Hidden Path Entertainment’s Defense Grid 2 did exactly the thing that was a success in the tower defense genre back in 2008 with the first game on PC, followed by the 2009 summer Xbox 360 release: creating a game that can be enjoyed by both beginners and veterans… If (and that is a big if!) there’s the interest for the tower defense genre in the player.
I have to quickly clarify that due to the genre, there might be things that can scare the average gamer away. Let’s quickly get through the weakness of the game then: I think that the audio and the graphics are not top notch in Defense Grid 2; although we can forgive the latter one for the game. The game’s inner beauty isn’t lying in the resolution or the looks in general, but instead, it’s the gameplay itself… which is sadly lowered a bit by the audio quality.
Killing aliens while chilling
But back to the gameplay: you can seriously perform what I just wrote in the lead! A properly thought out strategy can really crush the waves, if our towers are put to good positions – moreso if they are receiving upgrades in the process. It’s a good feeling – and perhaps a good sight too – to see that our first line of defense (two cannons, for example) blow the first two aliens, who are most likely facing death by the inferno tower behind the cannons. If they somehow still manage to march through, the guns are already ready to hunt them down one by one, while the laser prepares to deliver that final blow if needed.
Of course, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t underrate the aliens if you get through perfectly the first few waves, as the last ones might turn the tide in their favor! Sure, we might not get a 100% result as we lose our power cores, but if we manage to hold onto all of them, that gold result will be ours without much trouble. If we still have enough resources, develop even during the last phases, because it’s worth to prepare for the worst situations.
As we are the commanders, our task is going to destroy ET’s relatives in order to not let them phone home. That’s when our towers step in. All of them function differently: the Cannon is much more costly, but they can tear into a single alien quite hard – developing this tower will ridiculously raise its radius of action… Almost to the point where it might be best to set them up as the first line of defense. The Gun is your average „we don’t deal much damage, but you all will receive them attacks” tower: it’s cheap to build and cheap to tune.
The Inferno burns the enemies, the Laser damages them even after hitting. You can raise their heights and strength even further by building the towers on top of a Boost one. These don’t cost much, but well worth the buy. Later on you’ll get even more towers to choose from – they might not sound and work nicely by themselves, but the sound and the destruction of 10-12 placed together can create an orgy of damage and noise. Fantastic.
Try to place the towers to strategically important points, because this is a factor that can make or break a successful defense by the end of the level, whether the AI generals help us out or not.
Nothing really new
If you’re into this kind of games, you will not find new elements in Defense Grid 2. It’s not really a problem, because it is very hard to create something new that will not backfire in tower defense games. However, this shouldn’t stop you from experimenting the placement and lineup of your towers in order to reach that high score – whether it’s a single or a multiplayer game. Both can be customized down to the point like having fixed resources or not! This is what makes beginners keep coming back to it.
After the first DG game, the second one feels a bit average, but it’s still like a new product. This doesn’t apply to the graphics, and I mean the aliens’ look by that: they look like ripped straight from Ripley’s world. Come on, they should have received a better treatment than that, because at this point, they look very generic to me.
Pick it up for a test drive
It’s not a full priced game, so your wallet won’t really cry, if you get DG2. It’s worth getting this game, because the game will pick up the pace quite nicely throughout the campaign! Don’t expect to complete all mission with gold ratings, but if you’re one of those players who are into strategy games, you might find Defense Grid 2 a nice treat. Just like Chokito, a chocolate in the nineties: ugly, but tasty!
+ This might be the best tower defense game as of now
+ Rewards good games
+ Anyone can pick this up due to the customization of gameplay elements
– Doesn’t look that good
– Average audio
– The story
Editor: 505 Games
Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
Publication: 2014 Szeptember 28