Space Siege Hands-On: Story, Character Interaction, and Cybernetic Upgrades

The fate of humanity rests in your cybernetically upgraded hands.

How much is your eye worth? In Space Siege, the upcoming action role-playing game and spiritual successor to Dungeon Siege from Gas Powered Games, it's about 10 percent of your humanity. That may sound like a lot of humanity considering that one eyeball is so small in mass, but eyes are, after all, the windows to the soul. As combat engineer Seth Walker, you'll have the chance to mortgage your entire body for cybernetic combat upgrades to be used against insidious aliens known as the Kerak.

Your loyal HR-V will follow you anywhere.

But selling off your humanity may be the only way to save the human race. The Kerak blew up Earth, and the 1,000 humans left alive are stuck onboard a single colony ship and, guess what, the Kerak are there too. As a veteran combat engineer, Walker is in the unique position to trade in his arms, legs, spine, skull, and eye for cybernetic implants that will give him a considerable combat bonus against the Kerak. We recently sat down with Gas Powered Games to play through a bit of Space Siege as a fully human Seth Walker, as well as the Robocop-in-space Seth Walker.

Throughout Space Siege, you'll be given the choice to upgrade to cybernetic implants. Depending on what path you choose, different skills will become available on the skill tree. Some of the more potent combat bonuses will require you to be mostly cyborg, whereas others, such as discipline and inspiration, require that you remain 100 percent human. Certainly it will take a lot of discipline to play though the game without any upgrades, but you'll be rewarded in the end with multiple endings depending on your style of play.

Thankfully, you'll have a Hodgson's Robotics Unit on your side, a customizable robo-dog named HR-V. He will dutifully follow you through the corridors of the colony ship (which look much like a dungeon in space, for you dungeon-crawler fans), automatically firing at the insect-like aliens. Throughout the ship, you'll find parts that are used as currency to purchase grenades, life packs, weapons, and upgrades for HR-V. Simply find one of the many workbenches scattered around the ships and get to assembling. We bought a few grenades and continued to stalk the ship for Kerak to destroy. You move by clicking the left mouse button and fire with the right mouse button, and most of your skills and HR-V's skills are set as numbered hotkeys. You can also hit E to perform a rolling evade maneuver, something that adds a bit of twitch gameplay to the traditional action RPG formula.

Constantly in your ear is Gina, the ship's communications officer. She's hiding away in a home base, safe from the Kerak, and will update you with mission objectives and drive the storyline in general. She buzzed us to tell us some big news: A second colony ship, the Tachibana, was discovered. Good news for humanity, as well as multiplayer fans. The Tachibana is the setting of a separate campaign that can be played with four players cooperatively, or solo if you're looking for an experience different from the traditional story mode. One caveat: No HR-Vs on the Tachibana. You'll also learn more about the game universe by picking up data pads that are sprinkled around the ship, filled with valuable background information as well as some useless fluff to make you laugh.

Also on board is Dr. Desoto, a chief cyberneticist who will be responsible for your implants. Both Gina and Desoto want you to destroy the Kerak, but they disagree on the use of the implants. Desoto entertains a "whatever it takes" mentality, whereas Gina prefers that Seth keep his humanity intact. When all is said and done, Gina wants to wrap her arms around a man, not a robot. Of course, that decision is yours.

Sell your humanity to save it.

It's sort of a slippery slope, this cybernetics business. After several missions, you'll suddenly be offered a new implant that promises strength and reaction bonuses, at the expense of only 10 percent of your humanity. 10 percent? That's nothing. That's a receding hairline. That's a love handle. But as you progress through the game and the Kerak become increasingly difficult, these decisions grow in difficulty, too, until finally your skull is reinforced with titanium and you shoot lasers from your eyeballs. We had only a few minutes with Space Siege, but you can already feel the tension brought on by these decisions. If anything, you at least have a reason to play through the game twice.

Visually, Space Siege featured some detailed textures and vibrant lighting, although the cargo bay that we fought in was generally drab in appearance. The game won't support DirectX 10, but it isn't a graphical slouch, either. For those who can't wait for dungeon crawler Diablo III, Space Siege will be worth a look later this year.

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Discussion

104 comments
Gohan7424
Gohan7424

It looks ok but based on what weve been shown it feels limited. And if its has a STUPID multi ending like Bioshock people will just be pissed. The multi ending on Bioshock didnt make me want to play it twice, it only made me go to youtube to watch the other endings. I mean finally beating the game and the last bad guy only to be shown your a complete prick and blow up the world with nukes or something, . Since im not very interested in playing a single player more then once, very rarely, i'll probably wait for the price to go down on this game and then look up the ending i want to see and then play the game in that "mode", to achieve the ending. However its not released yet, and i always hope that a game comes out ranked as a 10, if it is then odds are i'll enjoy it. Not many good games these days.

Vargre666
Vargre666

I wonder if the "Hodgson" robot has anything to do with Joel Hodson from MST3K fame...

vortex_gw
vortex_gw

The game will have replay value. I am sure I will beat it at least 2 times (excluding that I will beat it on the higher difficulties too). I will definitely try full "cyborg" and staying 100% human.

Photoshark
Photoshark

Waiting for Diablo III is kind of maddening, isn't it guys. Besides, after purchasing and playing Space Siege in sci-fi futuristic setting for several months, Diablo III will be much more refreshing to look at again. Space Siege could very well be in the range of an 8.2 or 8.5.

gamer_easy
gamer_easy

I liked DG very much but sequel was not so great. Hope it wont go down, but up.

Hekynn
Hekynn

Now thats a RPG! :D

Kez1984
Kez1984

I'm looking forward to this, I love primarily pc rpg's.

senses_fail187
senses_fail187

Awesome, been waiting for a sequel to the Dungeon Siege series for a while now. DS I & II were amazing and had alot of great content.

tiggerlu
tiggerlu

Robot Companion! Sign me up...it'll be like Wall-E with a BFG!

miless
miless

"You move by clicking the left mouse button and fire with the right mouse button" Im sick of point and click contolled rpgs.I really had my hopes up for this one but i guess dungeon sieges shadow is too long to get out of.Kill.switch/gears of war style controls worked so well with mass effect,and now this?Endless clicking again and again and again and ag..... It makes me mad!MAD I TELL YOU!

markimsoad
markimsoad

amazing... this game looks likke good...

theMasticator
theMasticator

I loved playing Dungeon Siege for PC, and all I ever dreamed of in that game, is having one fully cyborgized member of my party, just so, to show those rude goblins how we have the better stuff than they do. I think this will just do the trick, where we will have to eradicate their future descendants wich evolved in to ugly socially deprived aliens, reducing them to scrap metal, with all the lightning producing equipment. It is going to be a great time. Cheers.

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

i had fun with dungeon siege on PC and PSP ... make this a good one for the ages!

43n1m4
43n1m4

Hopefully better than space hack or Hellgate London, for that matter. Dungeon Siege was ok, if not exactly great, so I'll reserve any judgment 'till i've seen some reviews and/or played the game.

-KILLIONAIRE-
-KILLIONAIRE-

This game seems to be pretty cool, but it must have copied some elements of games such as X-Men Legends, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and of course... the awesome Run Like Hell.

johnny27
johnny27

say what u may say about it space seige but it looks like an interesting rpg . and it comes out this year so it will have to occupy u till diabloIII comes out so no point in saying its gonnna blow even before it comes out. personally i hope its a decent game.

theMasticator
theMasticator

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

theMasticator
theMasticator

I will keep that part of my humanity wich Gina needs most, my testicles, while at the same time I am going to have all the benefits, and recreation, from all the powerful augmentations. Shooting laser beams from my eyeballs? Sounds fun.

Mega-Tom
Mega-Tom

Looks awesome. I want a demo right now!

thicknick
thicknick

I think it's unfortunate that people are already comparing it to Diablo 3 before we've seen any gameplay from Space Siege. For all we know it'll be very deep and impressive. People are saying stuff like "I think the ship will end up being on bland repetitive environment". Well. I think you're wrong. And "Chris 'I wish I was blizzard' Taylor" seems to be making an interesting new dungeon crawler, to me. So depending on what the gameplay is like, i might give it a shot. I'm not saying it'll be better than Diablo 3, but it'll probably be just a notch down.

Lycen
Lycen

would have liked free movement but still looks like a great game.

Takibi
Takibi

The graphics look good what about the game play though??

uberjannie
uberjannie

alcari : around the corner? you obviously dont know blizzard very well..

ottumatic
ottumatic

A cybernetic crouch implant please... so that I look cool shooting missiles from it.

User-
User-

nice game i love it

alcari
alcari

Well, they'll have to release soon, with Diablo3 around the corner, which will (hopefully) blow any dungeonsiege clone out of the water. Still, this sounds nice, especially over LAN, I've been a fan of a simple hack/slash game to play with friends that doesn't require you memorize the strategy guide to have fun. Doesn't sound like a great game, but probably will be fun over LAN.

chiptumor
chiptumor

Well to think it way much better if the bad guy is using the modern tech and stuff... and still we still use the sword and armor stuff....and magic of course.well the environment also does not change into this space and stuff....maybe the environment as the same as fallout..... for me too high tech......too stupid.

Monkeybone33
Monkeybone33

This looks stupid. Why dont they make another dungeon siege :)

buttface1
buttface1

This actually looks a lot better to me then when it was first announced. I had no interest then but now it's looking good, might be worth a purchase.

Kez1984
Kez1984

"Halo fans might recognize the weapons also some enemies look like the flood on halo. You might have to look closely" You mean the halflife head crabs they ripped off from the pc?

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

lol they are releasing it early surprising. but it still has its fanbase so it will still sell copies.

guitar_27
guitar_27

Halo fans might recognize the weapons also some enemies look like the flood on halo. You might have to look closely.

WizzyKid
WizzyKid

The orange robot in the second screenshot looks like it came from Unreal Tournament 3. The level design looks totally wacky, which is a good thing.

Graycrash
Graycrash

Sounds like a cacophonous, trodden version of Too Human. Except, without Norse Mythology. And Earth. In the Future. With Aliens. In Space. And more Guns. The graphics are comparable to that of an XBox LIVE Arcade Game.

Grantsplace2004
Grantsplace2004

I just hope the graphics arent going to be this weak though. Right now it looks like the whole game is just going to vomit bloom in your face.

Grantsplace2004
Grantsplace2004

I wonder how much humanity a brain and spine is worth. I mean if you trade it in, how's anyone going to know the difference... until you start killing stuff with your mind, that might give it away.

majidok
majidok

Looks Good . P. S : To Jon Miller, GameSpot : Out of the 5 newly added screenshots , these 2 are the worst in my opinion .

HatchetKill
HatchetKill

ummm, I dont think I could do the whole game without upgrades... way tooo tempting, Hehehe

-Rivfader-
-Rivfader-

Oh great another polished up turd by Chris "I wish I was Blizzard" Taylor.

strawberryheart
strawberryheart

When I first saw the pic on the front page, I thought it was for a Transformers game. And now....I kinda wish it was.

GIF
GIF

The game looks alright, not sure I'd buy it though.

SHARPSHOOTER25
SHARPSHOOTER25

I think that the ship will end up being one bland, repetitive environment.