Defense Grid 2: Review

Tower defence is just one of those sub-genres that no matter how many games come along just fails to surprise. Those who like them will lap them up, mind, since little can provide the sense of achievement that comes from banging your head against a wall for an hour only to discover, somehow, that you’ve accidentally solved the puzzle and won. Hurray for logic, right? That’s  Defense Grid 2, basically; a sequel to the broadly successful tower defence game that managed to make it work on consoles. And it works on consoles here, too, though admittedly it’d be a surprise if it didn't. Defense Grid 2 isn’t much more than a mildly improved sequel, meaning better graphics, new levels, new enemies and towers and... well, just new things. But it was already a great strategy game, so ‘mildly improved’ is better than not at all.

The big additions are cooperative and multiplayer modes and they are fairly well handled. It’s about as much as you can expect, but when you’re playing alongside another human it can raise the stakes somewhat. Co-op is perhaps the most rewarding since it allows you to work together, but knowing you’ve overcome a human opponent rather than a predictable AI equivalent does help to tickle the
synapses a little more. The addition of challenges, too, means there’s plenty to get out of the game even if you do manage to beat it on the hardest difficulty and, frankly, if that happens, you’ve certainly put the hours in. The amount of restarts and checkpoint repeats you’ll have to endure to manage that could take countless hours. These challenges tweak the dimensions you play a map under, restricting certain towers or altering various aspects of each stage. It’s unlikely you’ll find much longevity in these additional missions, but you can’t fault the game for providing you with things to do.

Outside of that the core game itself remains largely unchanged. The story campaign is improved and presented in an amicable fashion, but it can drag a little when you’re restarting as often as you will. Elsewhere it’s largely business as usual: aliens spawn from a base, your towers stop them, rinse, lather, repeat. If it sounds like this is too dismissive of the game, remember that everyone and their pet chinchilla knows what to expect from tower defence games and Defense Grid 2 doesn't do much to shake that up you’ll by now already know whether it’s for you. If it is, absolutely buy it.

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