The “Get To Know” line of articles are built to get a better impression of what I love/hate, and why, through a more direct means. While my tastes have been quite unconventional to the “norm” we’ve seen, I feel as if it’d be beneficial to run a series of articles that go into what I adore, and deplore, about gaming, and why.
I alluded to a major project I was going to work on throughout 2018, but due to repeated illnesses, I was unable to produce a healthy enough queue to get it going. That project was going to be my top 100 games of all-time, in which I would go into a great bit of detail on each game, and why it has a position on said list.
With this miniseries I have going with Get To Know, it’s given me a renewed sense of urgency to try and get some portion of this project revealed and shared with everyone. Instead of being overly ambitious, I’ll truncate the list to a top 25; that’s more than enough to show the kinds of games I adore the most, and the genres that they represent.
13 – StarSiege
- Developer: Dynamix
- Publisher: Sierra
- Platform: PC
- Genre: 3D mech shooter
- Release date: 3/24/99
- Rating: 8.4
What is StarSiege?
A 3D mech battling game on the PC, StarSiege followed up EarthSiege 1 and 2, as well as Battledrome, and preceded the StarSiege: Tribes franchise. I know it had some kind of story, but honestly, StarSiege made this list because of the absolutely addicting, and thoroughly entertaining multiplayer game. I may have played like, twenty minutes of the single player campaign, ever.
What warrants StarSiege‘s inclusion on this list?
Now I know what you’re thinking… “you only played half the game! What if the single player game was hot garbage?!” Well, even if it was, the multiplayer would have been so absurdly strong, that it would have carried the entire package for me.
The gist of the multiplayer revolved more or less around the staples of first person/third person shooter modes – team deathmatch (TDM), deathmatch (DM), capture the flag (CTF) and so on. Players can pilot tanks, or the bipetal mechs called HERCs. A plethora of weaponry, chassis, engines and such, can be outfitted to each tank or HERC, while maintaining a rigid weight and power regulation limit.
StarSiege multiplayer’s playerbase was a strange, yet close knit group of people; we all respected and liked each other (the bulk that played together), and vowed not to use missiles against each others (whom were referred to as “boaters”). Anytime we got a boater against us, we’d all drop the game and find a new room to play in. Sometimes we would all focus that player the whole game until we scared them off. It’s silly thinking about how boaters were blacklisted more or less, with missile jammers being widely available to outfit on the tanks or HERCs, but then again, we would all spam the audio triggers of “yo mama!” and “damn you, you miserable turd!” anytime we died to each other.
There was a level of depth with StarSiege that you don’t see these days. Weak points were a focus for multiplayer, as each of the HERCs and tanks have weak points that can be exploited. Tanks were usually vulnerable on the cockpit area, while the human bipedal mechs had a weak spot on their crotch (that’s where the engine or reactor is). Also, many of the larger mechs have other weak spots, such as their toes. While this could be remedied by constant shield rotations, it was still something fresh, and gave players more strategic options.
The variety of mechs and tanks you can pilot was surprisingly varied. The Olympian was a gigantic, walking tank that could load up to four weapons. I remember having a checkered cab skin for that mech and calling it the Taxi whenever I loaded it up. Regardless of huge and intimidating it was, if you’re not careful, a tank with two beam weapons could one shot you, if you’re not properly cycling your shields.
Speaking of weapons, aside from the missiles, there were weapons that focused upon draining shields, while others sliced up exposed armor. There’s even a weapon that will home in on a player, but does the most minimal amount of damage. Those were best suited for the mid sized, yet still extremely mobile mechs, such as the Goad. They repeatedly circle the larger mechs while the big boys go for the weak spots.
I miss StarSiege so much. I don’t particularly care for the Tribes series that spawned from it; the mech battles were so damn enjoyable, and it brought together friends that worked with each other that much more. For more information about the multitude of mechs, engines, weapons, chassis and such, check out this awesome, but brief FAQ from Kamineko on GameFAQS.
I miss the late nights where the Night Demons (the clan I was in with all my friends from my old job) reigned supreme, banding together and taking out the opposition. While there are a few multiplayer experiences that have superseded StarSiege, it was a very special time in my life, with some special and amazing friends, having a literal blast blowing everyone, and each other up.
I miss those days, and miss those friends dearly.
My first experience with “modding” on a PC game was with StarSiege.
While the “modding” that was available with StarSiege pales in comparison to some of these absolutely mind-blowing mods as of late, it was a very elementary method to adjusting certain non game breaking aspects of the multiplayer. Each of the HERCs had point file skins that could be recolored and reused as a new skin, altering the color palette. But by far my favorite way to mod StarSiege was changing out audio taunt triggers in conjunction with text taunts. Either utilizing the .wav fives already there and remapping them, or by completely overhauling it and using audio samples from random TV shows and such. Sadly only those who shared those audio files with you would be able to hear the when they went off, but oh man… dying in that game and pressing a key to have Homer Simpson say in voice and in text “I am invincible! Invincible! You, DOH!” never, ever got old.