Whilst waiting for my consumer version virtual reality Vive to arrive I was looking for something to wind down with for the weekend. I had just finished up some work and trying to take some time off between deadlines. Actually... what I was looking for was a true diversion for two reason: (A) not sit around like a 2-year-old waiting on the VR headset and (B) keep from starting the next project until Monday since freelancers tend to work seven days a week. I thought a good game was in order but almost immediately put out of my mind as I, like many old time gamers, have become so tired of FPS and available role play/simulations that finding a game to suit my taste is nearly impossible and has been for years. Heck... I'm still waiting on the next installment of Wing Commander so that tells you where I'm at.
So... rather dejectedly, like a little boy not getting his way, I opened up Steam to look at Besiege. OK... not into more dungeon crawlers, the medieval version of the FPS, but wait... this has physics and more importantly it has physics based destruction! As a longtime 3D physics user this caught my attention. It's not a dungeon crawler in fact it is far from it. Many, many, many hours later, sometime in the a.m., I finally drug my tired butt to bed and fell asleep thinking of wondrous siege engines, medieval airships and all the havoc I wreaked. Oh the destruction I caused with this little jewel of a game! I fell asleep a happy conqueror but more importantly... relaxed because this game allowed me to build whatever my imagination and the physics allowed. Not for work, not for critique but for pure fun.
Then it let me destroy it.
As I write this I have a huge smile on my face just thinking about the pleasure I had playing Besiege. It was like building model airplanes and cars in my youth and smashing them. Except this was voluntary not out of frustration at my lack of skills. I'm sure there is enough Freudian garbage in all this to book a busload of psychologists but since I'm of the male psyche I just ignored all that and played the game. And enjoyed it... immensely. So I guess I better get to the point of the review and actually discuss the game instead of "my feelings" about it since I'm on the verge of fanboy-dom as it is.
The premise behind the game is as stated earlier. Destruction... wanton destruction. Build a machine, ground based or aerial that will destroy or transport you to whatever your next target may be. Turn on the physics and get after it. The "enemies" are defending what you are trying to destroy. You are not being constantly assaulted, shot at or even bothered until you start your destruction. The Archers are a real pain as they can destroy your machine too... but that's all they are. Besides there are unarmed villagers and farmers you can terrorize if that's your thing.
The game is based on a simple, onscreen, building process whereby building blocks of various sorts are used to create machines of destruction... even flying machines. The player is provided with a large variety of different blocks. Some are frame, bracing while others are mechanical (steering) or locomotive. Building the contraption is a simple matter of choosing your building block then point and click on desired location. You start off simple. Destroy a house then a windmill then on to the more serious destruction. You can build a simple machine or Rube Goldberg your way to a complicated contraption no serious engineer would build... unless they are playing Besiege.
According to the dev's own blog post there are those that seem perturbed by a lack of development lately but the Dev has addressed that so it's something you should probably read for yourself. There does appear to be a healthy discussion about the game with plenty of posts. Plus the game is rated OVERWHELMINGLY POSTIVE on their store page with 16,282 previous reviews and still VERY POSITIVE with 565 recent reviews. On a side note... some of us have gotten sidetracked creating "rover" type of vehicles in the sandbox that comes with Besiege. Other are completely into making wild flying machines that push the boundaries of the imagination. A quick search of YouTube for "Besiege Creations" will give you plenty of cool and even mind blowing examples.
Whatever you do... just make sure you set aside enough time when you fire this baby up for the first session. If you have family, then kiss the spouse goodbye and tell the kids you love them because you are disappearing into the world of Besiege to become a wanton conqueror.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. M.D. is currently working on VR projects and characters. You can