Besiege by Spiderling Studios is an Early Access game that became massively successful almost immediately after it appeared on the platform. With great success, perhaps the scope of the final game has changed? This article looks at some of the features I personally want to see when Besiege goes Gold.
At the moment, creations can be exported to a file and shared manually between players, as with any piece of office or design software. This being a game though, I feel the solution should be better integrated – especially for a game that has reaped great rewards from YouTube and Twitch exposure. I’d love to see a feature similar to that of Spore that would allow players to view other people’s creations from within the game, even allowing a quick test run before downloading. I feel the game would benefit greatly from having a YouTube or Twitch button that instantly starts uploading a recording or streaming to the relative site.
Lots of Levels
There are four chapters or zones planned for release. The first zone has 15 stages, but it’s not clear whether the others will have a similar number. Given that the game has sold so well, it would be great to see some of this bonus income put toward even more levels – perhaps on different worlds that move progressively through time – with the end one including destruction of modern buildings protected by modern military equipment.
There’s already a good number of implements available to achieve the objectives, but there are a few obvious omissions – there’s no real form of gun, outside of a cannon. The game already has a flamethrower, so I don’t see a reason against adding in a machine gun or even minigun. They could also add a few more comedic options – a giant hammer head, for example or an oversized sword.
Aside from the odd mission, Besiege is currently very much destruction-based. It would be great to see a few levels where the roles are reversed – you have to build a machine capable of defending a group of people or a structure from different types of attack. This could also provide a reason to add more defensive components to the game, too, such as netting or stuffed blocks to absorb arrows. Perhaps there could even be some nonlethal objectives, such as “subdue this group of archers and capture them alive.”
Another idea not currently implemented is that of time-attacks. This is often a great way to implement a sort of pseudo competitive multiplayer element without much of the work – all it needs is a way of timing runs and supporting a leaderboard. It’s a feature often seen in mobile games, and one that does tend to work well in certain PC games as long as it’s not overused.
Spiderling Games have said that multiplayer isn’t planned. I hope there’s still time for them to change their mind on that – because I believe that if there were a game mode that allowed you to pit your creation against a friend’s, Besiege would be able to cater to an entirely new audience. It doesn’t have to be simple one v one, either. Recalling the TV series, there could be a 4-way deathmatch or team play. There could even be a mixture of PvE and PvP, where both players have a structure to defend and NPC soldiers to help them defend it.
Create your own Levels
One thing that a lot of games in this vein include is a level editor. Certainly, most of the tools required are already in the main game, so I don’t believe it would be an unreasonable undertaking to include a rudimentary map editor that would allow players to create their own challenges and share them through the Steam workshop. Given the generous creativity framework already provided, there’s no reason why this couldn’t also take on a life of its own, allowing players to recreate famous battles or skirmishes.
Into the Land of Magic
Besiege is all very mechanical. Every weapon in the game is plausible if not entirely historically accurate. What I’d like to see added before release is a perhaps a chapter that departs somewhat from that tone and venture into the area of magic. Allow players to create hovering machines that shoot frost bolts or can bring down a regiment of soldiers with a spectacular chain lightning attack. Something that can make the actual attempt at completing the levels a bit more varied and perhaps fun for those who love the fantasy genre.
There’s no doubt that Besiege is already a great little game. Having only just reached v0.1, there’s plenty of time for new features to be implemented. Who knows, perhaps some of those mentioned above will make it in – and if not, what about Besiege 2?