If you are a fan of the classic Heroes of Might and Magic games, you are going to want to stick around for this one. The devs over at Oxymoron Games were gracious enough to send us a preview copy of their upcoming game Silence of the Siren. So, let’s jump right in.
Silence of the Siren is a turn-based strategy game in which several different space-faring civilizations fight over control of a distant star system. Players explore what’s left on the planet, secure resources, build mighty cities, raise powerful armies, and defeat their opponents on the battlefield.
The gameplay is divided into three sections. At every turn, you will want to expand your cities, grow your armies, and explore the surrounding territory. But ultimately, it all comes down to defeating your enemy.
Like the Heroes of Might and Magic games of old, each city is limited to just one new building per turn. There are a wide array of options to upgrade in the city, and Silence of the Siren does a great job at showing what buildings are needed as a prerequisite for future upgrades. You will also want to hire some commanders and soldiers for battle once you expand your city.
Each commander is unique, with a different portrait and interesting backstory. They also come with a preassigned ability. There are several different abilities in the game already, with some pretty interesting ones to pick from when the commander levels up. Abilities like Navigator allow your commander to move further when exploring, or Negotiator allows your commander to hire enemy units to their side before the battle starts. Your soldiers can get upgrades as well, which can really change the way you use them in battle.
Once your army is ready, you will need to explore the territory around your city to find resources for future upgrades or even locations that might level up your commander. The map I could play on was a pretty good size with lots of different points of interest. There were locations that you could only visit once, factories that provided daily resources, and even places to hire additional units to join your army. There were also many artifacts lying around for your commanders to use.
All of that is great, but what about the combat? You aren’t going to be able to explore very far without battling the creatures on the map. Of course, you must also find the enemy to defeat them in battle. So let’s talk about it.
The battles are all on a grid that looks pretty much the same regardless of your biome. For now, at least. Your units are on one side, and the enemy is on the other. Your units seem to be randomly placed on your side of the grid unless you have the commander ability that allows you to move them before the battle starts. So, that is definitely a must-have ability.
Once the battle has started, a timeline across the bottom of the screen shows you the turn order per unit. Each unit can wait once per round. This is always an excellent option when you have slower units to let the enemy come to you before you move in for an attack. The combat is very satisfying with each unit having unique abilities.
Aside from your units attacking, some commanders have in-battle skills that they can use once per round. This can quickly turn the tide of battle or make for a really quick encounter when going up against weaker foes.
Silence of the Siren already looks fantastic from the characters to the map. All of the commanders and units look diverse and interesting both in and out of combat. Every unit’s attack feels specialized to that unit. This makes each unit enjoyable to use and creates the desire to have a broad range of units in each army. There are also several different biomes throughout the map to explore. Each biome varies in look during the day and the night.
So what’s next? As much as I enjoyed the preview build, I want more.
The map has some interesting biomes and a day-night cycle. I would love to see more unique terrain during combat that is specific to the biome. Maybe even a different battlefield depending on if it is night or not. Even seeing different enemies during the night cycle could make things very interesting.
The current playable race is the Fossorian (aka space moles). I enjoyed the variety in the units, but I am already itching to see what the other races will offer in terms of playable characters, commanders, and, more importantly, how they will differ strategically from the Fossorian.
Lastly, there is some flavor text already with the different commanders’ background stories and a little bit of story when the level begins. I want more, though. I am really hoping there is going to be an in-depth story-driven campaign for each race that I can play through at launch. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Silence of the Siren is still early in development. However, after getting my hands on what content they already have done, I am very excited to see what the finished product is going to be. It is already looking good. Hopefully, they just continue upward and keep expanding on the great foundation that they already have.
Like I said in the beginning, if you are a fan of the classic Heroes of Might and Magic games, you are going to want to stick around for this one. I am very excited to see a game using that same formula but with a modern twist. Even if you aren’t familiar with Heroes, I would still encourage you to keep an eye on this one if you enjoy turn-based games in general.
You can check out more of Silence of the Siren on their Steam page.