games like ghost hourglass and breath of the wild mix fantasy aesthetics with technology.
None as much as The Legend of Zelda: Spirit TracksNevertheless. Spiritual tracks presents a distinctly more industrialized Hyrule. The fantastical elements are undeniably there too. The titular spirit tracks run steam trains while binding demons beneath the world. This means that Link is an engineer in Spiritual trackssomething that wouldn’t fit in most Zelda Games.
5/10 Frostpunk is set in a Victorian post-apocalypse
frostpunk actually trying to date each other in the real world. It takes place in an alternate version of 1886. In frostpunk, Krakatoa and Mount Tambora erupted. This causes a volcanic winter that nearly destroys society. The player controls the leader of an expedition, who finds a huge coal generator to build a new society around.
The game engages with the Victorian era in both technology and morals. The player uses scientifically advanced Victorian technology to try to keep their people alive. But, at the same time, they can allow things like child labor or public executions, which were much more common in the 19th century. The game is highly regarded, with its aesthetic complementing excellent gameplay.
4/10 Thief combines Steampunk and Clock Punk
Steampunk fans have also revisited other historical periods. Other eras have had their technology made weird and futuristic. clockpunk is one of them, closely related to steampunk. Clockpunk leans into the technology of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, filling them with fantastical and futuristic clockwork.
The Thief uses both as part of its distinct Gothic aesthetic. Its unnamed London city is dotted with medieval demeanor, Victorian aesthetics and millennial technology. The games are also loved for their open gameplay and for being a pioneer in the stealth genre.
3/10 Amnesia: The Dark Descent takes a more realistic look at Steam technology
Many steampunk works, including games, have a decidedly modern feel. Despite its dated aesthetic, the technology tends to be reliable, convenient, and secure. Amnesia: The Dark Descent brings weird science and horror to the 19th century, but it highlights just how limited past technology was.
Alexander of Brennenburg, the villain of the game, comes from another dimension with superior technology. He tries to recreate it using the materials from the 1830s. The player can find several notes complaining about Earth’s limited technology at the time. Nevertheless, strange science creates a part of Amnesiais the beloved aesthetic. It perfectly contributes to its horror atmosphere.
2/10 Arcanum: Of Steamworks And Magick Obscura Advances A Fantasy Setting Hundreds of Years
The world of Arcane: From Steamworks and Magic Obscura is easy to confuse with a typical fantasy world. It is inhabited by humans, elves, gnomes, dwarves, etc. So naturally, magic plays an important role in the story. However, the world of Arcane is a single frame. It doesn’t just mix steampunk and fantasy; it creates a unique dynamic between them.
The incompatibility of technology and magic is key to the setting. Technology does not work in strong magic areas, and vice versa. As the world depends more and more on technology, magic becomes weaker and weaker. The game is loved for its unique approach to RPG gameplay. However, its distinctive steampunk frame is what makes it a classic.
1/10 Dishonored has a whale-powered industrial revolution
Dishonored is explicitly described as “whalepunk”, but the result is very similar to steampunk. It takes place in the Empire of the Isles, loosely inspired by Victorian Britain. Whale oil is used to power machinery, much like steam in steampunk. The effect is the same with robots and other futuristic technologies powered by Victorian resources.
Dishonored is different from many steampunk games because it doesn’t wrap its era. Its industrial cities are disgusting. Its nobility is classist and insensitive. The technology is unreliable and dangerous. This makes the Empire of the Isles one of the most distinctive settings in recent games, and Dishonored is an acclaimed title.
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