When I heard that Gas Powered Games (the company that brought us the remarkable Supreme Commander and Dungeon Siege) is working on a new action-RPG, I was really excited: insane artifacts, tons of monsters and multiple story paths are my kind of things, so I was prepared. Prepared for Space Siege, just to make it clear what game we’re talking about here.
Unfortunately, it would’ve been best if I had not started the game with such high anticipation because Space Siege does not bring any of the things mentioned about. The intro video, presenting you with a rather cliché but quite thrilling plot, manages to turn you into a real alien-Kerak hater and you’ll wish to start spreading some bullets ASAP. To sum things up, you see Earth being pulverized by this Kerak alien form and your ship, Armstrong, seems to be the only one to survive the attack. But it’s infested with aliens, too. And that’s when you have to jump you. “You” meaning Seth Walker, a combat engineer which seems to be the only survivor of the ship (but, of course, you’re not).
Your mission is quite obvious: destroy the aliens, save the human race and so on and so forth. The way you’ll do it, though, is not exactly thrilling – at least not after playing the games for about 30 minutes: basically all you have to do is keep clicking on the swarms of aliens attacking you, without having to worry for your life power, ammunition or anything similar. If you get killed, there’s no problem, you can automatically get respawned in the latest “health station” – which happen to be all over the ship, so it’s not a big deal at all. To make it even stranger, it appears that sometimes it’s better and easier if your character dies, since he is the only one respawning, and not the aliens.
Basically, this means that the challenge of the combat system brought by Space Siege is somewhere around zero. You don’t even have a difficulty setting to make your game harder, you can die at any given point and restart with an advantage over the hordes of Kerak – all you have to do is click like a mad man on aliens to shoot them and eventually use some of your special abilities – they do make your job much easier so I tried to play the game without using them too much.
There is one very (potentially) interesting part in Space Siege which, unfortunately, seems rushed and unfinished. You will get the option to enhance Seth Walker with different cybernetic parts (a leg here, a brand new little eye there) until you become a full robot with a cybernetic brain. However, the choice is all yours: go for an enhanced eye and gain a bonus to your attack power but lose an important part of your humanity or say no, tie a bandana on your head and start spreading bullets yelling “I am the son of Rambo!” (No, unfortunately, that ain’t possible either.)
The sad news is that, no matter if you choose to stay human or go for a full robot, there’s no change in the game you’re playing and nobody seems to notice (or care about) that. Basically, even if you become 100% robot, nothing will change – people will talk to you like they did before, you will talk and act like before… there is basically no gameplay change out of this whole thing so, if you want to go through the game smooth and fast, I’d suggest you to go full robot. You’ll get your stats improved a little and you’ll be watching the end game credits about 10 hours later.
And there are more strange things: the Health Stations are NEVER guarded, even though there seem to be millions of Kerak aboard the spaceship. Also, all the rooms on Armstrong are filled with conveniently-placed exploding barrels which, you’ve guessed it, make your life easier. Actually, the feeling you’ll have after playing Space Siege will be that of an experience intentionally made easier for you by the developers.