Stardock Entertainment has a long history with sci-fi and/or strategy games, and their latest outing – Siege of Centauri, is an orthodox yet ambitious sci-fi tower defense and strategy hybrid of sorts. Set within the same universe as their super ambitious RTS Ashes of the Singularity, your goal is to defend colonies from thousands of alien machines with only whatever you can deploy from orbit. As with any tower defense game, there are a number of maps for you to overcome, as well as different patterns to build your strategies around. Despite it’s budget price, this game offers a great amount of content – read on to find out why!
Siege of Centauri
Publisher: Stardock Entertainment
Developer: Stardock Entertainment
Platform: Windows PC (Reviewed)
Release Date: September 12th 2019
I’ve been playing Siege of Centauri since before its release and the visuals have progressed and been refined very nicely. The full release has an excellent attention to detail when it comes to map topography, as well as the towers, enemies, and of course – the attacks and explosions.
While most tower defense games of yore focus on single file units or a max number of units on screen until the wave pans out, Siege of Centauri takes a page out of Ashes’ playbook. Its RTS forebear can have thousands of units on screen, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like Siege does too.
There can be dozens and dozens of towers all firing off lasers and various projectiles while a horde of baddies keep coming. I have a pretty good rig with a GTX 1060 (6GB) card and a mid-tier Ryzen 7, so the game runs like a dream. Overall the framerate and visuals look wonderful, and hold up.
While the game had some issues with crashes and freezes at launch, Stardock has released update patches that have addressed a number of these issues. It does still crash occasionally, but outside of that the game does run very well and looks wonderful.
Siege of Centauri is a tower defense game through and through, but it does have some unique features that freshen things up a bit. While most of your defense will be made up of towers, you can deploy special units and abilities to help combat the really massive waves of enemies.
Some of these special abilities and units include giant mechs, a group of defensive units, and even energy beams – all of which are utilized with a separate currency from your main income. Balancing regular towers with these special deployments is key, and quite a lot of fun.
In terms of towers, there are lots of different types of towers for you to choose from, and they all get unlocked as you progress through the campaign. Mix and matching towers while upgrading them is big, while also protecting buildings on the map – and upgrading them too, when appropriate.
There’s a map creator for all you entrepreneuring tower defense fans out there, and it definitely has lots of options. If you’re looking for something simplistic to throw a few maps together, you may get a bit overwhelmed. Still, it’s a really nice feature that adds onto existing value in game content.
As with most tower defense games, when you upgrade towers and buildings is quite critical. These upgrades can end up costing quite a bit, and if not planned accordingly, you’ll come up short when the next big wave comes. Timing, as always, is a huge part of the genre, and it’s no different here.
If you plow through the story mode and get bored of the map editor, you can also play the endless survival mode. This, as its name implies, lets you play endlessly until you (probably) fail. This is somewhat for purists, but you can really test more strategies out here as waves get tougher.
The story in Siege of Centauri plays out over the course of its single-player campaign, which is made up of an assortment of well-designed maps to overcome. For you to complete all of the maps on the highest difficulty I’d say it would take probably 6 to 8 hours, so there’s a good amount here.
With the name of the game it makes sense the story is focused on Proxima Centauri, one of the first interstellar colonies for mankind. When investigating why the colony went dark, you find hordes of aliens and must fight them off with aforementioned towers and abilities.
The campaign is enjoyable and has voice acting, but it can be somewhat of a take it or leave it type story. For a tower defense game, it’s definitely a nice surprise that there is something of a story here, and that it plays into the overall Ashes of the Singularity universe.
Each level has its own unique map with varying pathways and choke points. You’re literally given only a few buildings for resource income and then you’re left to figure out how to defend multiple paths, and numerous types of enemies – all with their own unique quirks and defenses.
Siege of Centauri is a very enjoyable tower defense and strategy game hybrid. The game had some bumps at launch but has received patches and updates since. This honestly feels like somewhat of an experiment for Stardock, a side project while they have the next big RTS cooking in the oven.
The game may be somewhat short in length, but in my opinion has never been presented as a full-fledged RTS – this has always felt like more of a budget title and its price reflects that. If you’re looking for a fun and rewarding tower defense game set in a futuristic world, you should check out Siege of Centauri.
Siege of Centauri was reviewed on Windows PC using a review copy provided by Stardock Entertainment. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.