By Joseph Luster

Spiderling Studios first launched physics building war game Besiege on Steam in February 2020, bringing with it plenty of ways to challenge both the computer and likeminded players in simulation combat. The base game lets you build everything from catapults to tanks and helicopters with the help of its flexible building system and a collection of over 70 blocks, and now that general concept has expanded to the vast ocean.

Besiege may not be about historical—or even modern—military combat, but the new Besiege: The Splintered Sea expansion might just be what any hungry seafaring sim fans out there have been looking for. If you’ve been trying to fill a gap left in the wake of more traditional naval battle games, the 10-level campaign in The Splintered Sea is worth a look.

In The Splintered Sea, “The Offlanders” are a group occupying a series of islands throughout the world. It’s up to you, either alone or with the help of friends, to take down Admiral Drasckar’s fleet of cutters, paving the way for a grand battle against his signature galleon. With this new story comes new means of mechanical inspiration, including a handful of new oceanic blocks that expand the creative possibilities. Floats, rudders, screws that aid in propulsion, sails, paddles and harpoon launchers are among the new blocks this followup introduces, so it’s up to you to decide what to do with them.

The team at Spiderling has done their best to essentially make The Splintered Sea operate like Besieged, only in water this time. With that goal in mind, there are hydrodynamics at play that produce drag unique to each shape, thus affecting the way your machines move through the water. An assortment of creatures, hazards and other aspects unique to the setting await on the surface of the ocean, as well, so expect your boat to be thoroughly rocked.

It’s all a very nice way of saying that if you like Besiege, you’ll likely dig the new sandbox being introduced in this expansion. You can also take that sandbox and put it to even more creative use in the level editor, and all of the unique movement and physics features can be seen in the multiplayer mode, as well. By the time this issue is in your hands, Besiege: The Splintered Sea should be out in full. If you enjoy building as much as campaigning, you’ll want to try out something a little different and head out into these enjoyably choppy waters.

Genre: Simulation
Platform: PC
Publisher: Spiderling Studios
Available: Now

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