OK so this is actually going to be a two part post. The first part I will talk about a new Early Access Steam game called Besiege. The second part will just be my general thoughts of Early Access, and other such things like it, including the good and bad as I see it from my view point. So chances are this will be a fairly long post today.
Now because I want to I want to ramble here. I don’t usually get many new games and even when I do I tend to take so long finishing it that by the time I would talk about it most people have already gone through the debate of whether to get it or not. So generally I won’t write in the sense of trying to convince someone if it is good or bad or not and whether they should get it or not, I will simply be writing about what I liked and disliked and whether I would recommend it to someone who likes similar titles. Much like I have already done with my other game reviews/posts.
I do sometimes browse around and find a game I have been looking for or waiting for the price to drop and grab those. So occasionally I may throw out a similar post like this but it will be over a bit older of a game, in the sense of something that has been out for quite awhile OR was a game on a different platform that was then ported to the PC (or another platform I have, such as a PS game going to Vita).
Also I am trying to think of other things I can post about since I have dropped my anime posts down to only twice a week for this season at least and I have been thinking of various ideas such as sort of ‘Let’s Play’ type of posts where I would write out my adventures in a game such as Minecraft or some Visual Novel, giving my thoughts on the game as I go, or something like that.
So if anyone actually reads this: I would like your thoughts on some things I could possibly post about on the blog, down in the comments (or some other way to contact me) and I will give it some thought.
Now with the rambling and question out of the way on with the actual post:
Starting out I have seen plenty of reviews already on Besiege and how good it is so obviously I wanted to try it out and since I finally had money on hand (yes it has been tight enough lately that even $7 was hard to think of) I decided to grab it. Basically right now I am going into this game with only very little knowledge: 1) It is a physics based building game where you build siege engines and cause havoc. 2) There is some sort of troop management of sorts. 3) It is apparently fun.
So the game comes up with the menu stating the version: 0.02 (which is pretty much a nice reminder saying this is about as early as early access can be) the title, creator/publisher, an options menu, and then the world selector. Currently there is only one available world though going from the current little world it looks like it will expand to at least five. Selecting the first world Ipsilon then gives us our second choice of which zone we want to do. This is pretty much the map you will choose to beat, so obviously we start on zone 1.
At this point we are given our tutorial of how to build our siege engine, seen on the left, our target to destroy, which for this map is the cottage in front of us, and our area to build, the cube in the center acts as your starting point. We are also given a plethora of menu options ranging from the play button for the map, how fast the map goes, saving/loading, undo/redo, machine manipulation tools with moving it, rotating it, placing it on the ground, erasing pieces, tuning, and scraping the whole plan.
You also have all of your building choices on the bottom ranging from basic pieces, weapons, armor, and flight. Now as I understand it you can build whatever you want. So long as your target is destroyed. But for now I will just follow the How to Build on the side. Using their build you pretty much make a mobile ram on wheels to trash the cottage. Going onto the next map the engine that we made carries over to the next map. I decided to just use the same engine and it worked, although barely.
By the third map though creative thinking is required because you can’t just move forward with the old because there are some nice traps in the way, as seen above in the explosion. So this is where you start getting creative to figure out how to get past the obstacles. Each level past this of course increases the amount of obstacles such as adding walls, archers, soldiers, etc etc in the way of your target.
Currently there is only 15 levels on the first, and only, world. But mattering how good or bad you are at physics build games like this that could still be easily hours upon hours of game time. I personally am not very good at them but I enjoy them none the less. And for its current price of only $7 I would say that the game is well worth the price right now especially since it has so much room to grow.
So now it is time to talk about the other half of what I want to talk about today.
With Besiege being Early Access it kind of got me thinking some people may not even know what that is, which then makes me think that some people just don’t use Steam but putting that aside those who know what Early Access is can probably skip this portion of… well I guess we can call it a rant?
Anyway starting out with the general details of Early Access it pretty much lets publishers put out beta versions of their game onto Steam so people can help put in input of the game to eventually hopefully make the game better. It also lets indie groups out there get their game on the market easier, which is kind of how Steam started in the first place, and helps these indie groups get better.
Now I won’t point fingers or call names, but when this process works it really does work. Some amazing games have come through the Early Access features of Steam, yeah of course this also means bad ones have also come through but we can’t win everything, also taste in games is like taste in anything else, purely subjective. What one person hates another will love.
This biggest problem really with Early Access is when human greed gets involved. Some familiar with Early Access may know of a few cases like I do, again without me pointing fingers or calling names, but there have been cases where a promising game comes through, or a lot of promises were made to the fans, or whatever else you want to think of/say. But then the publisher group just suddenly… ups and disappears. No news on the game, no news from the publisher, just nothing.
Now of course without the publisher saying anything specific we can’t actually be sure they are gone and not just being active for whatever reason, which is a bad public face as a game designer so it really doesn’t matter it is still wrong, but most who see these cases would probably agree on the same fact: They probably up and left with the money they made.
Again there is no concrete evidence of this really. But when suddenly there is nothing coming from the designers and months to even years pass by without anything happening to the game? It is more likely than not that it is the case. So because of this I have seen more and more people stop trusting early access games, even when reviews are good for it. Honestly I can’t blame them because you never know if/when it can happen but at the same time this hurts the legitimate indie groups trying to put out a game to the public.
So pretty much what I am getting at with all this is pretty much this: Don’t be afraid to try out Early Access games, but be wary of ones that have not gone through any updates in quite a while. Make sure to check discussion threads to see what others say about, do your research, don’t just fly in blindly.