Saddened by the Space Siege demo

I loved Diablo and Diablo II. I loved Dungeon Siege, Dungeon Siege Legends of Aranna, I enjoyed Dungeon Siege II. I even spent some time re-playing Dungeon Siege over the last week or so. Space Siege, by the makers of Dungeon Siege, should be a game that is right up my alley. One minor problem, though, it is a PC / Windows game and most of what I have been playing are Xbox360 games. No problem, I’ve been running PC games since ye olde 256KB 8088 running DOS on an 8mhz CPU. I have a dual core AMD 4200+ machine with an nVidia 7600GS video card. While nobody would mistake my computer for a hardcore gaming system, based on the game specs, my system should plenty fast enough to handle this game.

Last night when I saw that the Space Siege demo was available (a whopping 900MB) I immediately starting it downloading. Thankfully, the download went really quickly. I got the game installed and immediately I noticed the mouse was incredibly laggy and the menus was slow. I fired up the game and overall it played “ok”, but the mouse laggy-ness made the game somewhat difficult to play. A quick Google search showed that others are having this same problem. I tried lowering the video settings and resolution, restarting the game, installing updated video drivers, etc. and nothing really improves performance. While the mouse is less laggy if I run the game in a window, the game is harder to play that way. I am sure this is a minor bug, but they won’t get an of my money until the mouse / performance problems are ironed out.

But, aside from the mouse and performance problems, I think the game showed some definite promise. While I miss the “inventory” screen and I miss having an overlay map (via the Tab key), the 20 or so minutes of the demo was fun and the gameplay relatively intuitive. The graphics were nice, the sound was good. If they can solve the problems and make the game perform well, I can imagine playing this game. While the gameplay is completely different, the concept of making a “less human” cybernetic hero feels a bit like Too Human.

Ultimately, these problems are the reason I switched from playing PC games to playing console games. I have a firm believe that one should be able to get a game disc, pop it in, and the game should “just work”. PC games always seem to have these little “gotchas” that keep the game from working correctly – they always require a lot of fiddling to work correctly. Since Space Siege will probably be a Windows-only game, I hope they solve these problems

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