Space Siege - updated impressions

It's an impressive list. Total Annihilation. Dungeon Siege. Supreme Commander.

So it's hardly surprising that, as the first tantalizing tidbits of information trickle into our inboxes, proclaiming that games development legend Chris Taylor (the man behind these three PC gaming leviathans) is working on a brand-new space-based RPG called Space Siege. Also joining us for our chat is lead designer Daniel Achterman.

Staying true to the frenetic action-RPG formula that brought Gas Powered Games such success with the Dungeon Siege series, he informs us that Space Siege is an intergalactic action-romp that sees humanity battling for survival against a terrifying alien race that could peel a man like a monkey would a ripe banana.

Stepping into the gravity boots of human hero Seth Walker - a combat engineer onboard a city-sized space cruiser called The Armstrong - you'll be tasked with single-handedly fighting off hordes of aliens in an attempt to save the last dregs of humanity from annihilation.

While Space Siege will be frenetic, pacing is also set to play a major role. "In Dungeon Siege, it was all about using melee and spells to push through tons of enemies," explains Taylor. "Space Siege's combat is far more tactical. You'll go into situations where you encounter aliens and you won't just take out your biggest gun and start blasting them. There'll be combat that's as frenzied as you saw in Dungeon Siege, only there'll be far better pacing this time around. One minute you may be involved in a really intense battle, the next in one that requires strategy."

Aiding you in your critical mission will be a brand-new control system, which Taylor believes will trump even the legendary Dungeon Siege interface. "You won't recognize the interface from Dungeon Siege," he promises. "We're very devoted to simplicity and ease of use so that people won't be overwhelmed. The interface will evolve as you gain abilities and will also allow you to give commands to your HR-V robot - an NPC buddy-character who'll back you up throughout the course of the game."

Taylor would be the first to admit that in the past, plot and characters haven't been his main focus when approaching game design. However, all that's about to change. With the games industry slowly waking up to the power of storytelling and believable, deep characters, Taylor and Achterman believe that they and their team are ready to join the burgeoning number of developers intent on injecting their games with entertaining plots.