If there’s something that VR is lacking, it’s a decent strategy game. Having played games like Final Approach, seeing a miniature world below you, via your virtual reality head mounted display, is pretty awesome. Everything looks like freaky Lilliputian animated models.
Aussie outfit, Blowfish Studios, kind of fills that void. And I say kind of.
This real-time (or, optionally, turn-based in multiplayer) medieval fantasy strategy game is all about spreading interconnected towers over the map from your initial keep structure.
The game works on a hierarchy of towers, starting with a keep. From the keep you need to build an outpost.
Now, Siegecraft Commander has a rather unique way of constructing buildings. Basically, you fire them. You aim an arrow and adjust the strength of the “shot” and, from your selected tower, a wall is fired out. If you aimed at a buildable area that didn’t intersect poor terrain, one of your structures, or one of the enemies’structures, a new tower is built,connected to your other tower by a wall. This is how you advance, by creating a huge web-like fortress of interconnected towers, each with a job of its own.
From the outpost, you can build a garrison, which unlocks an infantry-producing barracks, an armoury, which unlocks a mortar, then a trebuchet and even an airship or a library, which unlocks a Tesla force field.
You infantry can attack enemy troops and tower. Mortars can only attack troops but, if built in range, an outpost can also attack enemy towers my lobbing a barrel of TNT at it.
All your towers have to be connected to your keep. If the enemy destroys a tower, breaking the link, all the towers outward from that point with be destroyed.
This chained building mechanic offers up some very unique and very cool strategic gameplay. Whilst it’s not Civilization, or even Age of Empires, it’s a lot of fun and rather addictive to play.
It’s also playable in VR… Yeah, about that.
PC players with an HTC ViveVR kit can play Siegecraft Commander in virtual reality, and it looks great. The game world looks awesome as a miniature playset below you. I could stare at it for ages.
The only problem is that the game is an absolute sod to control in VR. The aiming and strength of your shots is all over the place and I just gave up in the end. It wasn’t until I played it in 2D that I realised what a great game it is.
The visuals are basic, but have a certain style that looks clean, and looks good in VR. The art and voice-acting is very well done, making this a rather unique game that should appeal to indie fans and those used to more mainstream fayre.
PlayStation 4 owners get exactly the same game as there PC brethren but, rather surprisingly, without the virtual reality option. Siegecraft Commander would be well suited to the PSVR (as long as they sort out those VR control issues). Blowfish are hoping to patch the game for PSVR at a later date.
Siegecraft Commander is a unique real-time strategy game that’s fun and additive to play. Whilst its’ indie roots are visible, it’s a polished and well-presented package. The VR controls need a bit of work, but it does look absolutely awesome through the HTC Vive VR headset.
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Released: November 2016
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC (Windows 7 or Higher)
Developer: Blowfish Studios
Publisher: Blowfish Studios