by Howie Howard
previewed on PC
The enemy at the walls
Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is a new adventure, role playing game from Indie game developer Black Eye Games and is slated for full release come mid-May of this year. After our short time with the preview code, it seems to be a solid entry into the medieval castle siege genre of war games. According to the publisher, Gloria Victis "is developed on a game editor platform that will allow modding and community-generated content at launch." That means the gaming community will be able to develop their own scenarios, complete with unique stories. The scenarios can then be shared with other Gloria Victis enthusiasts.
An Army Runs on Its Stomach
Gloria Victis is not your normal run of the mill castle defense, nor is it a standard attack affair where the player serves as a general tasked with setting up strategy and tactics in order to be able to survive an enemy onslaught. Have you ever wondered how computer game soldiers on the field of battle are taken care of when they get wounded, or when they became tired and hungry? In real life, it is a well-known fact that an army runs on its stomach. As someone who spent time in the military, this certainly rings true. Other tactical strategy war games do not address the need to resupply the army with replacement equipment after a long day of battling on the field of honor. In those games it is just assumed that lines of supply have been set up and that a level-up means new equipment magically appears. Gloria Victis does things differently, which helps to set it apart from other similar games.
An Army of One
When Siege Survival: Gloria Victis begins, you learn that a surprise attack by a rival clan, the Ismirs has just occured. In order to survive, you must flee the battlefield and seek refuge wherever you can. Since the city of Edrin surrounds a castle that has very strong walls, that would seem to be the most logical place to go. Your character along with other surviving citizens and soldiers rush to the castle where you can hopefully hold out until reinforcements arrive. This is where the battle happens and as the armies’ support team's only member in the beginning, it is your base of operations.
But... But... I Want to Be A Soldier...
Above we said that the game player in Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is not the general. Well, they aren't a front-line fighting soldier either. The players role in this game is actually as a behind the scenes person - or in the case of Gloria Victis, the squad that supplies the troops with what they need to keep fighting. You could probably even call them the underground. This certainly is a novel approach to a war game that has not been done very many times. Gloria Victis is a top-down viewed affair that takes place in real time. The game clock keeps ticking away nonstop. This can be a little frustrating if , like me, you like to think about your next steps. As the clock ticks away and time passes there are certain tasks that need to be accomplished.
I Hate Working the Night Shift...
The game consists of two parts, day, and night. During the day, the support team needs to build facilities where things like producing arrows, cooking food, or repairing equipment can occur. In fact, these people need to do a whole lot of other jobs as well such as feeding farm animals, chopping wood and everything that is required to support the fighting soldiers and themselves. There is a list of tasks that need to be done each day and if left undone it can result in farm animals dying and soldiers becoming incapacitated if not provided with medical supplies, food, and weapons! During nighttime, it is the job of the support team to become scavengers and sneak around in the city looking for supplies. Some items cannot be manufactured in the castle keep so they need to be found and then used to complete a task or produce an item.
As the survivors go out at night to explore the various city areas, special items and resources (and even other survivors for that matter) can be found. Some of the discovered things might need something, like a shovel, in order to uncover it. Other survivors may need medical attention, food, or any number of other types of help. After you attend to then then they will join your group which increases the number of resources collected and tasks that can be finished each game day. Of course, the people will get tired, thirsty, hungry, injured and they will need to eat, drink and sleep or they too will die. When I first started, the character I started with was injured and since I did not give him medicine and put him to bed, he died! That certainly was a rather shocking and disappointing surprise so make note of it.
It is Very Quiet Out There!
One thing to remember is that as an underground entity the squad needs to be quiet when out scavenging at night. There are enemy patrols and guards in the city that are looking for survivors. I was never caught but when you are not sneaking, external noises can occur which in turn can alert the guards. Unfortunately sneaking takes more time, but since your entire survival depends on nighttime scavenging you need to be as quiet as you can. You also need to set up a plan as to which people will be made to work the night shift and those on days.
I have played many castle siege games (and war games in general) and all of them have taken place from the fighting side of it. Siege Survival: Gloria Victis has been the first time in playing the role of guerilla-type character. Although the preview code was a bit limited, it did allow a decent look at what can be expected - and I liked what I saw. It was refreshing to be able to play this support role instead of being a soldier on the front line. With that said, I cannot wait until this game is released and players start developing their own scenarios. With the custom scenario options, the sky will be the limit.
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