Saturday, May 7, 2016

Defense Grid 2 Review

Defense Grid 2 is a tower defense game set in space. It was developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and published by 505 Games on September 23, 2014, for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and for Windows PCs. Defense Grid 2 is one of the games released in May 2016 for Microsoft's Games With Gold program.

In Defense Grid 2 you are in command of the space military and your job is to stop an alien invasion. At your disposal are numerous weapons including guns, cannons, missiles, Tesla coils and more. You can also build platforms called boosts that allow you to alter the path the enemies take but they also give the weapons you place upon them a boost, get it?

The game has many different aliens that each do different things. Along with basic grunts, you have tank aliens, aliens that shield other aliens, fast moving aliens and cloaking aliens. Your enemies objective is to capture all of your cores. You have a reactor that has 24 cores in it and when an alien makes it to your reactor they take from one to a number of cores depending on what type of alien they are. Once all your cores are gone the mission ends in failure. When the aliens take your cores you can still kill the alien and get the core back but once the alien makes it off the map the core is gone for good.

The gameplay is your basic tower defense game. You have resources that are used to build up your towers and kills also get you more resources. The towers you build can be upgraded up to three different levels, green, yellow and red. Each level gives you better range or damage, the increases are unique to the tower your upgrading.

My favorite part of the game is placing your towers. There are squares all over the maps and on those squares, you can build what you like. In the early maps it doesn't matter where you build but on later maps, you can control where the aliens have to go and that gives you a tactical edge. Near the end of the game, you can lose just with the placement of your towers. I had a lot of fun making the aliens go this way or that.

There are also commanders that you can unlock that grant you different things like an orbital bombardment or weapon overcharges. The orbital bombardment has a timer so after you use it it will take a few minutes before it can be used again. The overcharges cost 200 per tower so you can use them if you have the resources.

The game has 20 levels in the campaign to complete and four different difficulties for you to choose to make the game easier or harder for you. Once you've completed the mission you can go back and replay each level in a bunch of different modes. Some of the modes include "fixed resources" which gives you a set amount of resources at the start of the map, "grinder" and "super grinder" which are 100 waves of enemies with the grinder having basic aliens and the super grinder will all alien types. My favorite is "no bullets" which doesn't let you use guns or cannons but you can use lasers which were my favorite weapon.

Defense Grid 2 is a fine looking game, not really good or bad but nice enough. I did like some of the backgrounds a lot, I found that I liked the levels better when I thought they had a cool background. The game has a zoom feature that allows you to move in two times to let you see what's happening better. You can also rotate the screen left or right which I sometimes had to do because I wasn't able to see what I needed to.

This game does have multiplayer abilities for you to play with but good luck trying them out. I do not know if split screen works or not but I tried playing online a couple different times and every time the game would lock up before the match would start. I think I would have enjoyed playing this game online but I couldn't make that happen. I don't know if it's because online has been shut down or what but I have no issue playing other games online. Oh well.

To complete the 20 level campaign on normal took five hours and for me, it was my biggest issue. Five hours really is too short for a game. I know I could have increased the difficulty but the game started me at normal so that's what I used to. It wouldn't have made as big of a problem for me if I would have been able to play online but it is what it is.

As I mentioned I got this game for free as part of Xbox's Games With Gold program. I enjoyed the game but I probably won't have paid for it unless it was around five dollars. Again it isn't a bad game it was just too short for me. I would give Defense Grid 2 a 6 out of 10.

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