Level design is a mixed bag as Gas Powered Games has perfectly replicated a giant space ship. The problem with this is that there’s a lot of repetitive design intermixed with some moments of design genius which makes sense as giant space ships are going to be a lot of the same design over and over again (I'm sure the Enterprise has one layout that was cloned over and over again). There are lots of corridors and hangers to walk through in a ship of that size and the game has replicated that experience to the T. That said there is some excellent level design in the game with the bridge and shuttle pod levels standing out as truly beautiful masterpieces of design.
One of the cool things about the game is that it supports multi-core CPU which is rare among modern games (it’s cool to see all four CPU’s in my new quad core computer getting some action at the same time). The game looks good (which isn’t a surprise given the game’s lineage) and while the level design is a bit drab the artists in the game stretch their legs where they can. I did notice a few graphical hiccups in the game but it turned out they were only there because I somehow turned the vertical sync on when I was futzing around with the options in the game.
One of the big additions to the engine is the Havok physics engine which allows you to do some cool things with the in game objects. You can trigger some cool chain reactions which can inflict damage on everything in the game. This allows you to setup traps and use the environment to take out enemies which is helpful when you're running low on ammo or want to be a little creative with how you kill things. Like other physics based games (I'm looking at you Bad Company) the designers felt the need to show the physics of the game off by cramming every nook and cranny with stuff that explodes which makes the Armstrong feel like its job was transporting humanity along with a large selection of exploding barrels, crates, and air tanks.
I had more than a few late nights with Space Siege which is a good thing. While I didn't bite completely into the "What makes a person human" part of the game I did enjoy the nice diversion of running around and blowing stuff up in new and interesting ways. The game does force you to make some decisions on this and it adds to the replay value a bit as you can play through the game and have a different experience based on how much cybernetic equipment you use. If you're looking for a solid PC RPG to play, Space Siege is worth your time and money.
It's not perfect but Space Siege is a lot of fun once you get into the game. While linear the single player campaign is interesting and well written and there's a multiplayer component for those who want to extend the life of the title.
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