Game Review: Toy Soldiers
Release Date: March 3, 2010
Developer: Signal Studios
Available Platforms: Xbox 360
MSRP: 1200 MSP
Game Rating: T (teen)
Most video games theses days try to take the player away to a new environment and meet space aliens or explore strange new worlds, well Toy Soldiers doesn’t do this because as its title suggests, its all about epic battles in toy form. Toy Soldiers is primarily a strategy game with tower defense elements. For those of you who think Toy Soldiers isn’t worth the 1200msp price tag, I hope to change your minds with this review. This arcade title takes gamers back to their early childhood, playing with small plastic toys except now it’s more entertaining watching toy figures in high definition, acting out plots and fighting wars all without your hands getting in the way. This game allows the player to take control of a multitude of vehicles ranging from tanks, bombers, biplanes, and more. Toy Soldiers brings out the inner-child within each and every gamer as they fight the deadly toy foes.
As the player, you get to experience 24 action packed missions in both the Allied and Central campaigns. The objective of each mission is to prevent the enemy from penetrating your heavily lined defenses and entering your toy box. You have to survive each wave tackling tanks, armored vehicles, fighter planes and the occasional a bomber plane is chucked in there for good measure and of course infantry whether it be on horseback or foot. If this sounds overwhelming don’t panic, the game has easy to use controls so no button mashing is necessary, the toy soldiers can either fight on their own or be controlled by the player in third person mode. The game also features a well-designed tutorial level at the beginning of the game to demonstrate the basic control scheme, it also includes a few practice battles for the player to get acquainted with the games core mechanics. As you play and complete each objective you will acquire many weapons for your arsenal which can help you greatly through this lengthy campaign and when you fight the boss at the end of each conflict. The bosses in this game are large toys as you might expect from the title but are manifested in many forms such as a huge tank, a railroad gun and a zeppelin aircraft. Once you have completed the campaign, you will then unlock the survival mode where you fight against countless waves of enemy toys desperately trying to defeat you, which will no doubt keep you entertained for hours on end. By completing both the British and German campaigns you will unlock Xbox Live avatar awards, a gas mask for finishing the British campaign and a pickelhaube (a German army helmet) for making light work of the German campaign.
There are also a few upgrades, just take for example the Anti-Aircraft gun dubbed ‘Pom-Pom’ level 1. At first this weapon isn’t great but isn’t bad either at taking down enemy air craft but in order to purchase these upgrades you must first have enough money to buy them. You can earn money by destroying the enemy with your weapons, each soldier/vehicle you annihilate you gain money, which you can then spend on new weaponry or simply upgrade your existing weapons. If however you decide to upgrade the ‘Pom-Pom’ to level 2 dubbed ‘Seventy-Five’, not only does the appearance change but it now has greater range and inflicts more damage on its foes.
If you choose to upgrade it further to level 3 dubbed ‘Old Quick Flac’ the appearance changes again for the last time and is now highly dangerous against anything in the sky. This is just one example of how much your weaponry can be upgraded. Overall this game has a solid campaign with three difficulty settings for those gamers out there looking for a challenge.
The multiplayer aspect of Toy Soldiers doesn’t disappoint either, as it offers five maps for you to battle with your friends in both local play (split-screen) and online via Xbox Live. The five maps come in many different shapes and size, some are very large with several bridges and small rivers/moats and others are smaller allowing for a more tactical approach and is very ground based, eg Troops, tanks, Troops on horseback. In the multiplayer you can pick which army you fight for, either the British or the Germans, no difference between each army other than the appearance. Both sides are equal and you may require great skill to beat the opposition. This multilayer has to be one of the best I have seen from any arcade game.
My overall impression this game is truly surprising. I must admit when I first heard of this game I wasn’t overly excited however, after the first few minutes playing through the game I noticed a sensation I hadn’t experienced since my childhood, a sense of joy and excitement. Any game that manages to do this is well worth purchasing regardless of its price tag. Toy Soldiers offers hundreds of hours of game both the campaign and multiplayer are more than enough to keep you playing for many months if not years. So if you are looking for a war game download this and even if you aren’t I still urge you to give it a try, it may surprise you.