Take on the hordes of evil, and die many times over in doing so. Seed Studios presents a PS3-exclusive, Real Time Strategy not for the feint of heart.

Here we go again, with yet another PSN title so damn difficult that it ate me alive. I can’t help but admit such ineptitude at downloadable, strategy-based titles is doing a number on my quickly waning gaming ego. These humbling experiences are either hallmarks of a genre clearly stepping up its game, difficulty-wise, or – in my early 30’s – evidence of growing softness to over challenging titles formerly enticing.

Either side of the coin notwithstanding, kudos are in order to developers willing to commit resources toward offerings of this nature, knowing full well it a legitimate risk: reward, studio survival experiment. In short, only hardened gamers are likely to fully appreciate the subtle, strategic underpinnings underlying these labors of high difficulty love.

These gamers are a dedicated lot, individuals who flocked to the unabashedly impossible ‘Demon’s Souls,’ likewise the same folks who questioned why I couldn’t crack the difficulty nut of 'Greed Corp.' Last – and to confess - Downtown Jimmy and I both tipped our caps to a 'Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign' developer requesting clarification in our review on A.I. versus environmental design.

Why the above disclaimers? Simply put: ‘Under Siege’ is a really, really, really, hard game. So much so that even the supposed introductory levels – on ‘Casual’ difficulty, no less – will push the challenge quotient to its very limits. Several hours in, I certainly got better at Under Siege…but nevertheless found myself unable to beat levels only a hiccup into the game.

Although while deaths numbered dozens, Under Siege (akin to Greed Corp.) kept me coming back for more. It’s a polished, robust title, one where Portuguese developer Seed Studios certainly applied a great deal of TLC. This reality is repeat level infectious, even when the damn mutant, giant snake thing poisoned me for the umpteenth time. I’ve killed 62 enemies and still failed at levels...? Egads.

Under the hood, Under Siege is aptly entitled: it’s a Real Time Strategy (RTS) battle against an evil horde sweeping across the land. Minutes in – and what begins as a war against two rival factions - morphs into another solely for survival. Said evil menace does not discriminate based on cause, hell-bent on wiping any and everything off the face of the nicely presented landscapes.

Nine warrior classes are selectable, each upgradeable in skill set and configuration type. Lose a friend in battle, however, and all the upgrades go with it. Thus, spending hard earned gold is a calculated risk in determining likelihood to come home, post melee. Similarly, lose a battle…no spoils to be had.

While PlayStation Move controls are available, the DualShock does a ridiculously good job at keeping even chaotic battles under control. While the difficulty beat me upside the head, the control scheme is nothing short of brilliant for a non-PC, RTS offering. Smug smiles of satisfaction emerged from ease in executing custom strategies, immediate action decisions combining attack, heal, terrain advantage and implementation of helping computer A.I. allies. Who da’ man? You betcha’.

Alluded to above, terrain is pretty, sound effects and music solid. Nature and building textures, creepiness of wolves in the distance, crunching of snow, clashing of weapons, ‘accompanying enemies’ music, etc., combine to produce high quality presentation for a downloadable offering. Dying so many times rarely looks, feels this good. Related – and depending on individual preference – hand-drawn, cut scenes are either the cat’s meow or a tad childish.

Aforementioned ‘taken behind the shed’ moments emerged via Campaign mode. Multiplayer features terrain and flag capture segments, also deathmatch and battle contests in return for gold goodies. The bounty is plentiful, making these contests well worth the investment. That is…if you can find anyone online to battle against. Thus, while I laud the implementation of online components into nearly every title, perhaps it worth rethinking said strategy with so many online lobbies akin to airports on Christmas Day.

Under Siege also features a disgustingly robust Level Editor option, perhaps the most sophisticated one of its kind I’ve ever encountered. The ability to create and/or tweak RTS levels down to individual A.I. response halos and timeframes is simply incredible. Well above and beyond what one would expect in a download. If Seed opened this title up to the PC community…hot damn.

In sum – and if you’re piecing the above equation together – I really want to like Under Siege…but can’t get past its front door bouncer to get there. I’m certain there will be hardier folks than I more capable of navigating its trying barriers of mid-entry. Still, one lesser difficulty level would go along way in enjoying Da’ Club and all its wonderment.

Under Siege is a well-done RTS, although a bit too challenging for its own good. Featuring a high caliber production value and control scheme for a downloadable title, there’s a lot to like in this maiden voyage for a new studio. Still, it’s hard to appreciate all Under Siege has to offer with so much dying going on.

  • Outstanding control scheme
  • Solid audio-visuals
  • Robust gameplay modes
  • Hard, hard, and hard
  • Did I mention hard?
  • Absent online community
Quote: "Under Siege is a well-done RTS, although a bit too challenging for its own good. Featuring a high caliber production value and control scheme for a downloadable title, there’s a lot to like in this maiden voyage for a new studio."
Reviewed by Paul Stuart | 06.22.11

Similar Reviews: Greed Corp (6.0) | Legends of War: Patton's Campaign (7.0)


Under Siege

Seed Studios

Seed Studios


US Release
June '11



Players 1-2
Online 1-2
Dolby 5.1
1080p HD
Custom Sndtrk
Level Editor
PS Move Support