By Jordan Hall(ApocaRUFF), OnRPG Journalist
Siege On Stars is a free-to-play browser-based space MMORPG that seems to be somewhere between EVE Online and an A-RPG such as Akaneiro: Demon Hunters or Path of Exile. It features a large universe to explore and complete missions in, research, resource gathering, manufacturing, and just about everything else you could want in a space game. The game is brought to us by Joyhubs, who also brought us Seven Seas Saga – they sure like S's in their titles.
You wont be making your own unique beauty by using the latest and greatest character customization tools, unfortunately. You will get to customize your ship to a decent degree, though. You can equip it with parts, upgrades and other stuff you would expect from a space-themed A-RPG. You even get the ability to spend points in stats and skills trees. Between all the methods for changing yourself or your ship, you wont need to worry about being exactly the same as everyone else – unless you're worried about aesthetics.
The graphics are decent for a 2D space game, and I liked the artwork. While some people will complain about the 2D graphics, because there are browser-based games with 3D graphics now, a lot of people will enjoy the almost nostalgic art style that is used. The User Interface, for the most part, was quite nice. It fit the theme of the game perfectly and was easy to navigate. The only complaint I have is the targeting graphics, I just could not stand them at all (but that's a personal preference).
Almost everything is done with the mouse. You will move and attack by either right or left click, both seemed to work. It worked well, but it was a bit confusing trying to attack a specific ship. While playing, I honestly could not stop thinking about how fun it would have been if the game used an Asteroids-type control system. However, the point-and-click system that is used does not harm your ability to have fun. Overall I am pleased with the controls.
Your typical online community. You have the nice guys who are helpful, the trolls, and everything in-between. If you've ever played an online game that has a global or zone chat, you will be prepared for what you'll see in Siege on Stars. I can say that I never had any negative experience in my time with the game, but I cannot promise that other people will have the same pleasant experience as I. When it comes down to it, I found the community to be helpful to newbies and nice to strangers.
Siege on Stars had me confused when I first started playing it. At first, based on the feature list, I thought the game would be a 2D Eve Clone. But after playing it, I found the game to be more akin to an A-RPG such as Path of Exile than Eve. But then as I further progressed into the game, my view changed to once again thinking it was more like Eve. Right now it feels a lot like Eve of Exile, if that game were to exist.
Combat isn't very exciting. I had trouble finding opponents that I could not completely obliterate. There wasn't much depth to it at first, but later on some options for strategy open up. Such as the hot bar being able to allow you to activate multiple weapons or abilities. But, for the most part, I have to say I wasn't impressed. As I said in the “Controls” section of this review, the combat would have been so much more fun if it had an Asteroids-type control system.
The game world seems to be quite large, and there is a conquering aspect to it. A majority of my time was spent completing missions for rewards and resources that can be used to upgrade my ship. These missions were mostly straight forward “kill everything” type deals, and I have to admit they weren't very fun. The enemy was usually way stronger than me, or way weaker, and it consisted of flying towards the enemy and then left clicking. If you're a fan of EVE-style combat, you may enjoy it.
You will choose one of four factions, which are your typical Freedom, Tyranny, Religious, and A-Bit-Of-Each archetypes. I've yet to see a big impact caused by the faction you choose. That may because I only tried one faction. It could be that the differences between the factions are more apparent if you try more than one. While what faction you choose may not be a massive change in gameplay(but don't misunderstand, there IS a change in gameplay depending on your faction - just not a massive one), it is nice that they tried to put story into the game and I appreciate it.
It seems that every game needs an achievement system nowadays. This includes Siege on Stars. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. In fact, I would argue that it's a proven good thing, as it gives players just a bit more since of achievement, which is what a majority of gamers want. Like most achievement systems, the one in this game as a LOT of repetitive achievements for you to get. An example, “Salvaged 1,000 Space Wreckage in total. Salvage Benefit +3 forever.” And while it may be repetitive stuff like that, it's nice that you get more than a crappy badge that no one will ever pay attention to for completing the achievement.
I dabbled a bit in the crafting side of things and found it kind of interesting. While not the most innovative crafting system, it did make you think for a bit. As you would expect, you get the resources for crafting by doing missions. I've got to admit that this isn't my favorite way of doing things, I still have nightmares from RaiderZ's crafting system. To me, if you get all your resources from doing missions, why not just give the items as rewards and skip the middleman?
Planets act as a sort of hub town that you would expect to find in an A-RPG. It provides all the services you might need, but there are a few differences. Biggest amongst them, I think, is that there is an option to “plunder” a planet. I never had the balls to try this myself, so I can't comment on it – don't bite the hand that feeds you and all that. But the simple fact that it's there is pretty interesting. You can plunder the same planets you go to for your everyday needs, but it could end up backfiring and you can lose your ability to land on that planet and trade.
Siege On Stars is a very interesting browser game. When I first came into it, I was expected another run-of-the-mill sci-fi RTS that the market seems to be bloated with. I'm glad I was proven very wrong with my original assessment. While it isn't the most amazing game I've ever played, it was certainly one of the better browser-based sci-fi games I have gotten to try. If you are looking for a low-spec alternative to EVE Online, give this game a try.
Overall: 3/5 – Worth a try if you want a new sci-fi MMO.