It might not have landed quite as firmly in the third quarter as we had first reported, but the latest major update – possibly the most important one yet – to medieval machinery sandbox Besiege has officially launched.
Besiege is a smaller, more focused thing than most games on our list of great sandbox games, but is none the lesser for it.
The Multiverse update, as the developers are calling it, brings two massive features to the already-impressive construction game. The first is server-based multiplayer, allowing for all manner of cooperative and competitive endeavours, and the latter is a level editor, allowing players to create and share challenges for solo or online use.
At present, there’s no server browser for Besiege, and that makes sense. Being an unlimited sandbox, the potential for griefing, intentional server crashing, or general abuse is almost unparalleled – for the time being this is a game to be played with friends. At least you can send invites and join directly via your Steam friends list, which makes grouping up easy.
That isn’t to say that this can’t be a structured endeavour. Thanks to the level editor, there are already a variety of scenarios designed for co-op or competitive play. I’d love to try getting a group together to imitate the TV show Scrapheap Challenge. Set a goal, and give players 10-15 minutes to create the machine for the job, improvised on the fly.
Besiege has come a long way since its first debut. The original release of the game, while aesthetically gorgeous, was quite limited in scale with only a handful of levels and buildings blocks available. It felt like a solid proof of concept for a much larger game. Now it feels like we’re closing in on that larger vision, with a well-stocked user workshop and a decently lengthy set of levels, with more to come in future.