Siege Survival: Gloria Victis – Survival reviews in a besieged castle


Unexpected, uninvited, the invaders arrived and besieged the picturesque port city. Countless defenders resist as best they can. Help is on the way, but supplies are getting thinner, there is a shortage of almost everything – weapons, bandages, food. Especially food. This is becoming the most valuable thing in the world for a handful of survivors.

You enter such an unfriendly situation in Siege Survival: Gloria Victis. Can you survive?

Who with whom

One thing we need to make clear at the outset: Gloria Victis is not a classic strategy to grab the elements of the struggle for survival. Quite the opposite – survival plays a major role, and only then do other essentials come into play, including the administration of a small courtyard and several survivors, elements of visual novels and looting.

What at first seems like a disjointed mish-mash gradually turns out to be a surprisingly balanced game that stays within the bounds, but makes it so clever that you will want to continue, because giving up without a fight would simply not be the case.

The player receives a single character and ruins in the wreath, on which he has to build a functional base, thanks to which the defenders can resist until the arrival of reinforcements. To this end, you will carefully consider what you invest precious raw materials in and whom you will feed. At night, you will roam the conquered parts of the city, where you will find other survivors and resources that will allow you to survive another day.

Tumáš krysu, huso!

Although the game tries to disguise its main purpose with various aspects, you will soon understand that the main task is to provide both your charges (maximum four characters) and the defenders of the army with enough food. And as you know from history and video game lessons, he relies on starving the crew during the siege, so don’t expect a helping hand from your enemies.

Initially, you build the most necessary “buildings”, such as a log and a table for repairing damaged weapons and armor, but it does not take long and you invest all your resources in building gardens for growing vegetables or composters. Every piece of spoiled food you find on night trips through the city is then turned into feed for pigs and poultry.

The individual “buildings” in Gloria Victis adhere to the best practices of the production chains, so each is linked to each, which only underlines the lack of resources for their construction. Which is more important? The production of bandages and ointments, or the greenery that you can feed to hens laying extremely valuable eggs? If you manage to find out the best way to handle each piece of wood and food at an early stage of the game, you are well on your way to celebrating fanfare and rescue. Whether the defenders will eat vegetables, slaughtered animals during this time (I do not recommend), or if you will replace pork with rat meat, no one will ask.

It makes perfect sense that you do more than provide weapons and armor to provide food and drinking water. Unfortunately, this is perhaps too realistic at the expense of fun – I spent the final days before the arrival of reinforcements just waiting with the characters between four gardens, three rat traps, three composts and a pair of rainwater catchers, from which I subsequently made animal feed and food for humans.

It is not a problem, because a long and painful journey has led to this state. However, it is not ideal if you can outsmart the main aspect of the whole game by throwing all the resources in one direction without thinking.

Creeping, crawling forward!

While you try to turn a small courtyard into a completely self-sufficient cell, enemies roam the city outside the safety of the walls and enjoy all kinds of leisure activities – especially murder, burning, weeding. At night, however, they get tired after a day of work and there are only a few patrols left, among which you can cleverly sneak in and collect precious raw materials.

This is the second main part of the game – you build and care during the day, you sneak and collect at night. The game at the moment resembles an isometric stealth RPG with a primitive combat system. One of your characters (usually the one with the largest inventory) sets out for the dark corners of the city, where he crawls through rubble, barrels, bushes and tries to find anything that would help the defenders.

Like the daytime phase in the courtyard, the night phase is limited in time, and you absolutely must get back to safety before the sun peeks out. At the beginning, it is a very straightforward process through individual parts of the city, because you really need everything that the attackers left behind. Rubble, wood, even spoiled water, which you boil for drinking.

You want everything, so you end the night walks very quickly after the inventory is full. Gradually, however, you will become interested in only very specific ingredients (especially food) and then walks around the city become a race against time. Even if you gradually open a few starting points, from which you then take short quick trips to the surroundings, you still have to be able to go back.

The game can turn on the autopilot and navigate the character itself, but it must not be too far from any of the starting points, otherwise backtracking fails. Beware – if you encounter an enemy patrol on the way back with a full inventory of precious supplies, disaster may strike. The guards have their own routes, but they can respond to the noise you make by moving around the city.

When someone kills you, you are left with two options: kill the enemy soldier, turn him over and attract more patrols, or hide in one of the ready-made places and wait. Or you just take your feet on your shoulders and pull your tail back behind the walls.

A cow is falling, I wish for something

However, the attackers are not just passive shots in a night-shrouded city. After all, these are the aggressors who put you in an unenviable situation, so they won’t give up and are still attacking the city. The runaways come relatively randomly, but if you send one of your characters at night not only to the city (you can control it directly there), but also to explore enemy lines (this happens automatically), you can find out how long it will take for another attack. Do you only have two days? Maybe it would be worthwhile to complete the repair of the trebuchet at the base, collect some terrains in the pots and set the enemies on fire nicely during the attack.

When the walls are under enemy attack, you have your characters under control like any other day, but you have to deftly maneuver them and dodge the fire. A red circle appears in the courtyard representing the impact of what the enemy is shooting – and it doesn’t have to be just rocks, sometimes a cow flies like Stronghold, and you’re suddenly busy clearing debris, repairing affected buildings and burning corpses that you otherwise it poisons life. Literally.

Against the background of all this, there are small everyday stories of individual characters under the player’s control and those who remain trapped in the city and are looking for a way to survive. These passages are reminiscent of classic gamebooks – you will get a description of the situation and several decisions on how to deal with the problem. It would definitely help to add a lot of lyrics and scripts, but fortunately there’s a game editor from that.

Survival in a thousand ways

Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is not a groundbreaking title in the slightest, but it is so well done in terms of craftsmanship that despite the original skepticism and the first few hours I was looking for a way to it, I had a hell of a lot of fun. In addition, the authors have prepared a plethora of modes, thanks to which you can adapt each additional game to what you are in the mood for and what you enjoy in the game – change the importance of crawling the night city, micromanagement, enemy strength, attack frequency and so on. The highlight is a relatively user-friendly editor in which you can create your own scenarios.

I expected an average canapé from Gloria Victis, but I got a very good game.

However, the hymn to Gloria Victis is not without a few reproaches, which are mainly aimed at the pace of the game, which would sometimes benefit from either acceleration or a large number of dialog boxes and stories, so that the player does not just click between buildings and wait for another night walk.

Then I couldn’t come to terms with one thing during the whole game – very bad pathfinding. Without regular clicks on every millimeter, the characters like to get stuck in each other or it is difficult for them to miss an obstacle that they passed without a problem before a second ago. A similar problem has the user interface, which overlaps here and there impractically, so you have to do everything gradually and avoid having multiple characters meet in one place.

I expected an average canapé from Gloria Victis, but I got a very good game. So I’m definitely looking forward to what content the fans will come up with, among which the game will hopefully get big and show the world what human creativity can do, if you give it solid mechanisms and an accessible editor.


Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.

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