The original Steamfantry dates back about half a century ago. It was during these clockwork ages that the first serialization of war machines began taking advantage of limbic technologies. These barely yielding heavy iron armors got equipped with piston muscles. A simple, but sturdy design, which still provides unmatched defensive abilities and is nearly indestructible.
The defensive Steamfantry went obsolete when the empire started to focus more on the development of mobile units to quickly decide battles for themselves, so the old technology was not up-to-date with the new strategies. After the enemy had adapted to these highly offensive tactics however, the need for a strong defensive units arose again, and the quick solution was to retrofit the old suits of armor.
The newly adjusted Steamfantry proved to be stunningly effective. In the battlefields of the cold North the engine and pistons counteracted glaciation and kept the pilot nice and cozy in unbearable heat. Said engines were smaller, more powerful, and fuelled by diesel; giving the units speed and mobility, completely overshadowing its predecessor.
The most efficient way to disable the adjusted Steamfantry is to push it over. Against such acts it can brace its massive bladed shield into the ground to gain additional stability. That is, if anyone manages to get through the fire of the calamitous minigun mounted to it's arm.
And even if the unit is downed, the surviving chances of the soldier are fairly large, the pilot must only await the support of allied forces.
Also, it would be neat if there was a more "advanced" version of this armor further down the timeline, with similar components, but looking like it was designed by Raymond Loewy at the height of the art deco design movement, with a stainless steel "chromed toaster" finish instead of copper and brass.
The universe for which this design is intented actually don't has any artdeko, there are more neorenaissance and gothic elements.
Here is an actual steam-powered "suit" design from 1917; cyberneticzoo.com/man-amplifie… just the bare minimum for mobility (hardly). The power-pack on the back idea is just the logical choice it seems.
It's "human" centered and there is the human inventiveness and there are machines - all of this emphasizes the scenario, while it still leaves space for some fantasy and sci-fi concepts.
Bioshock (but just the first installment of the series) is a game which deeply awed me.
First of all it falls in this time, it brings up a lot of concepts which I'd say is very worthwhile to think of - therefore it's also one of the very few games I played which made me think about the game outside the game - and I just really love it if a game provides first and foremost just entertainment, but has then also a fair bit more to offer if you want to delve a bit deeper.
This is the way how I feel Bioshock inspired me