CES '08: Space Siege Updated Impressions

Gas Powered Games' upcoming action-heavy role-playing game blows stuff up nicely.

LAS VEGAS--Space Siege is sort of like the plot of the hit show Battlestar Galactica in which the last remnants of humanity flee Earth, pursued by deadly aliens. However, in Space Siege, humanity's last hope inhabits a giant colony ship, which the aliens have just boarded. Thus, it's up to you as protagonist Seth Walker to defeat the bad guys, with the added goal of trying not to lose all of your humanity in the process.

Gas Powered Games is at the Consumer Electronics Show to showcase its latest action role-playing game, one that will strip out a lot of the complex role-playing gameplay that pervaded its spiritual predecessor, Dungeon Siege. To that effect, Space Siege is more of an action game with light RPG elements to it, but one that promises quite a bit of replayability. Like Dungeon Siege, you play from an isometric overhead camera perspective, looking down at Walker as he navigates the detailed interiors of the colony ship. These aren't dynamically generated randomly as they were in Dungeon Siege, but the advantage is that each of the handmade levels will feature a lot more personality and scripted moments.

The demonstration showed off the basic premise of the game, where you'll navigate the interiors of the spaceship, blowing away hundreds of alien opponents in the process. You'll have plenty of weapons at your disposal, as well as skills and abilities. However, the true challenge in Space Siege is figuring out how much you want to turn Walker into less of a human being and more of a cybernetic organism. During the game, you'll be given choices to exchange some of Walker's organic parts for cybernetic parts. These parts may confer powerful bonuses and abilities, but they come at the price of having him become less human. The tradeoff is that the characters in the game will react differently to Walker, especially if he becomes less and less human. There are also very powerful abilities that can only be unlocked if Walker retains his humanity. So where will you draw the line? What choices will you make?

Space Siege differs quite a bit from Dungeon Siege II in that it narrows down the focus of the gameplay to just Walker and his robotic companions. You won't have to juggle multiple characters. This lets you focus on just battling through the game, and the fights will involve plenty of explosions and physics. If you shoot the end of a canister full of compressed volatile material, you can watch it fly like a rocket, pummeling anything in its path. If you toss grenades into a crowded space, bodies and objects fly around the environment.

The replayability comes from being able to play the game different ways, experimenting with both human and cybernetic possibilities. In addition, Space Siege will feature cooperative gameplay in the form of missions. You can team up with up to three other players and have fun blasting your way to different objectives, like killing a boss character or clearing a level entirely of enemies. It all looks very promising, and we'll keep an eye on Space Siege. The game is on track for a fall release date.

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Discussion

82 comments
BlazeEagle
BlazeEagle

Sounds quite interesting story wise, I hope the gameplay is up to snuff... While becoming more & cypernetic sounds fun, I'll test out staying human as well to see what surprises await. I don't have a problem with it being totally in a coloy ship because that's likely a big hunkin' ship! From having sci fi knowledge, a coloy ship is beyond HUGE, so there could be a vast variety of things in it. Many gamers spend hours in dungeons, so why the fuss over a coloy ship??

DreamTwister
DreamTwister

Not looking very good. I think it hurts to show such an early build (it's an early build right? I hope!!) I hope works out good. I've had just about enough with the fantasy settings.

JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

Well it does have two of my favorite things. Space....and...sieges...I wonder if it has girls in bikinis on crotch rockets with machine guns? That would be the trifecta.

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

Looks like it could be fun, but I'm concerned about the length of the game. Dungeon Siege 1&2 were both fairly long games, but maintained interest by having very distinctive different land areas. If all of this takes place inside a spaceship it may be restrictive.

btwillett2003
btwillett2003

Dude Vasot, Chill out, it was just a joke, calm down.

Bilrel
Bilrel

Yay, Dungeon Siege in Space...no thanks. And did anyone else notice that the movie is better than the game? WTF

Zythyl
Zythyl

We need more sci-fi RPGs...

Vasot
Vasot

TO btwillett2003: 1) You have been reported for your first post against me (Posted Jan 11, 2008 7:08 am EET) 2) Thats my opinion about Space Siege as everyone has his opinion in here... If you like it or not i do not care. It is your problem and not mine

btwillett2003
btwillett2003

Graphics are the last things to be tweaked before release, there are a lot of games that look like crap when they put out screens or previews.

Tharros89
Tharros89

Remember the first images of Supreme Commander? Now look at it. Just my 2 cents.

imnodewd
imnodewd

I agree with many of the other posters here... the graphics really look last-gen.

Nuclear_Kernel
Nuclear_Kernel

Third person action rpg (OK rpg elements), with a cliche story. Yeah it' s going to be GOTY :P

pugnate
pugnate

Yea I hope the game looks much better when it comes.

Maximiliator
Maximiliator

the graphics look awful -.- like kotdr II . lame...

pugnate
pugnate

Ever since the preview in PC Gamer, I've been looking forward to this game. I really enjoyed intellectual property from Chris Taylor would have tremendous potential, provided improvements in areas of past shortcomings. With Taylor's technical expertise, I felt that a fully fleshed out narrative would result in an instant classic. Now recently I read his interview on Gerstspot...err...Gamespot: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/spacesiege/news.html?sid=6184380&tag=topslot;title;1 It seems to be shaping up fairly nicely, but there was one thing that bothered me: [quote]Gas Powered Games is at the Consumer Electronics Show to showcase its latest action role-playing game, one that will strip out a lot of the complex role-playing gameplay that pervaded its spiritual predecessor, Dungeon Siege. To that effect, Space Siege is more of an action game with light RPG elements to it, but one that promises quite a bit of replayability.[/quote] It bothers me because the role-playing elements in DS weren't all that complex to begin with. In fact they were very streamlined, with skill points not distributed by the players, but rather earned through frequency of skill use. So my question is, what "complex" elements are being "stripped out"? Also how can an isometric action RPG entertain you, unless it involves a robust and involving skill system? In an isometric RPG, there isn't much twitch based skill required from players. The most gamers do is click on targets, and hit the respective hotkeys at appropriate moments. More often than not, (especially when a party isn't involved) you spend your time tweaking the mechanics that level up your character, and then simply watch as he/she wreaks havoc. The input in the action is minimal, and the enjoyment actually comes from the looting, and the skill and stat manipulation. So that's why I am a little bothered by the "stripping out", because without the role-playing mechanics, you aren't left with much. From what I understand, there isn't a party to control in this game. You basically have your hero, and can be accompanied by bots that are similar to familiars in Neverwinter, or the summoned creatures in Diablo. To me, that's a negative. I think talkative companions enforce an RPG's story telling. In the end, I am still looking forward to this game, but I do have some concerns. The game is listed to come out in the next six months, so we shall know soon enough.

KingLim
KingLim

Perhaps it's something like Shadowgrounds? In any case, hope it doesn't turn out to be like Restricted Area. Looking good.

KingLim
KingLim

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

prowler666
prowler666

all the images look horrible. i'm having my hopes up for Demigod instead.

ryaz_weaponx
ryaz_weaponx

Hopin this would b better than Dungeon Seige 2

Leemyhre2006
Leemyhre2006

Wait... Since when were Dungeon Siege levels, "dynamically generated randomly"? Last time I checked, they were all pre-built maps.

ninjarocklee
ninjarocklee

I hope this game has many online multiplayer options, such as creating maps, hosting free open world spaces, like in the Dungeon Siege series. *ldonyo* This isn't going to be anything resembling an RPG. It will be an action game where you can increase stats every once in a while, just like Diablo and Dungeon Siege. Being able to level does not make it a role-playing game! You're wrong please learn the meaning of Rpg's in general. Mmorpg's are the thing you're talking about where you can make a character and put him in a massive community but general Rpgs are where you take the *R* ole of someone in a game and *P*lay the *G*ame.

khallus
khallus

Surly its nice to have a choice and not play the same style of game all the time.or is it written that Baldurs Gate or warhammer is the only way to go? even final fantasy 12 and crystal chronicles are influenced by newer or even more action styled rpgs?I love all rpg games if its fun to play,just chill and try something new and dont get stuck playing something unchanged for 20 odd years.

btwillett2003
btwillett2003

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mismajor99
mismajor99

I'm fine with action RPG, I like them a lot, but I also like actual RPG's as well, which Dragon Age looks to be and shaping up nicely from what little we've seen. It looks like another good year again for the PC! Heck, I still need to beat the Witcher, love that damn game.

Maximiliator
Maximiliator

Idonyo, i tottally agree... Sadly people don´t think about the meaning of "RPG". It is Role-Playing-Game. Meaning, that one takes over the role of somebody, and trys to act as him. Me, playing D&D v3.5 and Warhammer can´t find this in any of todays games. I still got hopes for W.A.R. to be like that... but seemingly it will be a WoW-clone ... -.- such a shame for GamesWorkshop...

Vasot
Vasot

I miss Baldurs Gate so much...that was a magnificent Rpg Space Siege looks lame

ldonyo
ldonyo

This isn't going to be anything resembling an RPG. It will be an action game where you can increase stats every once in a while, just like Diablo and Dungeon Siege. Being able to level does not make it a role-playing game!

sportwarrior
sportwarrior

I'm definitely interested now... When I first read about this in PC Gamer I got the impression it was a straight RPG, something I'm not too interested in... An action-heavy RPG is much better, though... I enjoy elements of RPGs, but most are just too... tedious for me.

sportwarrior
sportwarrior

I'm definitely interested now... When I first read about this in PC Gamer I got the impression it was a straight RPG, something I'm not too interested in... An action-heavy RPG is much better, though... I enjoy elements of RPGs, but most are just too... tedious for me.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

"...one that will strip out a lot of the complex role-playing gameplay that pervaded its spiritual predecessor, Dungeon Siege. To that effect, Space Siege is more of an action game with light RPG elements to it" Aww but i liked all the role-playingness of dungeon siege... I hope it's turns out better than it sounds cause taking away the RPGness of it and just making it an action game just seems kinda wierd...

SeriousSean
SeriousSean

Hmmm, I'm not so sure, but I won't just write it off.

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

From the screenshots I was hoping for a worthy sequel to X-Com, but I'll settle for a sci-fi Dungeon Siege. I heart you, Gas Powered Games.

fantasyx92
fantasyx92

I loved the first Dungeon Siege, best game since Diablo, but Dungeon Siege 2......*shuders* i can't relive that again

rockatanski
rockatanski

I found the Dungeon Siege series to be too linear. Gave up on them immediately. This will be a little different though, and I like the look of it.

PHeMoX
PHeMoX

Mmmm, sounds nice on paper, but I already dislike where it's going art-wise. :( Perhaps the gameplay will make up for it though.

Panman_Dan
Panman_Dan

Sitnik Considering this is a Q3 release, what you see in the screenshots usually isn't the finished project, they will more than likely go back and touch up on the sound and visuals...

sitnik
sitnik

Graphics are 5 years old, ugly and unimpressive. :(

btwillett2003
btwillett2003

I am going to play it no matter what, I am tired of using swords and bows and spells in RPG's, I was guns and grenades and carnage! Should be a good game.

alexandregiroux
alexandregiroux

I don't know... I'm skeptical about that one, even though I loved the Dungeon Siege series. I guess I'll wait for a full review.

mYslead
mYslead

why do previews make games looks always more fun than it's probably is? "You won't have to juggle multiple characters. This lets you focus on just battling through the game, and the fights will involve plenty of explosions and physics. If you shoot the end of a canister full of compressed volatile material, you can watch it fly like a rocket, pummeling anything in its path. If you toss grenades into a crowded space, bodies and objects fly around the environment." I mean, they way he put it, it sounds awesome! "fly like a rocket pummeling anything in it's path!" ... but it really come down to just physics and ragdoll ... woopidoo. sounds less awesome now does it?

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

This games' graphics are ugly, the premise/story sounds stupid and the whole "taking out the RPG and making it an action game" thing sounds really dumb as well. Action games are supposed to look nice with good explosions (IE: Crackdown). This whole premise where characters react to you has been around forever and when you have fantastic Sci-Fi story driven games like Mass Effect, why play this?

JustinMatthew
JustinMatthew

Even though I don't think RPG's are on the decline, I personally think this game in particular looks as bland as ****. The screenshots alone turn me off to this game. When I see them, I think: MEH. Oh and yeah, the whole idea of making an RPG so you can't grind out early and get an edge over your enemies for a good chunk of the game really sucks. I hate leveling system in Oblivion. Although admittedly if you level up smart enough, you can get a real edge. But still, I want to be able to one-shot bandits that I fought at the beginning of the game after I hit level 50. I don't want level 50 bandits. At least Fallout 3 will KIND of throw that idea half way out the window enough so that you don't have level 50 rats or anything. I'm really looking forward to Fallout 3.

GIF
GIF

Diablo and Dungeon Siege were great games for their time. They built developers like Gas Powered Games and Blizzard Entertainment so to claim that Diablo & Dungeon Siege aren't great is nothing more than a matter of misguided, one-sided opinion. The ratings and sales will show both games kicked ass. Onto this game, it looks interesting and hopefully its great.

sgtdrog
sgtdrog

This might turn out to be a great game. Im definitely going to give it a spin...

Colonel_Cool
Colonel_Cool

Yeah, I didn't like Dungeon Siege and I really don't like hack-and-slash style RPG's. I do like some rpg's, some that are more story oriented.

Alaris83
Alaris83

The gameplay in Dungeon Siege was almost non existent and now they want to narrow it down to one character?

Hell3ent
Hell3ent

Looks somewhat dull to me...but then I really didn't care much for Dungeon Siege or Diablo either. I prefer rpgs with more social interaction, a la Bioware and Black Isle.

Traxxas119
Traxxas119

Meh, They are just making RPGs way more "balanced" then they have been in the past, now they don't have over powered weapons which used to give you the edge in combat. They want more control over you in the newer games on your damage and gear so your not way over powered. Which is sad and why I don't like this new direction they are taking the genre. A prime example of this is Morrowind and Oblivion. Morrowind you would go find big weapons and gear to get powerful, in Oblivion everyone is your level and so you never ever really have an edge. I have always liked the quests for new weapons and armor, like going to "this place" and killing a boss and his legion of bad guys for his sword. Just my thoughts though.