E3 2007
Space Siege and Universe at War

Russ Pitts | 16 Jul 2007 21:10
E3 2007 - RSS 2.0

Our time at Sega's E3 suite was largely unimpressive, but I did find a couple of gems hidden in the back, in their "PC Room."

The PR flak almost didn't take me there, concerned, I guess , that it would eb a waste of my time. Barred the way, asking if there was anything else I'd rather see instead, anything I hadn't seen. When I told her Id been through the whole suite, had a few minutes to spare between appointments and that I really did want to see what they kept in there (Really. I really do.), she relented. Grudgingly. And handed me off to someone else to make the introductions.

It was worth the effort.

The PC Room was dark. Cave dark, and inside were about a dozen PCs of various manufacture, all with the happy, little Logitech keyboards sporting an LED display above the F keys. Behind the keyboards were a half dozen developers doing their best Mission Control act, entertaining the one, sole journalist brave enough (or persistent enough) to break the PR flak barricade.

What they were showing her was Space Siege. Developed by Gas Powered, and driven by the same general aesthetic behind the best-selling Dungeon Siege games (coming soon to a theater near you), Space Siege looks like at once both familiar and wholly alien.

Eschewing the party-based gameplay of its forbears, Space Siege instead suits the player up a lone warrior bent on capturing an alien invasion vessel, and reclaiming the millions of human slaves stored inside. After that, who knows? The Earth has been destroyed, see, and this one man is humanity's last hope.

It's an epic space opera of a story line, and unlike the vapid holiday pamphlets masquerading as story that infest the loading screens of most space action games, offers something you can really get your teeth around. Whether or not this story follows the player into the game remains to be seen, as what I saw was all gameplay demo. Still, it's a good start, and Gas Powered promises that their emphasis on player vs. party will make for a more detailed, and interesting character-driven experience.

The character, although technically alone, will receive help in the form of a robot sidekick, which he can modify and upgrade. He can also modify and upgrade himself, via cybernetics, and the degree to which he modifies himself will impact how NPCs view him, as well as the difficulty of the game. You can platy all the way through as a non-modified, pure human, in other words, but it will be a struggle.

While I'm not sure how the aging click-n-slash mechanic will translate to the sci-fi genre (click-n-zap?), the game, although still in an early build, has enough character to make it potentially one of the most exciting PC games in a long time.

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