All PC gamers should be aware of a title by the name of Dungeon Siege. A traditional dungeon crawling RPG at heart, it managed to build on its simplistic point and click style of hack and slash gameplay and be one of the most thoroughly addictive titles in recent memory.
A sequel, which simply crammed in more of the same, swiftly followed and managed to attain a number of awards. So coming from the same development team, Space Siege unsurprisingly has been anticipated by a hefty number of PC gamers eager to add another slice of this addictive brand of action.
So it’s hugely disappointing that Space Siege decides to neglect to include a lot of what made Dungeon Siege such a fantastic experience. Gone is just about every ounce of character customisation at the start and as you progress through the game. Missing is any semblance of deep storyline and NPC interaction, and just about every ounce of fun has been ripped out.
The story itself has its obvious differences. Gone is the atmospheric "ye olde" tale of Dungeon Siege I and II, and in its place a generic sci-fi storyline that simply doesn’t cut the mustard. For fans of science fiction expecting a tale in keeping with some of the best examples that both film and books have given the sci-fi world, you’ll be sorely disappointed by this predictable twist ridden bore-a-thon.
The big talking point prior to release was the ability to replace your body parts with cybernetic enhancements. Though hacking off an arm to replace it with some form of super quick and powerful artificially created one seems intriguing, every such enhancement you make reduces your humanity.
Unfortunately, nothing is made of this supposed dramatic set of choices. Other than NPC characters regularly commenting that your character’s humanity is dwindling, it makes absolutely no difference to the story in total. Which ultimately leaves you to simply pick the most powerful and suitable option at each turn, fully realising that it won’t affect your progress one ounce.
To play this is Dungeon Siege-lite. Considering Space Siege has decided to neglect the RPG elements that made Dungeon Siege such an enjoyable experience, you might expect that a lot more would have been added to the battling. But again, you’d be sorely mistaken. As your pathetically stupid enemies simply come rushing towards you, you simply click on each in turn until they’re dead. Nothing more, and nothing less.
There’s no semblance of tactics involved, nor any form of more exciting control method to get to grips with. It’s just so incredibly dull that you’ll be tired of the whole thing long before the closing credits roll.
And then there are the visuals. Realising that this is a game released post the likes of Crysis is just incredible. The backdrops are a regular stream of greys and browns, and the overall lack of detail is simply incredible for a full price offering. It’s almost as if the development team gave up on the visuals halfway through production and neglected to tweak them before release.
For Dungeon Siege fans, this is a disappointment of epic proportions. All the fun of the aforementioned titles has been completely stripped out, and replaced by a dull, repetitive, horrifically bad looking, and absolute disaster of a title.
If it’s an action RPG you’re after, pick up Dungeon Siege I and II for a handful of quid and spend a few weeks enjoying the experience. Just don’t be tempted to give this a try expecting more of the same. It’s not fit to lace Dungeon Siege’s aging boots.