If you’re into strategy war games and tower defence games, you no doubt appreciate building a decent armoury and flinging a lovely diseased cow over enemy lines. Well what if you had to fling the actual building before you can build it? That’s the general idea in Siegecraft Commander. In order to build and secure your defences you first have to throw them, creating a huge chain of linked towers. Careful, though, because if the enemy are smart enough they’ll slip past and take down the beginning of your chain, destroying everything you’ve built and all hope of conquering the land.
Siegecraft Commander is a tower defence game. The single player campaign is played in real-time, and that means you’ll need to build quickly and confidently. A tutorial will start you off slowly with some well-explained instructions and the game is pretty good at telling you what’s what. You’ll start off with the basics such as outposts, armouries and garrisons and the idea is to click on a building, choose the build and then shoot it in a straight line to wherever you want it. Sound easy? It takes some getting used to. After you’ve chosen your build you’re put in control of a giant bow and arrow. Use the left stick to aim, ensuring you adjust the power of your shot to reach your chosen destination. It’s easy to see how well this would work with your finger on a tablet or iPhone, but on the PS4 with a controller it’s excruciatingly fiddly. Trying to adjust the power and hold the direction in place takes a steady hand and only a tiny push on the stick will send the power from nothing to full. It’s very sensitive and difficult to fathom where your building will drop. When you’re in real-time with a rapidly advancing enemy, this over-sensitivity makes placing your new towers sometimes quite hit and miss.
As well as defending your little invading empire, you also need to attack. Building barracks will allow cute little men with swords to cut down your enemy’s cute little men with swords, and if you can overwhelm them, they will also advance with a mind to attack the enemy’s buildings. Constructing mortars and trebuchets and suchlike will give you another automatic attack option, but you can also manually fling explosive barrels (and cows, yay!!) from your outposts. Building defences, attack options, planning your invasion and manually attacking is a fun juggling act that will take time to perfect.
As the game progresses you’ll be introduced to more and more towers, defences and attack options and this is where the fun really starts. There are lots of options to help you win your battles and when you feel ready you can progress onto the multiplayer mode. Here you have the choice of playing in real-time or via a turn-based system. Our advice? Practice your aim before you go into this mode.
The graphics are clear, bright and colourful. The cute little men I mentioned earlier are just adorable and I actually felt quite bad every time I landed a poor moo cow on top of them. There’s a handy zoom function if you want to get closer to the action, but generally it’s better to have a wider view as both you and your enemy will be spread over a very vast area.
There are thirteen trophies to collect and none of them are earned through progression. You’ll need to do weird and wonderful things to earn these, such as catching a cow with a dragon or crashing air units into each other. Of course, if like me you’re prone to doing odd things by accident, you’re bound to pop a few by surprise.
There’s lots to like about Siegecraft Commander. If you can forgive the finicky controls, throwing out chains of buildings is a lot of fun and wildly frustrating when a pesky enemy mortar hits the base of your chain and takes down everything you’ve worked so hard for. Likewise, it’s awesome to smash your enemy in its metaphorical face when you do the same thing to them. Eat that, enemy scum.
S J Hollis Rating – 6/10
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