Reviews - Updated on April 2, 2022

Gloria Victis: Medieval MMORPG is an independent development by the Polish studio Black Eye Games, which was released on Steam Early Access five years ago (and is still there). Haven’t heard of this one? No wonder – the project turned out to be quite niche, did not gain much popularity, but did not become a failure either, allowing the developers to try their hand at another genre. Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is a “survival strategy”: the same “Viking-knightly” setting as the namesake MMO (without verbatim copying of historical realities – the world is fictional here), and the gameplay can be described with the phrase “This War of Mine in the Middle Ages”.

It seems to be clear what awaits us: resource management, crafting, sorties for supplies, a difficult moral choice ”… But did the developers manage to surprise with something else?

Woe to the vanquished

Trouble came to the kingdom of Midland: the coastal city of Edring was attacked by sea raiders from Kargald, the Ismirs. Despite fierce resistance, the defenders of the city could not oppose them – soon Edring was almost completely captured. The inhabitants were waiting for death, and their houses – looting. Only the central castle survived, defended by a handful of guards – several townspeople took refuge inside, who managed to send a messenger with a call for help. But you still have to live until the allies approach, which will not be easy: there are few defenders, the Ismirs are preparing a new assault, and the supply of food and water in the garrison is limited.

Siege Survival: The Glory of the Conquerors: бзор

The bastion holds the line. By the way, such a small number of defenders (only 13) is not a simplification – in reality, a well-fortified castle could be defended by several dozen fighters.

The player will have to take over the leadership of the surviving citizens (precisely civilians, not soldiers). It is necessary to survive the siege and wait for help, providing the guards with food, equipment and medicine while they hold the defense on the walls. In a small castle courtyard, you can build a warehouse, make a fire for cooking, build a kiln for firing bricks and smelting steel, and other simple household items, but this is not enough – you cannot do without regular night trips for supplies to the ruined city.

Day and night

The idea of ​​survival strategies is not new: the game began to be compared with This War of Mine from the moment it was announced. There are also quite recent examples – at least Mr. Prepper, which I recently talked about. Interestingly, all these projects were made in Poland – for some reason, the Poles are close to the topic of survival.

Siege Survival: The Glory of the Conquerors: бзор

Now a hefty cobblestone will fly here – there is a risk of being left without a device for collecting rainwater.

The gameplay of Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is divided into two interconnected stages – day and night. During the day, the townspeople are engaged in peaceful affairs: they feed chickens and pigs, cook food, collect useful devices, such as workbenches or stoves, and delve into the ruins of the tower in case something valuable comes across. It’s not enough to take care of your wards – the player’s shoulders also take care of the garrison of the bastion, which beats off assault after assault. The guards require food, drink, and equipment, and the walls require bricks and building stone to repair. The Bastion, like the battles it wages, are abstract concepts: it is a separate window in the interface, which shows the defense forces, their basic needs. Here you can also take broken weapons and armor from the guard and send her new equipment and food.

Do not forget about the characters that are directly under our control. There are few of them – from one to four, depending on the starting settings. With an incomplete team, it is possible to find others by offering them a helping hand – this happens during night attacks in a plundered city. These raids are needed, of course, not only to replenish the team (on the contrary, sometimes you doubt whether another hungry company is needed in an already distressed fortress), but primarily to search for resources, without which the siege will very quickly end with the defeat of the defense.

Siege Survival: The Glory of the Conquerors: бзор

Ideally, no one should sit idle: idleness is an unaffordable luxury during a siege.

Edring is a large city, divided into several districts, each of which has its own probability of finding one or another type of supplies. Of course, each sortie is fraught with the danger of getting caught and dying: Ismir warriors patrol the streets, and our heroes, as a rule, are useless soldiers – it’s far from a fact that it will be possible to survive in battle even with a single enemy. So you have to sneak around your native places, inspecting houses and sheds in search of something useful. Time for looting is limited – with the first rays of the sun, you must return to the castle. Given that the inventory is far from dimensionless, you have to carefully choose what to take with you from what you find and what to leave until the next time.

Not everyone will live to win

Only one of the characters can go on a night raid, while the rest can rest or reconnoiter the area at this time (the latter will help you find out the date of the next assault and assess the strength of the attackers). Most likely, the next day the scout will have to sleep off – the player needs to strictly monitor the indicators of the inhabitants (there are six in total – fatigue, hunger, thirst, illness, health and mood). Therefore, constantly sending the same hero outside (let’s say he has a large inventory) will lead to sad consequences.

Dying in a fortress from wounds, disease, starvation or physical exhaustion is much easier than falling to the axes of Ysmir’s sentries in a night raid: the patrols are rather clumsy, they are easy to spot and just as easy to hide from them, so I was not lucky enough to lose a citizen during a sortie only once, and even then because of a bug – having buried himself in an obstacle, the poor fellow continued to run in place, receiving blow after blow.

After returning, a new day comes with new worries, which should not be put off indefinitely – “the clock is ticking”. Due to the inexorable course of time, you have to choose – either try to collect the full four survivors in order to manage to do all the things in a short time, or limit yourself to one or two residents in the name of saving resources.

Siege Survival: The Glory of the Conquerors: бзор

It is better to burn infected corpses, otherwise, running nearby, you can get sick.

I advise you to choose the first option: yes, it’s a little more difficult, but not so boring. The scourge of such games is the routine grinding of resources, and if it is also built around waiting for each action to end (as here, for example), then put out the lights altogether: few people will like to watch the slow movement of the progress bar during harvesting. The presence of several characters allows you to avoid this – while one is busy, you give orders to the second, third, and there, you see, the first one will be released. In any case, free hands will not be enough, so there will be something for everyone.

“Pans of choice”, which are not

Unfortunately, there is no escape from such a routine during outings. As I said, the enemies do not pose a particular threat, so each raid is just running from one pile of garbage to another: rummaged, took valuables, moved on. Moreover, it is necessary to return home, and no one will like backtracking.

The situation could be corrected by random meetings with surviving residents, moral dilemmas and situations that the city occupied by the invaders should be rich in, but this is precisely the weakest side of Siege Survival. No, from time to time it is possible to stumble upon an event marked with a special icon: for example, a miraculously saved woman offers to exchange food for resources, or we are faced with a choice of how to behave while searching for food in a destroyed house. All this is framed in the form of already familiar text quests, which can be failed by choosing the wrong dialogue option.

Siege Survival: The Glory of the Conquerors: бзор

Meat is always valuable, but is it worth the risk?

But, what’s a shame, such events are very rare, they are very short and are unlikely to be able to surprise a sophisticated player with anything. In This War of Mine, such stories from the life of a war-torn city were made much better, and some even squeezed out a tear. Here, everything is ordinary: you expect a serious and gloomy plot, but you get small fragments, too slurred to evoke at least some kind of response in your soul.

During the assault, enemies can throw stones and carcasses of infected animals into the courtyard using catapults or fire at buildings with burning arrows. You have to risk the health of the inhabitants and put out the fire – resources are more expensive.

Nevertheless, Siege Survival: Gloria Victis does not leave the feeling of unfinished work – the problem only concerns the plot and surroundings. The “survivor” itself looks good – it is noticeable that the developers have thought through both the balance and the complexity. There are several options for starting – both for those who want hardcore, and for those who like to immerse themselves in the plot (even if it is almost not noticed here). There is even a fully customizable walkthrough and the ability to select custom scenarios.

And for those who were waiting primarily for a harsh medieval story about the difficult days and nights of a besieged city, the fate of which depends on a handful of brave men, the news is disappointing – this is far from the first place here.

Pros: no routine grinding during the daytime phase of gameplay, good balance of difficulty.

Cons: unsuccessful attempt to tell a serious story, boring forays into the city.

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