STAFF REVIEW of Siegecraft Commander (Xbox One)


Wednesday, January 25, 2017.
by Brent Roberts

Siegecraft Commander Box art With all the different genres of gaming that exist in the world today, one of my favorite is tower defense games. I'm secretly addicted to the strategy aspect of trying to overcome your foe through mental preparation rather than an outright assault. Recently, Blowfish Studios released Siegecraft Commander for $19.99 and it offers a new spin on tower defense. They have combined the elements of that genre with an overall real-time strategy (RTS) core. So has Blowfish Studios created a RTS game worthy of its' price? I'm not so sure it has, let me tell you why.

To start things off, you have your choice of what game mode you want to play in the form of campaign and multiplayer, and that is it. When you choose campaign you can pick what side you want to play as. There are lizard type creatures or overpompous knights to choose from; however, none of the selections will net you any substantial benefit over the other, and neither provides any worthwhile content to care about. In essence you choose from two pointless sides in a meaningless struggle that is based on poor humor and bad writing, rather than perfecting a gameplay experience that is entertaining. For this instance of description though, I'll choose the overpompous knights.

The campaign itself is laid out like a book where each level tells its own interactive story in its own chapter of the book. While this idea is a novel one that fits the atmosphere of the game, you'll rapidly find that the levels serve to be your tutorial guide, but more than that, you'll find that the repetition of the campaign will get incredibly boring and tedious very, very quickly.


Without any sort of dynamic plot, or any substance to help drive a comedic storyline, there isn't much of anything to keep you playing the campaign outside of the numerous 100 point achievements that can be gained. Sure, you have a total of two stories to play through (one for each race), but with each one providing the same lackluster experience, you really can't fathom why you would want to subject yourself to that much mundane gameplay with so little meaningful experiences.

The object of Siegecraft Commander is simple, you build towers and construct forces in an effort to overrun and destroy your opponents’ towers and destroy the enemy Keep. While you build your towers you have the enemy AI working against you, so for all the progress you make in the level, the enemy AI will rebuild and send their forces after your towers. In our case, with the overpompous knights, I found myself throwing out Outposts like crazy.

I should clarify something first before moving on though. To construct a building, you first start with your own Keep, press the A button on it and it will bring up a radial wheel where you select what tower you wish to build. Structures like an Armory, which can lead to building airships, or a Garrison, which provides you the opportunity to build barracks to produce troops, are two such things you can build. Then there are also defenses that you can build such as mortars that can attack incoming enemy defenses, or a ballista that can shoot down oncoming enemy airships. While it's good to have these protections, they will re-arm themselves after a cooldown of about 30 seconds, so should they fire once and the enemy forces keep coming, it's up to you to defend your towers.


To do this, you must first become familiar with how to build, and that is a different topic all together. To build these objects after you select them, you will see a green crossbow above your Keep, from here you will draw back with your analog stick and then fire your crossbow. Then you will see a cannonball fire from the tower and with it you will see it drag a string of walls behind it. This is how your objects get built and how your walls connect all your objects together.

One downfall is that it's easy to block off your troops from an area if you're not careful. Thanks to the walls, any sort of land troops will have to be directed around them, which can create not only a lengthy game, since they move at a snail's pace, but it can really draw out. This excessive building of towers will eventually lead to the game grinding to a massive halt given that it's apparent that Siegecraft Commander can't handle a lot of consecutive towers on the map at one time. And speaking of the map...

On the map you will find points scattered throughout that contain either blue or yellow magic crystals. As stated earlier, you can follow a natural progression of the towers and everything they unlock; however, to unlock everything you will have to take control over both yellow and blue crystal points in order to produce everything you need, especially in the realm of magic. Magic can be costly to obtain but it can offer tremendous benefits in both cooldown times and magical shields and spells that not only provide protection for your towers, but also turn the tide of battle by attacking your enemy's towers with magic.


While all of this seems in depth, the whole building process itself is a total letdown and near disaster. Should you block your troops in, you cannot destroy your towers on your own, so you'll have to wait for the enemy to destroy them before the troops can be of any use.

While the multiplayer aspect of the game can allow for up to 4 people online, there never really seems to be a point to doing so. With all of that being said though, the game does have a decent visual look going for it. I'm not talking a phenomenal artistic rendition, but it's far better than some other indie games that have been released on the Xbox One. The sound on the other hand is insignificant to the point where I found myself actually generating overly stereotypical voices just to try and add some form of real humor and enjoyment to the game. That lasted for the first few levels and then I got bored trying to keep up with all the mediocrity and I stopped all together.

With everything taken into account, $19.99 feels like highway robbery for Siegecraft Commander. I know I normally break into some form of summary, but I had to just had to say this right off the get-go. The play controls are oversensitive, the building mechanics are poor at best, the game delivers no incentive to play past the first level, and it slows to a crawl should you build too many towers. I am honestly sorry to more negative than positive, but this is sadly our reality. If you're into RTS games then please wait till this is either free with the Games with Gold program, or wait till it's $4.99 if you absolutely have to have this game. Die hard Tower Defense fans need only apply here.




Overall: 6.0 / 10
Gameplay: 6.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10

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