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Defense Grid: The Awakening Review

Game Review: Defense Grid: The Awakening
Release: September 2nd, 2009
Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
Available Platforms: XBLA and PC
Players: 1
MSRP: $10 on XBLA, $19.99 on PC
ESRB Rating: E
Website: http://defensegrid.hiddenpath.com/

Tower Defense games have advanced so much in the last couple of years. From being top down 2D games with acceptable graphics to huge titles with lots of awesome gameplay features. The Tower Defense genre has changed and molded into something that is very popular, because it is so acceptable and understandable to pretty much anyone as you don’t need to have much skill to just place towers and let them do the shooting themselves.

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Well, Defense Grid not only brings the tower defense to a full retail game that has full high definition textures, 3D camera view with different zoom levels. But also it adds so many new things to the Tower Defense genre. With different tower and tower upgrades changing the gameplay as you unlock them while playing through the story.

To start with, the gameplay in this game is still tower defense, so don’t expect anything apart from tower defense all the time. When you begin any of the multitude of tower defense levels, you will be given about 30 seconds to get your towers down. At the start of the game you get a tutorial so don’t worry if you are new to the type of game. Also you don’t really have that much of a choice of towers when you begin the game. All you can choose is a normal gun tower, but then as you advance, the types of towers that you can add to the map changes very much into some brilliant  ideas. Whether it be the fact that you can shoot into the sky and take out all of the sky enemies that are coming towards you or the tower that means that you can place a meteor shooting gun at any point on the map and when you place this, it fires meteors through the sky and lands in the middle of a large group of enemies.

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There definitely is some difficult strategy in the game, for the first few levels I found the game VERY easy. Because I could just buy lots and lots of towers and just build them at the choke point where all the enemies would be spending all of there time. But after a while the shape of the maps meant that I would have to use every single tower that I put town tactically so that the enemies wouldn’t get any closer to the goal of taking the nodes of my power core.

That’s how the enemies win the game, making their way to your power core, and taking one of your 15 or so nodes and then making their way back to where they came from, this means that they once again have to pass through your towers, so if you just take one of the  enemies health down to about 10% your towers can finish them off so that the node can float back to the base.

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Story-wise the game doesn’t really have that much of a story, you do have a voice over guy that kind of sets some kind of story, such as saying that this time the enemies are bigger and here comes a boss. Things like that, but he really doesn’t have a direct effect of the map and it’s not as if there is a story there, but I really don’t mind because how would you do a story on a tower defense game anyway.

Final say: Defense Grid: The Awakening definitely brings some fresh ideas to the tower defense concept, and with the high definition gameplay and the 10 unique towers. This game should be a buy for you if you enjoy tower defense games.

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