Gameplay - This is a tower defense game which means you build towers on a map which have their own unique different ways of attacking waves of enemies. These type of games are all about strategy and experimentation. You have ten different towers available in each level and have to find the best way to kill all the enemies before they can escape the map. Unlike the early tower defense games in Warcraft III, Defense Grid has a set number of places where you can build so it becomes important to learn how best to use the space you have and what towers should go where. You can also shape the paths that enemies take (you always want them to take the longer and more difficult path) which is a cool innovation for the genre. The designers were smart to put a fast forward button in Defense Grid. It helps more experienced players get through most maps in 10-15 minutes. The only downside is much like the Run button in Final Fantasy 7, you have to hold down the F key for long period of times which does get tiring. It is almost as if a slow down button would have been better than the fast forward.
The most important thing is that this game is fun and even addictive at times. There are over hundred-fifty different modes in the base game alone. A new player to Tower Defense may find that this game can be challenging without a good strategy so I highly recommend checking out Youtube for any levels that give you trouble as there are lots of good strategies already out there.
Story - Like a lot of action-oriented games, Defense Grid tries to have a story when there really isn't room for an interesting one. It is more like there is an "announcer" for the game who makes comments about certain things and encourages you to beat the game essentially. The story does not get in the way or waste any of your time which is probably for the best.
Presentation (Graphics and Sound) - The graphics in Defense Grid are not very impressive but that isn't the reason you play a game like this either. The textures are not very detailed and look aged, but this has a nearly top-down and zoomed out camera so it is hard to make the graphics look that great anyway. The effects of the towers do look good and the game never lags no matter how much action is going on. This is a plus because old tower defense games could not handle huge waves of enemies. The sound is good with nice explosion sounds and the announcer is charming and never gets annoying. What little music is in the game is very good. If you play through everything in Defense Grid, the music will eventually get repetitive and you'll probably want to listen to something else instead but that is true of any game you play for a long time.
Overall Score - Defense Grid is a great game if you enjoy Tower Defense. It is probably daunting to a beginner, but if you know you like these kind of games, this is easily the best 2D one on Steam at the time of this revew. This game is now cheap and if you catch it on sale, it is an incredible value. There are three DLC packs and all three of them are pretty good and add new level designs to the game. One is tied into Portal so if you like Glados, you will definitely like that. While it took me just over 100 hours, this game is pretty easy to get all the achievements. A few achievements are a grind, but every achievement is pretty easy to get and there are plenty of videos on Youtube to help you figure out how to get them. I never expected to play this game so much, but the fact that it is fun kept me playing for over 100 hours.
8.0 (out of 10)
Posted: February 23rd, 2014