Under Siege is a brand new medieval war game that just hit the scene. A hybrid title, the game has blended elements of kingdom building, strategy and tower defense to create a unique, refreshing experience.
You are the ruler of Kingdom Weimar responsible for the safety and prosperity of your people. In the goblin-ravaged land, you have to defend the borders of your empire every day against those annoying crazy creatures. Under-siege is a constant state to your kingdom. Speak of the evil and here he comes – hordes of goblins is attacking your sawmill. Prepare to battle!
The in-game battle is fought in a style of tower-defense. Over the map there are various spots where you set traps and place soldiers to stop the invaders who attempt to wreck havocs on the houses at the end of winding path. Enemies come in waves, which you can preview before the battle begins, and come with fiercer forces. Don’t worry, though, because your defense grows stronger as well with every wave.
Every trap and unit consumes certain Supply Points to be placed on the map. The stronger a trap/unit, the more points it requires. Usually, in the first wave you only twenty or so Supply Points to use. But you will gain more after with victory in the previous round that can be used for reinforcement in the next wave. Also, there is another Defense Point gained and consumed during battle. In the midst of combat, your defensive traps and army inflict damage on enemies but also get sabotaged at the same time. In another meaning, you gain Defense Point by eliminate goblins and also use them to reload the traps and recover the troop. Moreover, there is another weapon, the Meteor, a kind of spell you can use to turn a tide when the enemy breaks through all your defense line. Bear in mind, though, it has 15 seconds’ cool-down.
There is a large collection of maps, each consisting of several nodes that can be played in three modes. Story, Hero and Champion – it’s similar to the three difficulty levels but more than that. From Story to Hero and to Champion, you will not only confront stronger enemies, with new, different types sometimes, but also play in a completely new and more complex scenery. Usually, when you finish the Story mode of a map, you can unlock its next mode and another new map (depicted in a brand new theme) at once.
While you can fend off enemies effortlessly in the first map, you will soon realize the necessity of getting a more powerful army when more and more new enemies emerge on the new map or more challenging mode. You begin to taste the bitterness of defeat, perhaps, and see the expensive cost of war: you need to spend the Krone, the premium currency, or a large amount of hard-won supplies in the kingdom to replay the defeated battle. It’s where the kingdom construction comes to play.
The empire-building part of gameplay is not strange to most strategy fans. Produce and manage four types of resources, build and upgrade various facilities, research and unlock new army units, traps and spells, etc.. Built on the shared concepts of almost all builders, the game doesn’t follow the much trodden path. First of all, the construction of the kingdom is closely interwoven with the frontline warfare: you can unlock a certain facility only when you complete a relevant mission in the campaign, and you can gain access to a specific level only when you gain a particular army unit at home. Such interaction makes the in-game storyline more coherent and reduces the possibility of imbalance, but it is at the cost of certain degree of freedom of players, especially the experienced and also slows down the game pace.
Unlike playing the conventional strategy titles, you are probably still at Lv.1 after hours’ play. Except those immersive battles, it’s not a game that requires your constant presentation. To simply upgrade your castle to Lv.2, you need great amount of resources that can’t be gained without several days’ work. When you finish the Story mode of the first map, you don’t even have all four resource buildings set up. Obviously, it’s time-consuming and slow-paced in construction of the kingdom. But your time and patience will pay off: with every level-up of any building, you will unlock something new on the top of changes in color, appearance or size. So why not just assign works for your resource buildings and issue training/researching mission for military facilities, and then leave to return your real world? You are supposed to do so, for the in-game resource buildings offer several options in working time.
The kingdom is depicted with a colorful palette and finely detailed animation. There is even a town square where you can see several fatty citizens talk about battles and production. When it comes to the battle scene, it’s even better with vivid presentation. The blood taint around the spikes, goblins fallen over by the logs, the pound of goblins hammering the core building, the great effects of spells, and the great explosive bombardment caused by the cannon – simply put, it’s satisfactory.
Under Siege makes a perfect combination of city-building with strategic tower defense. From the presentation to the bulk of gameplay, it raises the bar for social games. Be the king and prepare for the siege war!