Like all good adventures, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Taking this to heart is a bunch of humans who, after crash landing their ship face-first into the dirt, argue about who’s fault it was before setting their sights on something more important. Moving away from who’s fault it really is, this group of humans set it sights on what a group of Lizardmen have as they unfortunately and unceremoniously go about taking it from them by any means necessary.
Siegecraft Commander is probably the first title in a long time that made me feel bad for playing the human race. Let’s me honest for a moment that sometimes we can really, really, suck. This is actually one of those cases as the humans launch into a full scale assault into the Lizardmen because they have something that they want. Plot set, it’s time to plan the rest of your course of action which is going to require a lot of experimentation and possibly a decent amount of patience. At least from a console standpoint.
What can take some time in order to get right is how to slingshot your forces around the map. Technically this is the easiest part of gameplay as you pick a direction, pull back on the analog stick, let your building fly and leave the rest to the system. I’m going to say right here though that learning exactly how far to pull back and even pulling back could sometimes be tenuous with the dualshock’s analog stick. As much as I prefer a controller over a mouse and keyboard, I for once would have prefered the precision of the mouse as there’s a particular sweet spot that is the difference between letting your building fly and kicking a pebble with your toe only to realize it was a heavy rock and it didn’t move very far...
Once you’ve picked your direction and let your building fly, you’ll see a trailing line on a wall that lies between your original building and the newer one that shows arrows back towards its source. Seeing this let’s you know exactly how everything is interconnected once others are placed which is important as these lines essentially make up your defense network’s nervous system. Protecting the major nerves is important because as while taking out the last building in nerve cluster is fine, taking out a previous node or even it’s previous node? This will cause everything that came afterwards to crumble which is why placing your buildings is only half the battle.
The other half of the battle is making sure that these nodes are well defended so that while you’re off further ahead trying to break the enemy’s stronghold, the nerves that brought you that far can stand on their own. This is a bit where things don’t jive so well as there’s a weird formula that either is extremely effective or just doesn’t seem to work. You start off with a giant castle with lots of health. From here you launch outposts which come supplied with catapults in order to damage other buildings. Outposts can from that point spawn multiple other types such as armories for mortars, barracks for soldiers, or libraries for all sorts of fun things like a Tesla Tower. With all of these others however it generally didn’t come down to how well you could use them but how many troops that the enemy sent your way.
Mortars exist as an anti-troop attack. Barracks generate soldiers that can also be used for anti-troops as well as attacking the enemy’s buildings. Often though it seemed like the enemy just simply moved right through as the cooldowns on the mortars were too far between and the troops just simply didn’t spawn fast enough. Protecting these from airships was also an issue as ballistas have a long reload time, which is fair when you think about it, but the amount of airships coming your way didn’t even leave you a chance in the first place as they can unload a hell of a lot faster than a ballista can ever reload.
So with all of this said, you could place four or five mortars around, multiple barracks, a few ballistae, and still things could crumble. Honestly more often than not a better strategy was to aim for where your enemy produced troops and either catapult them manually or use the placement of new buildings to stomp their troops flat as new buildings can be used as a weapon of their own.
Placing buildings while easy in concept could be aggravating at times depending on the camera angle. From one point of view things looked good but placing them by launching them forward and they exploded because there was a slight incline on the map. Placing them “too close”, which sometimes was not even close where you were looking, was too close at the point of origin causing your new would be building to once again explode costing you precious time in certain circumstances. So what should have been quick and easy fun at times was an exercise in patience trying to launch the building just right and not hit that incline because for some reason one incline at ten degrees would make things explode while forty percent inclines were fine. It made no sense.
I wanted to enjoy Siegecraft Commander a lot more than I did, but the issues with the gameplay were too much to completely overlook. Between having to struggle with the analog stick and worry about every other incline while simultaneously concerning myself with the number of troops coming at you could be the difference between either restarting the level or taking a break before trying it again with a calmer demeanor.
Sony PlayStation 4
Level 77 Pty Ltd
Real Time Strategy
Turned Based Strategy
Provided by Publisher
Article by Pierre-Yves