Space Siege Reviews

Four more reviews of Gas Powered Games' Space Siege are now available, and none of them are overly enthusiastic.
Boomtown 7/10.
Since it is skewed towards combat, you might expect SS to use the tried and trusted WASD scheme, with the mouse for aiming. Not so, as the little electronic rodent furnishes both movement and aiming, which can be a bit counter-intuitive. Left clicking directs your character while right clicking fires, but given that half of your enemies' attacks are ranged based and do a fair amount of damage, it's a system that doesn't work too well.

Basically, if you stop moving you become Kerak fodder, yet you cannot fire and move at the same time, so combat devolves into a juddering, stop-start circle strafe. A dodge feature has been implemented, but again you cannot fire while performing this manoeuvre, and if you want to specify the direction of the dodge you need to retrain your reticule away from the enemy and toward the spot you want to dodge to. If you don't, you'll end up dodging forwards, straight into the line of fire.
GameShark F.
For reasons unknown, Gas Powered Games went away from the formula which made the company a household name among PC gamers, abandoning the idea of traditional dungeon crawling loot. Instead of enemies dropping new equipment and unique items left and right, enemies drop a form of currency known as (upgrade parts) which you can use to upgrade one of your ten weapons you'll have access to throughout the game.

Each of these weapons is given to you at a pre-destined spot, meaning no matter how many bad guys you kill, you won't be getting a new gun until the game decides it's time for a new gun. That wouldn't be so bad on its own, but to compound matters, new guns don't necessarily mean better guns in Space Siege. You can get three new guns back-to-back-to-back, and still find that the first one is by far the best choice in combat. 5/10.
That's not to say that the game doesn't do some things well, however. There are a few cool touches, not least the Jade Empire-style Loot Hoover (I don't think that's the official term), which sucks any uncollected health packs or upgrade parts within range into your inventory at the touch of a key, saving you the trouble of wandering around to collect them all. The combat is dynamic and visceral, and it's nice to see your weapons fire stripping armour away from your target, giving your weapons a real sense of power and impact. The upgrade system, while simplistic, is well-balanced and implemented, preventing your character from becoming too powerful too quickly, plus the pace and length of the story is nicely judged - neither too short, nor obviously padded. The campaign may also be played in multiplayer co-op mode, presumably to provide extra longevity, since the game has a very gentle learning curve and won't pose too many problems in single-player, even for novice gamers. In fact, the game is astonishingly easy to sit down with and play, mainly due to the control set: almost everything you need to do to complete the game may be done via the mouse. Movement, combat and menu access is all mouse-driven, and you can even manipulate the camera using the mouse wheel and screen edge scrolling. Personally though, I would have preferred a Knights of Old Republic-style control set up with character movement bound to the keyboard, plus a more intuitive method of dodging fire, since Space Siege invariably has you dodge by leaping towards the enemy - not something I'd call tactically sound, by any means.
Strategy Informer (thanks, Blue's News).
That said, if you've really nothing better to do on a weekend then Space Siege will undoubtedly please the less-demanding action gamers amongst you. Combat is solid, and 4-player co-op support gleans some enhanced entertainment but nowhere near enough to raise the execution above anything approaching average. If you've not given Titan Quest or Diablo a try, there really isn't anything contained within Space Siege to make it worth your while.