Genre: RTS, Tower Defense/strong>
Developer: Blowfish Studios
Publisher: Blowfish Studios
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4 [Reviewed]
Release Date: 17th January 2017
Siegecraft Commander is the newest game by Blowfish Studios adding a twist to the classic tower defense game. The game has two modes, campaign and multiplayer. Campaign gives you the choice of two different adventures to choose from. One follows the Knights from Freemoi and the other follows the Lizard Men.
Speaking honestly, this game does not have a ton to offer in the story department. Essentially, In the knight’s story, the player crash lands their flying ship into a strange territory. From there the player quickly meets the quirky cast that fills you in on the “story” in between levels. These characters become annoying very fast since the voice acting is not the best quality. Sadly, voice acting does not improve in the Lizard Men campaign as I hoped for. This 2nd campaigns story is based around the player’s group and their quarrel with surrounding tribes. It’s a shame that the story arc for these were not better constructed. Having a good story can make an okay game great and sometimes a great game even better, but this is something Blowfish Studios fall short to deliver.
While Siegecraft Commander is not your typical tower defense game, it has many similar characteristics of its predecessors. The main objective is to defend your towers while destroying all of your opponent’s towers. This is done by launching “Booombah” or “TNT” (depending on the campaign you are playing) from one of your Outpost Towers by using an invisible arrow to direct the explosive you are throwing. This same mechanic is used for creating new towers. Essentially, you pick a tower to be built, pick a direction to build it, and then let that sucker fly. An alternative to throwing explosives is creating an armory tower to spawn soldiers. Like most RTS games Siegecraft Commander has a “Tada” noise that is played every time a soldier is spawned. This noise alone drove me to use other towers when working towards victory in battle. Siegecraft Commander has several towers to choose from which allow for different types of gaming style. The Outpost Tower seemed to be the most crucial tower in the game. The main benefit to this tower is that there is almost no recharge time for its attack, plus in order to create any other tower in the game you need to create an Outpost Tower first. Many matches can be easily won by building as many Outpost Towers as fast as you can. Although this may cause an almost guaranteed victory, it makes for dull gameplay.
While at first it is fun to launch towers in all directions you learn very quickly one of the most important mechanics of the game; all of your towers are connected and if a tower is destroyed all towers created ahead of that tower are destroyed as well. Although this feature is a nice touch, it can get rather frustrating when you have a string of eight towers disintegrate because you forgot to bomb that one enemy soldier. Speaking honestly though, it is very satisfying when you do the same to your opponent. One of the biggest nuisances Siegecraft Commander suffers from is when you destroy one tower chain another one pops up. This is however how the game is supposed to work. During the end of each campaign level, it is hard to not find yourself in a 10-minute stalemate between you and the AI. When one tower is destroyed another will pop up. Getting lucky, or building the right tower is sometimes all it takes to win a level. While it is understandable that the AI in Siegecraft Commander is trying to mimic how a human would play, it is easy to become infuriated with the back and forth since getting to that point will have taken about 20 minutes to get to. One of the most disheartening parts of the game was the tower firing mechanic which was fun at first, but then really started to show how broken it was in moments you needed it the most. Do you need to shoot precisely through a canyon to destroy an enemy tower? Think again. You are going to spend between 10 and 15 seconds whispering sweet nothings to your joystick until it aims in the right direction. This can be VERY frustrating!
Multiplayer in Siegecraft Commander, although deserving a kudos for having compatibility between PC and Playstation, is more of the same. If you are into playing all on all of the same maps you played in single player, then it is worth checking out. However, you might have a hard time finding players as it seems like it is very easy receive an error message when looking for matches. In the multiplayer menu you have three options, Custom Game, Quick Play Real-Time, and Quick Play Turn-Based. Outside of this, multiplayer really does not have much to offer. There is a leveling up system that can be used to show your multiplayer ranking against the world. Although, if you are the type of person who could care less about that kind of stuff then Siegecraft Commander’s multiplayer might fall a little flat.
Many things in Siegecraft Commander are easy to fall in love with like its tower building feature and chain tower feature. It was even easy to enjoy the quirky art of the game, but in-between levels it was hard to tolerate the poor voice acting and troublesome controls. On an ending note, Siegecraft Commander was a refreshing new spin on tower defense games. If you are looking for a game that will be fun to mindlessly play in your free time, then I would consider picking it up. However, if you are not looking for a game that could be easily an App Store game then it might be best to look somewhere else for your next gaming fix.