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Sega Space Siege review

Verdict:

Review Date: 18 Sep 2008

Price when reviewed: inc VAT

Reviewed By: Alec Meer

Our Rating 2 stars out of 5

In theory, this is a sci-fi follow-up to the acclaimed Dungeon Series hack'n'slash role-playing game series.

Unfortunately, the manufacturers of Space Siege don't seem to have a clue what it's really supposed to be. It tries to be a role-playing game and a top-down shooter all at once, and ends up doing both disastrously.

Levelling, new skills and weapon pickups all seem to happen automatically, which removes any degree of choice or, indeed, any sense of accomplishment. It feels like you're being coerced to get on with killing aliens, rather than worry about which chest armour is best. Sadly, the alien-killing just isn't enjoyable enough. The shooting uses conventional mouse controls, but movement is controlled in the same way. It's a hangover from standard RPG controls, requiring you to click to move across the landscape. The trouble is that it's completely at odds with the fast action of the combat, and massively irritating to perform at the same time as shooting.

It's an almost laughably unchallenging game, so standing still and spraying the scene with bullets generally does the trick. You have a number of powers, which are useful in the larger fights, but in most cases your gun and the occasional health pack will do. Incidentally, those powers quickly exceed the controls that are available to activate them, so half of them go unused.

The one choice you're actually given is whether or not to install cybernetic upgrades in your body. These grant instant combat bonuses, but deny you a couple of powers and change the ending. This is meant to constitute a moral dilemma, but because it's about the only diversity in the game, you'll probably plug them in regardless, desperately hoping that swapping your face for a circuit board will relieve the tedium of the gameplay.

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