E3 2008: Sega Prepares a Space Siege
07.18.08 - 8:20 PM

Gas Powered Games is behind one of the more popular PC RPG series in recent years, Dungeon Siege. Rather than return to the world that's been completely destroyed by Uwe Boll, Chris Taylor and his team have taken their game to the stars in Space Siege, where players take control of Seth Walker and his robot buddy Harvey. Earth's population has been nearly obliterated by an alien race and only a few people have escaped on ships.

Seth himself is an engineer and one of the few combat-capable people left who isn't still in cryogenic stasis. It's his job to take out some of the marauding aliens who have found their way onto the ship. While Seth doesn't have a party like his equivalents in Dungeon Siege, he does build a robot buddy named Harvey, who he can upgrade throughout the game, issue orders to, fight alongside, and other actions. Harvey is also incredibly expendable - he can be revived with a small amount of parts, which function as Space Siege's form of currency. Enemies won't drop loot, only parts, so rather than coming across the Epic Laser Beam of the Bear, players will use the parts from fallen enemies to upgrade their current weapons. That's not to say that everything will be available from the get-go, as different types of weaponry won't become available until later on in the game.

The other thing that sets Space Siege apart from its predecessor is the fact that Seth doesn't have a level. Grinding enemies doesn't provide experience points, and in many situations it may be better to turn and avoid combat altogether. Seth will gain skill points as he completes missions, and these skill points can be distributed along skill trees similar to other PC RPGs.

That's not the only way players can customize their version of Seth in the game. Much akin to the Shadowrun pen and paper RPG, players can outfit themselves with cybernetics throughout the game. These cybernetics make Seth much more powerful, but reduce his humanity, becoming more like a machine. The less humanity Seth has, NPCs will treat him differently and the ending will change accordingly. Players will be able to replace up to 95% of Seth's body with cybernetics, leaving only a tiny bit of actual organic material. Once he's got some abilities and some cybernetics, it's time for Seth to kick some alien butt.

Combat in Spage Siege is focused around the mouse. Movement and basic attacks are done with the mouse, and other skills are activated with the number and function keys. Because of this, Gas Powered Games expects most players to have one hand on the mouse and one hand on the keyboard. As such, the camera can be manipulated by either the mouse or the WASD keys. Gas Powered Games doesn't want the combat to be anything but fast and furious, so Seth's energy for special attacks is replenished by his regular attacks, making it so that he never really has to stop mowing down his enemies. Except, you know, when they kill him. There's little penalty for death in Space Siege. If Harvey's alive when Seth dies, players will have to spend the parts necessary to resurrect him, but they'll respawn at their last checkpoint no worse for the wear.

We're excited to get our hands on Space Siege when it launches next month.


John McCarroll