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Written by  :  Monque (6)
Written on  :  Sep 03, 2003
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
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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"

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.