GLORIA VICTIS: SIEGE SURVIVAL
This is a slow-action game where you the player is trying to prevent the complete conquering of a besieged walled City, your walled City.
As Flint, one of the survivors of the first bombardment, you are a capable engineer who is about to discover just how useful his skills are.
The tutorial is excellent as it is combined with the first part of your story, so you are not just learning the ropes you are also playing the game.
There is a lot of reading as the game story unfolds, much of which ends in either a 'click to continue' button or a couple of possible actions for you to choose from. Your answers will affect some parts of the story.
Your first job is as a collector, going around the ruins of the City searching out all manner of resources - wood, eggs, meat, stone etc - from which you slowly get to build a variety of work benches and other tool tables that, as time passes, are your means to survival.
SIEGE SURVIVAL is a good, long term, strategy game for players with time and patience. It's not at all quick-paced but that's a good thing as you have time to get into the story. You have to survive against the siegeing horde, the constant bombardment, the thirst and hunger that comes from being in a war-torn state and helping other survivors continuing to live.
A slight noise leads you to Bertram, another survivor (but only just). Using your skills you quickly build a fire and make a rough meal. You feed him and he becomes the first member of your adventure group. You can use the [Tab] key to switch between characters in your group or you can click on their portrait in the bottom left of the screen. However you do it make sure you are on the right person when you use resources, especially those you are running low on. For example, giving water to a character who doesn't need it may mean another character dying of thirst.
You can set one character to a task and then click on another and give them a task also without the first character pausing. This may sound trivial but in some games not being able to do this is a pain whereas in Siege Survival it allows for the game to keep moving along smoothly because you can do more than one thing at a time.
When night comes it is time to send one of your characters out to the occupied part of the City where stealth usually ensures that resources are more readily obtainable. You are on the clock while it is dark, for as light begins to kill the shadows the siege army's guards arrive on the scene and restart their patrolling. There is a 'go back to safety' button and it is time to click on it before the guards appear.
This is also a balancing act. You need to be safe, you need to collect resources, you need to build, you need to cook etc etc etc. All of the time you are doing this the siege continues and anything you build - there are only certain places - highlighted green as you prepare to place the construct - where you can build, places supposedly more safe than others but not necessarily so. For example; if a tool table or bench gets hit fire starts to burn it to cinders - you get the chance to extinguish the flames and then, if you have the resources, repair the charred remains.
Apart from making food dishes, an important aspect of the game is making Arrows for the remaining soldiers; for some reason they keep running out of them.
The helicopter view shows a truly battle-torn construct with damaged stone walls and part smashed wooden buildings, and the character's physical avatars, seen close up, are very well detailed. Their smaller versions are perhaps not as detailed but are easily recognised from above which is all that is needed.
The screen is often filled with icons and symbols which you can click on and travel to and then action whatever the symbol's effect is. Again, make sure you have the correct character selected - some resources require the use of tools etc.
Thoughtful, incisive and instinctive play with a good mix of game-book adventure and man/resource management.
System Requirements: As with every PC title, there are some threshold specs on your computer that you should have to run the game decently. These are:
Intel Core i5 or AMD Phenom II X4 with at least 3.2 GHz, Windows 7 64-bit or higher, 6 GB RAM,
GeForce GTX 960, Radeon HD 7970 with at least 2GB GPU memory, DirectX 11, 10GB Free disk space.
Stronghold (Day gameplay)
Armoury - Look into building an armoury as fast as possible. Being able to craft armour for the Bastion will highly decrease the chance of wounded soldiers dying or and needing medical treatment.
Farm Animals - It is in your best interest to try keep your animals fed and alive for the mid and late game. Chickens provide a regular supply of eggs while pigs provide manure for the vegetable garden. By mid game food will start to run quite low so having healthy animals for meat is often a useful fall back.
Animals can eat rotten food and also animal fodder which is crafted from 2 parts rotten food.
Clean vs Dirty Water - When you scavenge you will come across fresh and dirty water. Dirty can still be useful though. It can be converted into clean water using an upgraded fireplace and can also be used to water your vegetable garden.
Scavenging (Night gameplay)
While there are multiple secrets, encounters and stashes uncovered in the city, this list highlights just a few that might be worth looking into.
NOTE: At any point during the night you can open the map to see where you are. [M] on the keyboard or bottom right of the screen [MAP] UI button.