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Lock and load...
Space Siege is a new science fiction action role playing game for Windows PC. Basically, it's Dungeon Siege in Space, but with a few improvements. It was just recently released by Sega and is available in stores as well as on Steam.com.
The game begins with an excellent animated movie showing how an alien horde has attacked Earth and there aren't too many survivors left. A giant space battle is shown, then it zooms in on a smaller ship that has attached itself to a much larger vessel. This is where you come in. You play a soldier who is there to lead the rescue effort and try to restore order. What this amounts to is a combination of rescue missions and map exploration where you have to explore various facilities within the ship and turn stuff on. Along the way, you'll have to fight off swarms of aliens.
What I liked best about this game is that it's not another fantasy RPG. As much as I love games like Diablo II and Titan Quest, the whole hack-and-slash sword and armor thing gets old after a while. For a game like this to be set in outer space with aliens instead of ogres and spaceships instead of dungeons, it makes for a refreshing new take on the sometimes tired genre of fantasy action RPG's.
Another thing that really impressed me was the equipment aspect of the game. Instead of littering the ship with items you won't ever use, like cheap daggers and armor you constantly uncover in most fantasy games, this game lets you collect 'upgrade parts' that can be used to enhance weapons and armor. I thought this was an awesome way of letting the player decide how to improve the gameplay, and it doesn't leave things up to chance when it comes to randomly generating treasure. You will also pick up a few weapons and health recharges along the way, but most of what determines your character's power is set by the player. I like that.
I didn't find this game to be all that difficult, though at times it can be if you are impatient. The most effective strategy is not to take on too many aliens at once, otherwise they'll just surround you and pick you off. Although it isn't the most realistic game in terms of AI, it still works pretty well to use the old method of drawing out one or two from the crowd waiting to jump you.
One thing I didn't like so much about this game is that the levels were very linear. One of the big selling points of games like Diablo II and Titan Quest are that they allow you to freely explore the maps. Since you are confined to a spaceship in this game, you are stuck going from room to room and will encounter many locked doors. Ultimately, this kills the replay value of the game because there won't be anything new for you to see the second time around. With games like this, that tends to make their price drop pretty quickly.
The graphics are excellent throughout the game, though it will take a PC with some extra horsepower to make it work. I'm running an AMD x2 5000+ system with 3 gigs of RAM and an Nvidia 8400 GS video card, and the game drags a little with most of the detail settings turned low. However, I've just ordered myself an Nvidia 8600 GT card that should help take up that slack. I wouldn't try running this game without a pretty decent machine, otherwise it may be too jumpy to play. I think part of the reason why it runs slowly is because the screen is always busy with animations that help keep it pleasing to the eye.
In the end, I enjoyed Space Siege. However, I would recommend you wait a little while before buying it because the price will probably drop pretty quickly, mainly because it has very little replay value. Ultimately, it just doesn't have the staying power of the more popular games in this genre. It was still nice to play something more than just another fantasy RPG.
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Space Siege: Review Of Space Siege