"Blue Omega's Richard Gilbert tells us that Damnation is intended to be what he calls an "American epic" -- a work that draws out the myth and romance of this country's landscape in the manner that "The Lord of the Rings" did for the UK's. Which makes the task sound easy. Damnation's formula: Borrow equal parts steampunk and "alternate history" from your local lending library and make sure you've played Half-Life 2 and Bioshock. Stir gingerly, and let your imagination percolate.
The result is a weird take on turn-of-the-century America in which the Civil War blazed on for 40 years, birthing a brass-and-sprockets arms industry way ahead of its time. And as these things tend to go, the people selling the weapons have amassed a good deal of power and political ambition. Enter a man named Prescott, president of Prescott Standard Industries, and leader of the totalitarian-seeming third faction in what was once a simple Union/Confederate duality. After listening to the way his omnipresent voice issued forth from cog-powered speakers in Damnation's first stage, it was clear that Prescott is the game's Dr. Breen or Andrew Ryan."