Game Review: Besiege

assesses Spiderling Studios’ medieval building game

Besiege - Johannes Huber 2

Rating: ★★★★☆
Platform: PC
Release Date: 28th January 2015
Developer: Spiderling Studios

If you’ve ever played Kerbal Space Program and thought it didn’t include sufficient deaths and explosions, Besiege is the game for you. Besiege is Kerbal’s medieval, psychotic twin; a game for engineers and those with enough patience to figure out the physics of the game.

That being said, while Kerbal Space Program is a genuinely complicated game that appeals to your intellect (and your ability to follow YouTube tutorials into orbital mechanics), Besiege appeases your basic instincts by letting you construct the deadliest machines you can dream of.

Each level of Besiege sets you a specific task: destroy X, move Y, and then puts a few hurdles in your path. You then get to build a machine designed to let you complete your mission. More often than not, you end up blowing yourself up, which is incredibly aggravating yet also strangely satisfying.

Sometimes the solution is simply to add more spinning circular saws to the front of your construction. Other times you may require a complicated catapult system – or maybe just spinning death blades attached to your wheels…

You can quite literally solve problems in your own unique way. There is a restriction on how big your machine can be, but other than that, the game does not care what you do. While I constructed a cart with blades, saws, flame throwers and cannons, a friend of mine created a rotating arm with saws attached to it. On YouTube there are examples of fully functional helicopters, transformers, and even a giant killer duck.

Sadly though, Besiege is an early access game, and as is the case with many early access games, it has issues. Many features are still being added, and sometimes your machine just breaks itself. There are only 15 levels so far, and while more are on their way, if you are a talented builder, you may find yourself running out of new content within a few hours of starting.

On the bright side, the game only costs five pounds on Steam. Even for a very early access game, that’s cheap. The graphics, too, are absolutely stunning. The minimalist environment works incredibly well with the beautifully rendered explosions. Also, in the short time I have owned the game, the developers have added several new ways you can go about murdering things. The big issue with many Kickstarter and early access games is that the development process is incredibly slow and sometimes it simply ceases. So far, Besiege’s developers seem to be actively improving their game.

One feature that should be highlighted is the player’s ability to slow down time. As your machines become greater and more complicated, the game (at least for me) began to strain to calculate and render all the elements. Equally, once you start setting custom hotkeys for all your different wheels, cannons and other controllable features, controlling them all at real time becomes a challenge. Slowing down time a bit solved both issues for me.

Perhaps you are far more adept at controlling your construct than me. For five pounds, Besiege is worth purchasing.

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