Space Siege Demo Review

I know, I know - it's only a demo so how could I possibly pass judgement on it? Well, demos are sneak peeks into what the final game is going to be like, so basically it's the closest legitimate means for the public to try before they buy. Of course take this review (and the demo itself if you play it) with a grain of salt since the final game may be better, or it may be worse.

However, based on what I've seen, this is the score I'll be giving:

Sound (2/5)
Pretty standard sci-fi sound effects with average voice-acting.

Music (2/5)
I can't really hear the music but it seems to be standard sci-fi fare. At least it's not so annoying that it distracts you from the gameplay.

Graphics (3/5)
Graphics wise, the game looks a bit dated but it mostly looks good enough. The addition of a physics engine to this genre of game is a nice touch though and fairly novel, resulting in the shooting of barrels and gas cylinders to bounce around the map causing explosive havoc.

Plot (1/5)
The plot is a little worse than average since not only is it the typical humans fighting aliens that are trying to exterminate us but at least from the demo, there wasn't much evidence of complex NPC interaction at all. Fair enough, the demo probably skimped on these details since it's basically a combat tutorial, nevertheless, it would've been nice for Gas Powered Games to advertise their NPC interaction system.

The introduction of a dilemma on whether to improve your body with cybernetics at the expense of your Humanity is admittedly interesting however I don't see how this is going to be balanced. In fact, from this demo it would seem that there's only benefits to be gained in losing your Humanity (upgrading yourself in this demo results in you being able to lift a minigun whereas you wouldn't be able to do so as your average Joe Human). Also improving your body with cybernetics isn't exactly a novel idea as this idea was already played around with in another Diablo clone turned sci-fi called "Restricted Area".

Gameplay (2/5)
Gameplay seems to be pretty standard Dungeon Siege or Diablo fare, except you're firing an assault rifle. Points can be set in improving damage done by your weapons or special abilities. Unfortunately the demo didn't give any opportunity to play around with your robot companion.

Replayability (2/5)
Hard to tell how replayable this game is. It doesn't seem you have any ability to customise the appearance of your main character in single player mode and you would only hope that they have the option in multiplayer (which was disabled for the demo) - a squad of four Seth Walkers, all identical in appearance smells of laziness. As with previous Siege games, levels aren't procedurally generated so maps will be pretty much the same each time you play them. With little prospect of customer characterisation (besides choosing how much Humanity to sacrifice and what upgrades to put on your robot) - I can't see there being too much scope for replayability beyond what is the norm.

Polish (1/5)
It actually probably would've been better if the developers locked the view of the player so that it was similar to the Diablo games. Giving the user the ability to pan the camera, which may seem like a good idea at first, becomes quite cumbersome, and if you're not looking at a certain angle at a certain time, you can miss the fact you're being attacked by hostile aliens. The demo also ran suprisingly slow on my machine - around 30FPS on a machine with 8800GT and a dual core E8400 with 4GB of RAM. The visual aspects of the UI though are good with big icons and minimal visual clutter.

Overall - 38%
From the looks of it this game isn't going to be necessarily a bad game - you wouldn't expect that from a company like Gas Powered Games which isn't exactly a stranger to the games development scene. However it doesn't seem to be anything really special either besides a revamped Dungeon Siege in space. Multiplayer may be fun and that may help to breathe some more appeal into this title but at the moment, I'm expecting a well polished, but so-so action point 'n' click RPG.