This week here at 3Bit, we have been trying to survive a medieval invasion in Siege Survival: Gloria Victis, by Black Eye Games and Fish Tank Studio. This Resource Management/ top-down survival puts us in a role many gamers will not be used to, the civilian. As civilians, we will need to gather resources, craft and build to assist those on the front line whilst keeping ourselves and fellow survivors safe. But how well has Siege Survival: Gloria Victis survived in itself in the 3Bit review Siege? Find out for yourself below.
Gameplay: Lost In The Night
"It is safe to say that this game is unforgiving, 1 mistake, whether it be early game or late game, can cost you dearly down the line"
The gameplay of Siege Survival plays out in 2 parts, separated by the day and the night. During the day, you can manage the bastion in which you remain safe from most of the danger. During the daylight hours, you can tend to your small amount of livestock, repair weapons, as well as build and craft several tools for your own survival, including ways to cook and gather water without risking the night-time. At night the gameplay turns into more stealth-based exploration. You can explore the undercity, which has been occupied by enemy forces. As you explore the undercity, you can gather resources whilst discovering key points of interest, such as a field hospital, which will exchange wares with you through trade. You can also expand your exploration with tools such as the shovel and torch, which can clear obstacles such as corpses and rubble. But that is not all you can do at night, as you can also send your civilians out to scout for any upcoming attacks. Unfortunately, this means that you will not be able to gather any resources and also means you cannot participate in the scouting itself.
Siege survival isn't a game without its challenges. The biggest is whether to prioritise your citizens or to prioritise your soldiers for the upcoming battle. If you focus too much on one thing, you will ultimately fail with the other, so it is vital to find a balance. Another challenge comes in terms of that to research, because early game it can be very easy to build all the early game buildings, but by squandering these resources rapidly, you may come to realise that there were other items that had more priority with the resources you just spent. After exhausting the first exploration location of its initial loot, you will also find that resources become extremely limited and, in turn, will make each day a much tougher battle against yourself. Another tough decision to make is whether to save more people through the various quest markers. Whilst each person added to your bastion is a major time saver to the day-to-day tasks, it does also mean you have an extra mouth to feed, so think carefully before adding new members to your bastion.
The night-time stealth exploration adds a whole other level of challenges with its nightly patrols, and whilst you can take them on head-to-head or just run away, it is easier to avoid them entirely, as when they have spotted you, it will mean more will come the next night. Night-time Exploration, whilst exciting at first, also turns very mundane as you will have eventually have exhausted a lot of quests within your explorable location and in order to progress, need further resources which are becoming harder to find by the minute and will ultimately lead to a very tedious rinse and repeat of avoiding guards, search rocks. Unfortunately, Siege Survival is very unforgiving to new players because if you do not play the night runs perfectly the first time, you are not getting off easy for a good majority of the game.
Carrying on from how unforgiving Siege Survival is, I think it is safe to say that the game is very unforgiving in general, as 1 mistake, whether it be early game or late game, one simple mistake can cost you dearly down the line. One example of this was during my very first playthrough. I was about an hour and a half into the game and accidentally sent all my meals to the soldiers of the bastion. Whilst this was good for them as they were starving, it was bad for me, as my wood stockpile was low and the enemies in the undercity were on high alert from the night before. This ultimately slowed my process of gathering resources. I was eventually forced to demolish several of my crafting stations and eventually kill my livestock to keep everybody alive. It took an additional hour of gameplay for that to come into fruition, and from there, I began to fail tasks set out for me from the bastion. Ultimately I had to restart the game. Thankfully, Siege survival is a very replayable game. Each new start comes with fresh opportunity, reassess what went wrong and how I could improve for next time around as I pushed forward, exploring different routes and missions. After several attempts, I finally got the formula down and kept my soldiers and civilians functioning like a well-oiled machine. Unfortunately, this also led to the game becoming very boring. I had the routines down. We were winning battles, and I felt like there were no further challenges aside from unlocking gates for a shortcut into another area.
The only thing I wish was more an option with siege survival was the option to take part in the actual defence of the bastion, whether that be as an RTS where I could command my soldiers to focus on specific enemies or just arrange how they will defend the bastion. I feel an element like this could really elevate Siege survival to another level. However, if something like this were to be implemented, it could take away from the narrative that the game focuses on. With the full release of Siege Survival available to download now on steam a day one patch was also dropped, introducing new game modes, which include the option to create a new story mode filled with modifiers that can make the game more and less challenging as you can adjust the games difficulty, environment, and invasion frequencies. This proved a lot of fun and made me feel unstoppable as I was able to power through more elements than before at a much faster rate in one playthrough, whilst get absolutely annihilated as I made a stab at playing with minimal resources on the highest difficulty using the games "No Mercy" mode.
Story: Well Written Pictures
"The siege is ruthless, and you, a regular civilian, flee to the bastion, the last line of defence against these savage Viking like invaders"
The Story of siege Survival: Gloria Victis takes place in the 1200s as vicious soldiers from Kalgrad have come to invade your homeland, Midland. The siege is ruthless, and you, a regular civilian, flee to the bastion, the last line of defence against these savage Viking like invaders. As this epic introductory cutscene ends, we are thrust into a text-based story explaining the situation. As this story progresses, we are given choices to make which affect the environment we will receive when we get into the game itself. The story progresses from this point with many other text-based pieces, told alongside medieval-styled sketches depicting characters and scenarios. With most of these text scenes, we are given choices and orders. How we respond to them continues to shape the environment around us by giving us new characters, rare resources and even, on occasion, a helping hand in upcoming sieges.
This Storybook way of progressing through Siege Survival does not take away from any of the elements within the game and adds a lot of context to the world, rather than making it a hollow world where all we must do is survive. I feel the one element it is missing is any sense of urgency, however. The story flows much like its soundtrack, softly and calmly, and when for example, we are met by the bastion commander, any orders we are given do not feel like orders and more like polite requests and moments that would usually carry more sombre or angry tones are often left feeling quite empty. This could perhaps be improved through a timer to complete specific tasks or even through voice acting, another element missing from the games overall story.
Audio: Strings and Silence
"Themes always remain calm and sombre through the game, and whilst I do not wish to discredit this soundtrack, I wish that it had more variety to its tracks"
As I mentioned earlier in the story section of this review, there is no voice acting in Siege Survival: Gloria Victoria. This is rather unfortunate in my opinion, as even the addition of a narrator could have brought a lot more meaning to each character we meet and to each story element we come across. I personally found the drawings and text alone did not carry the weight intended for the many tragic moments. This slight level of elevation through audio could have really made Siege Survival's story truly noteworthy.
In terms of Soundtrack, Siege Survival offers a very sombre one through a variety of stringed instruments. The themes remain calm and sombre through the game, and whilst I do not wish to discredit this incredible soundtrack, I do wish that it had more variety to its tracks, as there was no change in the music's tempo as day turned to night, as the enemy laid siege to the bastion or when I was being pursued by guards. It was just the same pace and style the whole way through, which when you are paying attention to it or hoping for some audio queues as to what is happening can lead to some immersion being taken from the game.
Graphics: Well Designed Chaos
"The level of detail that went into the game's design is impressive and the art style alone makes for one of my key highlights"
Siege Survival: Gloria Victoria is not a bad looking game when it comes to the graphical side of it all. In fact, the level of detail that went into the game's design is impressive. The art style alone makes for one of my key highlights within the review. The Levels design is kept simple, and to some degree, quite small, but it has allowed for a lot of attention to detail throughout the environment, from the grey walls of the bastion, which contrasts the bleak reality of the survivors who are trying to hold out day by day, to the dark streets of the undercity, its streets ransacked and demolished, as corpses line the street and hang from trees from the battle that first took place. Another fine point of the art style comes in the form of the stories sketches, where we get a more in-depth look at the characters we meet along the way. These Sketches also help detail the more sombre points of the game, from a man holding his child's doll to an alchemist who turned martyr during the first invasion of the undercity. Overall, these sketches paint the story in a far stronger way than the text, which to me was only there to give each image context.
Gameplay: Lost In The Night
Story: Well Written Pictures
Audio: Strings and Silence
Graphics: Well Designed Chaos
Overall Siege Survival: Gloria Victoria has been a fun game to play. While it isn't without its minor pitfalls and areas that could be improved upon, I have ultimately had some fun playing through this campaign. For those looking for a new challenge, where combat isn't at the forefront of the game, and you don't mind being the supporting cast rather than the main protagonists, this is worth checking out. However, be prepared to create lots of backup saves or start the game over from scratch several times, as this unforgiving title is very demanding for perfection. Siege Survivals Final score from us here at 3Bit is 6 Bits. I honestly wish we could have seen more come from this game that could have enhanced the story and gameplay, but as a whole, there is a full experience here to be had and to be enjoyed by those looking for a different viewpoint of war and survival within games.
Really Fun and Brutal Gameplay
Brilliant Art Design and Graphics
A New Take On Realtime Strategy
A Lacking in Variation Soundtrack
Lacking In Urgency Story, When Urgency Is Key!
Missing Gameplay in Seige Defences