I have enjoyed a good real-time strategy game. A few of my favourites consist of the Halo Wars games, The StarCraft games, and the first few Warcraft games. I enjoy the way these games play by letting you build up buildings and troops to defend and attack the enemy. All of these have also had great stories in the missions. Not only have I loved playing real-time strategy games, I think my dirty secret genre is tower defense games. I do not play these all the time, but when I do, I invest a lot of time into them. My all-time favourite tower defense games are TowerMadness and TowerMadness 2. So, what happens when you combine a game like StarCraft with a game like TowerMadness? You get a gem called Colony Siege.
Colony Siege is about survival. The story focuses around you helping others survive against the Xenos or Riven, who have caused distress after many years of peace. They came to Earth and destroyed it along with all surrounding colonies. You must learn to not only defend yourself but to destroy the enemy. Many of the levels focus on the base mechanic that exists in many tower defense games: waves. Each wave of enemies gets harder and increases in numbers. Some levels have this mechanic along with the pure real-time strategy mechanic of build, defend, and attack. The combination of these mechanics is unique and done extremely well. I have enjoyed building my defences to combat the waves of enemies while simultaneously commanding the Commander and other troops to attack the enemy. Now, this presents a good problem to have, I don’t want to just play a real-time or tower defense game, I want both!
When starting a mission, you get a very familiar mission screen that looks like it was copied from StarCraft that explains about the mission and shows the objectives. After starting the mission, you get to build your structures and/or troops and then begin the action. One thing that is great about this game is the use of the Commander. You can use the Commander to attack, build, or repair. Unlike in most tower defense games, the towers can also be damaged and destroyed. You can use the Commander to repair them and then take out the enemies that were destroying it. You can also use the Commander to repair your Citadel, your home base, if it gets damaged. Losing the Citadel leads to a mission failure.
The controls for this game act just like other real-time strategy games. You can click on an asset and see its stats, control a feature, or command it to move or attack. Using the right click of the mouse is for moving and attacking. Holding the scroll wheel of the mouse while moving the mouse lets you move the map around. Moving the scroll wheel is used to zoom in and out of the map. There are many keyboard shortcuts to use for controlling your assets. The biggest one is the C key. This will select your Commander to let you do as you wish. Practically all available activities in the game have a keyboard shortcut.
While most tower defense games let you spend assets you get from stopping the enemy for upgrades, Colony Siege does it slightly differently. You must raise the power level of your base by building a power generator, then you are able to upgrade the defences. Each asset also has bonuses rewarded based on kills. You do have permanent assets available as well. Most of these go to the Commander as upgrades, such as faster movement and more attack power. Most of the level unlock upgrades can be purchased in the store between missions. This adds to the replay value of the game. Another feature that has been well executed is the use of objects called traps. There are various ones that have different abilities from just causing damage to throwing enemies around. The latter is very useful when it is put near environmental hazards or at the edge of the map.
Another unique feature of this game is how the environment can play a role in some of the missions. You may be going to a planet with lava or a planet with pools of methane. These can hurt not only your units but the enemy. With the lava levels, fireballs will rain down from above and will hit your units and defensive turrets. It will also damage both the players and enemy buildings. Using your Commander to repair is key in these situations. Furthermore, if an enemy is killed by the environment, you are rewarded with metal that is used to purchase troops, buildings, and turrets.
The graphics look great for a real-time strategy game. In my opinion, it looks like a high definition version of a modern real-time strategy game. The look of all the assets are really pleasing to the eye. Everything from the backgrounds to individual units have had tremendous attention to detail applied to them.
The sound effects make the game feel like a futuristic space age movie. The only exception is some of the ground troops sound like they are shooting machine guns instead of futuristic weaponry. The other sound effects are right on par with a game like this. They bring up the game’s immersion along with the graphics. The only thing that seems to be missing are the StarCraft-esque catchphrases that are said when you click on a unit. This is not bashing the sound design as this doesn’t take away from the game, it just feels like it should be there in some aspect.
Developer: Finifugal Games
Publisher: Finifugal Games
Release Date: 1st July 2020
Do you agree with our review of Colony Siege? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.