Before playing the game, I had very little information about Defense Grid: The Awakening other than the fact that it was a tower defense game. After playing it for half an hour, I can see myself playing this.
Defense Grid is a downloadable PC game (which might make it’s way onto the 360) where the player has to keep his cores, which are located on his base, from being stolen by enemy aliens. At the start of each level, the player has a certain number of cores and a certain number of enemy waves. The level ends when either all the cores get stolen by the enemy (the player loses), or the player survives all the waves with at least one core still in his possession.
Enemies make their way from their entry point, through a path which can be altered by placing different types of turrets on the path, to the core, then back to their exit point. The strategy in the game is to direct the enemies through a path that passes by the most turrets so they can receive the most damage and hopefully die before stealing away the core.
I was immediately impressed by how easy the user interface was. Within five minutes of sitting down and clicking around, I was already comfortable with playing the game. The controls are incredibly simple, which is a welcome change from the complicated controls of a RTS. Because the UI was so easy, I could spend most of my time figuring out where would be good places to deploy my turrets and watching aliens walk into their cruel deaths.
The different types of turrets include your standard gun which shoots bullets, a laser, a Tesla gun which shoots electricity, cannons (good for shooting down airborne enemies), and my personal favorite, The Inferno: a giant flame-thrower. The Inferno torches enemies on fire but the nice thing is that even when the enemies leave the vicinity of the gun, they still take damage from burning. All the guns can be upgraded to increase their range, attack, and firing speeds.
Players worried about boring background music will be relieved to hear that the music in Defense Grid is dynamic — its intensity changes depending on what’s going on in the game.
While I only played two levels of the game, it’s easy to see the game’s replayability. Maps can have many different types of paths built on it depending on turret placements and there are varying difficulty accomplishments. Since it’s also a downloadable game, I hope to see expansion packs released after the full game that adds even more levels and maybe even different planets.
Images courtesy of Hidden Path.