Release Date: May 15th, 2013
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios
Publisher: [PC] Coffee Stain Studios
Platform: [REVIEWED: PC/STEAM] XBLA, PSN
Genre: First-Person Shooter/Tower-Defense
Rated: T for Teen
Tower-Defense fans can get just a little more excited with less than 24 hours left until the official launch of Sanctum 2. Brought to you by Coffee Stain Studios, Sanctum is the only true First-Person Shooter Tower-Defense game around.
Fans of the first and original Sanctum will be happy to know that Sanctum 2 is indeed a sequel but will feature a completely new story. And along with this new story are some changes from the first title that were directly influenced by the fans of the series.
Sanctum 2 is probably one of the most simplistic and straight forward Tower-Defense games I have played. In most other games of this genre there are a lot of weapons and towers etc to choose from, while playing that is, that you often feel over whelmed and frustrated. In Sanctum 2 however, it is really easy.
First things first, you must decide what you want to play. Do you want to start your own game or join another? With the four-player drop-in drop-out feature you are really open to a lot of different possibilities. If you want to start your own game you can also set your own party settings. Whether you want to allow anyone to drop in, or only allow your friends to drop in, or even if you simply want to play alone the option is yours. Don’t forget you can always just join a season in progress if you don’t want to create your own game.
Once you have decided how you want to play you get to choose a character. Unlike the first Sanctum fans will now get to choose from 3 addition characters as well as from the original character Skye Autumn. All characters of course have their own strengths and weaknesses and specialize in their own thing. These can be seen via the character selection screen of course. Skye Autumn is the Soldier, SiMo is the sniper, Haigen Hawkins specializes in closed-quarters combat and Sweet Autumn is a grenadier. Make sure you choose your character wisely based on your play style, or if you are like me just pick the one you think looks the coolest.
Once you choose your character you will also get to choose your weapons and tower defenses. When you first start out these options are minimal. You must play to earn experience in order to level your character up and unlock all these awesome extra perks. Just like with your character selection these weapons and defenses also have their own advantages and disadvantages, such as speed, so you will want to pick the best possible ones. Or at least the best ones suited to your character and play style.
Now you are ready to play! But just wait a minute. What is that? A load screen? A cutscene? Nope it is BOTH. In Sanctum 2 they have combined that annoying load screen with the cutscene giving you a comic screen. So don’t look away from that annoying load screen and take the few seconds to read the comic as it as pretty awesome way of sharing the story behind the game without bombarding you with ridiculous cut scenes and load times.
So now that you have selected your game, character and perks what do you do? It is really quiet simple. See that glowing orb thing? Or Core to be exact. Well that is the center of focus in Sanctum 2. You must protect that at all costs. You must protect it from the waves of enemies that you will soon encounter. Similar to Horde mode in the Gears of War series it is up to you to not only survive each round/wave of enemies but to also protect that core. In between each wave you will have a little bit of time to collect your ‘build’ points and use them to upgrade and build your defenses. In order to do this you will first have to go to the Core and collect the 2 boxes as your build points are not immediately awarded.
Fans of the series will notice that Sanctum 2 not only has more enemies but that they also have their own AI. Your enemies will attack you, the Core and your towers making this Tower-Defense game just a bit more challenging. And if when this becomes a walk in the park you can make things a little bit more challenging by using the “Feats of Strength”. Located in the ‘game options’ tab on the right hand side of the screen via the map select screen. You can choose between 5 different feats such as enemies having increased strength or speed with each round earning you extra XP as you play.
Over all Sanctum 2 is a well rounded, very balanced and smooth game. And in my opinion one of the best Tower Defense games I have ever played. It is definitely a must have, at least for all you Tower-Defense fans. And even though the game seems a little short it has great replay value especially with the promise of a seasons pass. With a low cost of $15.00 you really can’t go wrong.
Overall Rating: 4/5