I did not give Defense Grid a full review, but it was part of my lengthy examination of the Steam Potato Sack deal. I gave a quick review of the game, stating that it was one I was particularly fond of. I also have this game on my Xbox 360, having acquired it prior to the Potato Sack bundle.
The game’s premise is pretty simple – it is a futuristic tower defense game. For those unfamiliar with the genre, waves of enemies enter a map and move along routes to collect power sources and then try to exit the map. At your disposal are upgradable turrets of varying functionality that help to destroy the waves of aliens.
Having played the game on the PC and the 360, I will state that the PC version was my preferred, but I found both to be very good. Here’s the breakdown:
Graphics – 7:
When you zoom in, there is a good amount of detail in the landscape. Zoomed out is a bit more practical for actual game play, and that was how I spent most of my time. Sometimes zoomed out however, the landscape can be a bit repetitive and it can be hard to distinguish the squares as easily as I would like. There is no slowdown though, even when there are a ton of critters on the screen at once.
Sound & Music – 8:
The music is quite good, and sets the tone of the struggle for survival. There is a nice amount of voice acting from the computer that serves as your trainer and companion through the levels, and his voice works is quite pleasant actually. The game’s sound effects are a tad on the repetitive side however, but this is a minor complaint compared to the high points of the soundtrack.
Gameplay – 8:
The controls are easy to pick up, menus are simple to navigate and even though there is often a great deal taking place on the map at once, you seldom feel overwhelmed. You may not win every map first try, but they can all be beaten. Whether using the mouse and keyboard of a PC or the controller of an Xbox 360, I found the experience to be very solid.
Intangibles – 9:
There is a lot to do here. You can get different medals depending on your performance, you can open up a variety of different challenges and modes on the map and there are achievements via Steam or the 360. However, here the PC version pulls ahead of the Xbox 360 one. I had a lot more maps available on my PC copy than what I had on the 360 version. That is not to say the Xbox 360 version was short – the length of the campaign was just fine, but you can get more out of the PC.
Overall – 8:
This is my favorite tower defense game to date. I have not played a ton of these, but enough to find Defense Grid the most entertaining of the lot in my opinion. There was a lot to do, the game itself is well done and the production values are actually quite good for a reasonably priced downloadable title. If you have the option to get it for both the PC and the 360, I would give the PC the winning nod. It has more content and quite frankly can be acquired a bit more cheaply if you catch it on sale.