Toy Soldiers: Cold War – Napalm And Evil Empire DLC Review (XBLA)

Game Review: Toy Soldiers: Cold War – Napalm and Evil Empire DLC
Release: April 25, 2012
Genre: Tower Defense/DLC
Developer: Signal Studios
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Players: 1
MSRP: $5
ESRB Rating: T for Teen 
Website: Toy Soldiers: Cold War Homepage

Toy Soldiers: Cold War was launched onto XBLA and PSN in August 2011 and quickly garnered both critical acclaim and praise from gamers. TS:CW took the formula from the original WWII themed Toy Soldiers and updated it by infusing the presentation, mechanics, and scenarios with an 80’s flare that gave  the game some much needed levity and personality. With the new Napalm and Evil Empire DLC packs, Signal Studios looks to give fans of the game some new scenarios to play through and enjoy. Each pack comes with three brand new maps that play and look a lot different than any of the original maps that were released with Toy Soldiers: Cold War.

The first DLC Pack that I played through was the Evil Empire one which focused on the Soviet Union and it’s campaign to rid the world of the capitalist pig threat. Rather than slowly coax you into the game play, Evil Empire starts the player off with a full-on invasion that will force you to quickly dispose of the initial wave before setting up your defenses. To help you along with your ruskie campaign you’re given a full arsenal of emplacements and a couple new vehicles to use as you eliminate the Yankee threat from Mother Russia. Over the three maps you’ll be faced with a mixture of troops that will constantly have you selling off useless turrets to change up your strategy to better defend against the enemy. The trio of maps ends with a heated battle against droves of increasingly difficult American troops that culminates with an all out battle against a huge tank that utilizes advanced weapons and spits out infantry and armored units along the way.

Next up we have the Napalm map that focuses on backdrop of the Vietnam War and utilizes the guerilla tactics and weaponry that were used during that time. Just like with the Evil Empire maps the Napalm map does not pull any punches and will have you immediately thrown into the fray as soon as you begin the first map. Of the two, I found Napalm to be the more difficult as it has the play multi-tasking between multiple targets and even has you at one point defending a triple entrance base that will have you juggling your defenses  throughout the relentless attack by Vietnamese troops. Throughout this campaign I found myself utilizing the vehicles more often than not as the onslaught of enemies proved to be more than my defenses could handle. The maps ended with what seemed like an easy to defend choke point that quickly turned into an all out battle to defend against heavily armored tanks outfitted with high-powered lasers and an eventual standoff against a flying death machine.

All six of the maps had me restarting on more than one occasion but rather than being overly frustrated I took this as a challenge to better tune my defenses to the waves of enemies rather than utilizing my default “catch all” set-ups. I really enjoyed the challenge that these maps provided and I commend Signal Studios for choosing to put a lil effort into providing new scenarios rather than just maps to extend the experience.  Both DLC packs provide experiences that expand on the tight gameplay found in Toy Soldiers: Cold War as well as provide some new backdrops to enjoy as you fend over the evil horde of enemies.

There’s very little that I would change about the Napalm experience, other than perhaps more maps to enjoy. Without a doubt I had a lot of fun getting through the waves of enemies as I made my way through the maps. As for the Evil Empire maps, I’d have to say that I found them to be lacking in originality and that they offered very little to the formula found in the original game. While I enjoyed playing through Evil Empire, I’d say that Napalm was the real must-have of the two packs as it is a  unique experience that expands the universe created by the original game.

You’d have to be a big fan of the original Toy Soldiers: Cold War to purchase the Napalm and Evil Empire DLC Packs, but if you do, you’ll be treated to a suite of maps that are sure to challenge the skills you acquired while playing the main game. For five dollars a piece, you’ll get a group of maps that are sure to satisfy your devious penchant for toy-based destruction.

+Napalm DLC provides a variety of new challenges to overcome
+Sure to challenge veterans and new players a like
+Revels in the 80’s aesthetic through music and scenery
-Evil Empire feels like more of the same
-3 maps per pack leaves you wanting more

Final Scores: Napalm DLC – 8 Out Of 10

Evil Empire DLC – 7 Out Of 10

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