Strategy Games is a genre that isn’t represented on home consoles very well. There are a few franchises on various platforms that have found success but by and large this type of genre doesn’t usually work really well when it comes to playing with a controller. Siegecraft Commander is a new strategy game mixed with a little bit of tower defense that does some interesting things but also has many of the same problems that we have come to expect from console RTS games.
Siegecraft Commander can be played both in a single player campaign mode and online multiplayer with support for both real time and turn based battles. The single player is played in real time only so you better learn quick. For newcomers to the genre the game does a pretty good job of getting you up to speed quickly with the opening tutorial. Now how you go about placing your buildings in the game is a little bit different then what you will probably expect. You first select a kind of building that you want like an outpost or armory and then you are forced to shoot that said building off to where you want it. This is one of the key problems I have with the game as the aiming in the game doesn’t feel good and it was a little too sensitive in my opinion. It’s hard to judge correctly where your building is going to land. Factor this into the fact that the battles are happening in real time and you may be in a hurry and this mechanic becomes even worse.
The campaign has you playing as humans and fighting against the lizardmen army. You must expand across the map using the mechanic I talked about earlier but there is another interesting aspect to the game. Every building you place is connected back to your previous one via a wall. Now if one of those buildings somewhere in that chain get destroyed it sets off a chain reaction that also destroys any other building that spawned from the destroyed building. Because of this you have to be on the lookout and on your toes for the enemy getting behind you and taking out one of your earlier buildings. If you don’t you can quickly find all of your work fallen apart in a hurry. You attack the enemy with the cute cartoon looking little men that spawn from the barracks that you can build. I really enjoyed how well animated they are and it’s fun to watch them cut down your enemies and buildings. There are lots of different options of things you can build and attack with and you get to use more and more the further you go in the campaign.
The campaign is fun and challenging but it also isn’t a really long experience. When you finish it you’ll be looking for something else to do and you’ll likely set your eyes on the multiplayer. Now the game has online multiplayer and in a very welcome move the game offers cross-play support with PC. Now you can choose to play these matches in either real time or turn based if you prefer. You can play matches with up to four players if you can find anyone at all. This is one of my problems with the game as it seems like no one is playing it. I tried searching for a match several times and couldn’t find a single other player. I tried with both cross-play enabled and disabled which you can access in the options menu if you want. The game is $20 which is probably a bit steep and is going to make it hard for this game to gain any kind of an audience. I can also imagine that if you get matched with a PC player that it will probably be a little bit unfair as this game no doubt controls much better with a keyboard and mouse.
As far as how the game looks I was actually impressed with it as like I said the characters are cute and fun to watch and the buildings all look detailed enough. Audio department also gets points for delivering some great explosive sound effects. If you like trophies the game has 13 of them including a Platinum. If like gold trophies just about this whole list consists of them.
There are some good RTS games on current gen consoles and some bad ones but Siegecraft Commander falls somewhere in between. It does some things really well but things like the wonky aiming controls hold it back from being great. There is currently not much of an online community if one at all as I was unable to get matched with anyone online. The whole chaining building mechanic is fun and different and I liked watching my little men hack away at their enemies. If you’re really in the market for a good console RTS you can do a lot worse then this game.
*Review copy provided by the publisher