Starsiege

aka: EarthSiege 3
Moby ID: 364
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Description official descriptions

Prometheus, father of all Cybrids, instigator of the first two Earthsiege games, is still out there somewhere. The Dark Intellect has learned, and it is hiding in the outer edges of the Solar System, learning, observing, and waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Meanwhile, the Human Empire is tearing itself apart. The decree by Emperor Petresun, the original creator of Prometheus, to defend Earth first, while practical, does not sit well with the colonists of other planets, who remember how helpless they were during the previous Earthsieges, and how Earth never sent any help until it was too late. When the brutal crackdown began, the Martian Resistance has formed. Prometheus found his chance to strike when the Emperor ordered his Imperial Knights to attack the Martian Resistance, and the Starsiege has begun...

Starsiege is a battlemech vehicle simulation. The battlemechs in the game (called HERCs) have shields, meaning that the player needs to coordinate the weapons to bring down the shields, then punch through the armor. The weapon mounts are different sizes, making it possible to fit different types/sizes of weapons to them. The other mounts for equipment (engine/shields/powerplant) also have different sizes, limiting/challenging the player's outfitting decisions. Other equipments include shield amplifier, cloaking device, ECM, and more. There are multiple sizes of HERCs available, as well as some ground vehicles (which cannot be shielded). The player is also able to load the camo scheme into a paint program and edit it. It is possible to play the campaign on either the human or the Cybrid side, as well as join other players online in large-scale multiplayer battles.

The European release of this game features the complete game Starsiege: Tribes as a free extra.

Spellings

  • 星际围攻 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

163 People (152 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Producer
Director
Designer
Art Director
Creative Director
Lead Programmer
Lead Software Engineer
Software Engineer
Lead Programmer Tribes
Director Tribes
Director Starsiege
Lead Software Engineer
Software Engineer
Mission Design
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 25 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 16 ratings with 2 reviews)

Good graphics for its time, but the story is where this title really shines

The Good
Starsiege is a perfect example of grand sci-fi executed on an epic, yet personalized scale. While the concept of earth being overrun by machine intelligence is nothing new, the completeness of this game's vision makes up for any generic deficiencies.

For a time, a Starsiege story compendium was included with the game. Far more than just a summary of events, however, this text is a literary accomplishment, showing a keen understanding in the ways of sci-fi. Politics, war, and a good dosage of sociology come together in an expertly written document that delves into characters, histories, cultures, and even notes on languages and the formation of the machine hierarchy of government. This serves to remarkably enhance what would otherwise be another shoot-'em-up, sci-fi, Mechwarrior spin-off.

On a more superficial and visual level, the presentation of the story in-game through voice acting, dialogue, mission structure, and level design are carried out admirably in a subtle way that leaves one thinking, "Ok, I've seen this befo-...hey, wait a minute."

On a nitty-gritty, mechanical level, the ability of customization in one's vehicle is very large. The player can make minute or drastic adjustments on every principle component, including the paint job. Game mechanics are also nicely done, with a keyboard/mouse interface that takes only about 15 minutes of playing to get used to. A strategy element is introduced when four squadmates are added under the player's command, and the ability to order them in certain ways allows for planned assaults or calculated defense on missions.



The Bad
This may sound a little hypocritical, but the game does get a tad generic at some points. This type of game, however original or complete in its presentation, still rests on the sturdy backbone of a tried-and-true sci-fi formula. "Copycat" syndrome is apparent in some characters, small statements, and some story events. Take note that all this is meant in the most positive sci-fi way--"Ok, I've seen this before...cool."

The Bottom Line
In a nutshell, Starsiege is a title that gives the player a load of substance, with the style thrown in around it to give it some sheen, but not so much as to lose sight of the focus and core of the story. Think along the lines of this being an intense action game for the mind, with a rich story, and well-executed gameplay. For those interested in science fiction or a solid single-player experience, Starsiege is one of those classic ways to go.

Windows · by Monque (5) · 2003

A disappointing entry in a great series... but man, the graphics rule!

The Good
The graphics are absolutely gorgeous! They are the highest quality graphics of any 'Mech game so far, and they are some of the best of any game I've ever seen. The game runs like lightning.

The music rules! It seems hard to find a game today with good music, but this game has high-energy, hardcore techno, dancey type stuff pounding as you fly across the beautifully rendered planets. It is an awesome gaming experience in this aspect.

It supports Glide and Open GL, which gives it wide 3D support, but also supports DirectDraw for 2D cards.

SS supports any DirectInput device, which means that you can finally use the mouse to turn left & right!

You can choose your "face art", in other words, what your character will look like. You can also customize the art for your HERCs!

The Bad
Unfortunately, despite the awesome graphics and music, the rest of the game is a big disappointment.

First, the plot. Professional sci-fi writers were hired to develop the Earthsiege universe. They made it take place about 200 years after ES2, and added all these new characters. The main problem I have with this is that the plot is kind of hard to follow... Is Dynamix really trying to rival FASA's BattleTech universe??

Second, the controls are highly customizable, but there are a lot of controls that I never was able to really figure out, or seem useless. For example, you can "Drop a Nav Marker". This seems pretty useless. There are all these controls that you can use to turn your shield focus. This seems pretty interesting at first, but during a battle there is just too much to concentrate on, and I was never able to make use of this feature.

Third, and most important, the HERCs themselves are really poor. The way ES I and II handled the HERCs loadouts were far superior. ESII featured some new special items you could put on your HERC, like a turbo booster, an energy pool increaser, shield increaser, etc. The only thing you had to configure for the HERCs were the weapons and special items (which went in a standard weapon hardpoint). But in SS you have to configure: your Engine, Reactor (two different things!), Computer, Shields, Armor, Sensor, 2 Special items, and up to 6 (only 6!) Weapons. Basically, the problem I have with this is it's just too complicated and restrictive. For the weapons, you are heavily restricted. In ESII, some of the HERCs could hold up to like 8 or 10 weapons. In this game, there are only about 4 HERCs that can hold 6 weapons. All the others can hold 4, 2, or even 1(!) weapon! This is just way too restrictive. Not only that, but you are severely restricted farther because each weapon mount is only able to hold a certain "size" of weapon (each weapon is defined as like small, medium, large, etc.). Usually only 1 or 2 mounts are able to hold the largest sized weapon. ESI and II had this to a certain degree, but they were not nearly this bad.

Another thing is that not all the vehicles are HERCs... you can also pilot tanks, which is stupid. I mean, why should you buy a "'Mech"-type game if you're gonna be driving a tank?

Next, the HERCs don't weigh very much. The largest ones are 90 tons, but most are far less (I'd say the average is about 60 tons). This means that you are heavily restricted in the amount of items you can put on them. Once you get a good Engine, Shield, and Reactor, there's hardly any room left for good weapons. I guess this makes it more challenging, but in my opinion, this greatly takes away from the fun that ESII had.

Lastly, the weapons themselves are really terrible. They don't do very much damage, and they're hard to aim. They're just too needlessly complicated: each one has a Shield Damage rating, and an Armor Damage rating. When I'm in a battle, there's too much action going on for me to figure out which weapon would be best to shoot at the target, so I end up just firing everything at it. I would almost say that the ES universe would have been better if the HERCs didn't have shields, like the MechWarrior 'Mechs.

The Bottom Line
Overall, this game is very average. I would go so far as to say that it's not worth buying, other than to look at the awesome graphics. If I were you, I'd wait a few years until it gets put in the cheap software bin at your computer store and get it then. Sadly, the cons slightly outweigh the pros...

Windows · by Raphael (1245) · 1999

Trivia

The multiplayer "chat" lobby is a actually regular IRC (internet relay chat) server. The IRC client is built into the game.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Raphael.

Additional contributors: Kasey Chang, Unicorn Lynx, tarmo888.

Game added November 2, 1999. Last modified March 12, 2024.