Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS
Developer: Spiderling Studios
Publisher: Spiderling Studios
Indie games, especially early access games aren’t something I usually invest a lot of time in and most of them tend not to work out. But I came across Besiege while browsing the Steam store and I was actually looking for an RPG game at the time. I had a look at Besiege’s game page on Steam and I was really intrigued by how the game played after looking at some videos and images, so I gave in an forked out £5 (I think it was 10% off when I purchased it). After playing it for a few hours I can honestly say without a doubt, I haven’t played a game as fun as Besiege in a while!
The game has no storyline and for someone who loves a great story in video games, I didn’t mind the absence of one in Besiege. It’s all about whatever you create and how you complete each mission. You could generate your own story and say that the soldiers you’re killing are like the Empire of Star Wars. It’s up to your imagination!
Besiege is a Physics-based game that has you focusing on building different medieval sieges to combat different scenarios. Each level has requirements to complete to get to the next one for example, “Kill 70% of soldiers” or “Destroy 60% of a tower”. You can however spend as much time as you want on each level so there isn’t any need to rush.
How you approach each mission is completely up to you and you can literally build anything you want with the tools provided. For example you can create a catapult to launch bombs at a castle to bring it down by taking advantage of the Contractible Spring and Hinge/Swivel Joint. These blocks are “essential” for building a catapult/trebuchet and even without looking at guides, you’ll probably end up going through a few revisions but it’s not all that hard to make one. Here’s a guide to making a basic catapult if you want to have a look; http://www.gameskinny.com/1cedl/besiege-building-guide-to-two-simple-catapults
It’s not all about catapults, many times I tried making a moving death machine by equipping it with 4 Bombs and 3 Remote Grenades. I admit that it was a bit overkill at times but hey, it was fun! And that’s what this game is about! You can make the deadliest and most ridiculous siege machines, whatever you can think of!
Weapons can be somewhat of a complication because they can only be fired once and because of this you have to know when to fire. Sometimes your own creation will destroy itself, for example a cannon hits your own wheel or your bomb explodes as it’s being slung via a catapult due to some force that is acting on the bomb. The first thing I did was that I built a moving square base with cannons everywhere and fired on the first thing I saw. As a result, the sheer force of the firing cannons broke the base completely, which was when I found out the importance of adding braces.
Of course not every mission is about destroying or killing people, some missions require you to grab a stack of wood and place it somewhere else or to get to some checkpoints whilst either with soldiers or sheep with explosives (you read that right) attacking you. With missions like these Besiege gives you the tools to provide your creations with enough defence to get through the enemy offensives. While you do get Metal Plates to protect the machine, there isn’t much variety. What would be nice is to have something more creative and have a metal barrier block, which I guess isn’t all that important as you can make one using multiple blocks and metal plates.
When building a complicated siege machine, I often found myself removing many blocks at a time due to a small mistake that would render the machine useless for what I need it to do. This can be a little frustrating because I was constantly clicking and removing each block individually. Maybe a solution could be to group multiple blocks and move them as one. That way you can add a block or two there without removing the whole section. It’s mainly a QoL (quality of life) thing and it’s not at all game breaking.
What I’d also like to point out is how there aren’t descriptions or a help document inside the game to tell you what certain blocks do because at first I had no idea what certain blocks did. I had to either experiment with them (which was pretty fun) or look up what they could be used for on the Besiege Wiki page. This is also not that bad as experimenting is thing that makes the game really enjoyable!
Talking about experimentation…creating a machine that will fly was very interesting. The best thing about the game is the ability to make something fly and it’s great because you have all these things to take into account (i.e. weight distribution, wind speed/direction, aerodynamics). and I love it! It makes me think carefully about what blocks are needed. Like, me you’ll be spending a lot of time and going through a few different revisions of a flying machine before you can get it to reliably fly (not something that will be in the air for a couple of seconds!). The greatest satisfaction I got was from getting a machine to fly and be able to make it soar through the sky. Most of the time I forgot about the actual mission and focused on getting something to lift off! The thing is even if the creation fails, I didn’t get frustrated, at all. One of the fun factors of the game is trial and error.
When building something in “mission mode”, you’ll find that you have limited room and you won’t be able to exceed the box boundaries, but fear not! You can simply turn on the “Free Build” mode and you’ll have as much room as you want (unless you manage to somehow reach the invisible world boundaries!). With the number of different blocks and a powerful imagination, there’s no doubt that your creativity will last far longer than the game’s current amount of content. Despite how few levels there are at the moment however, more are soon to come!
Besiege also has the ability to add mods to the game from the Steam Workshop and you’ll see that people have made some crazy structures! There’s Millennium Falcons, AT-ATs, Batmobiles, over the top tanks, flying UFOs and probably things you can’t even think of. Although I did try some of these mods and all them didn’t exactly work (about 6 or 7 mods), or it could just be me and I’m not using them properly! But with any mod-able game, the Steam Workshop will add even more longevity to the game for sure!
The aesthetics are beautiful and playful and it doesn’t feel to realistic which is nice! The one thing that caught my eye were the explosions and how exciting and powerful they felt, which is of course very important in game that wants you to destroy things!
Each mission has your attention focused on the mission at hand by showing only the objective areas and completely fading out everything else. This is very cool because it has you get right to the point of the level instead of dilly-dallying around pointless areas.
Besiege has far exceeded my expectations as well polished Early Access game with plenty of more content to be added. Adding blocks is really straight forward and it’s very much like putting Lego bricks together. Talking of Lego, you will absolutely adore this game if you are a Lego fan. Even if you aren’t a Lego fan, this is seriously a must buy for anyone. It’s a game that will have you enjoy it even if you fail and the satisfaction of building something successful makes you feel like a genius, be it by actually knowing what you’re doing or through absolute sheer luck! The thing is, it doesn’t even feel like an Early Access game because it’s so well polished at its current stage and with the low price tag (steam), which I expect will be higher when it’s finished, you simply can’t pass up on it. All in all, Besiege is definitely a game I’d recommend.
It’s difficult to put a score on a game that’s in Early Access so I’m basing it on its current stage and what it offers as it stands.
Now that I’ve given my take on Besiege, I’m very interested in knowing what you think!