First Looks// Post-PAX Impressions: Chariot, Cannon Brawl, Defence Grid 2

Posted 17 Sep 2014 10:11 by
The coffin lies on a set of wheels that form a chariot that can be pulled and pushed across the map by the players either via direct contact or via a rope that each player has. Chariot is quite a deep game as it is possible to find secret areas in each level that offer bonuses to the player, all of which make dragging the petulant and very dead king a little easier. The key to Chariot - and, indeed, its charm - is the interaction with the players as they try to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles together. Think of the co-op missions in Portal 2 and you're pretty much there. Yes, I actually compared it to Portal 2, so if you have any questions over my opinions of this game I think I may have just given that away.

Chariot is due to appear on the PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One and Wii U in the autumn of this year.

Defence Grid 2 by Hidden Path Entertainment

I remember in the way back machine when I first encountered Flash Element Tower Defence. This simple flash game brought about a whole genre that has managed pervade all manner of titles. Everything from FPS games in the form of Super Monday Night Combat through to Pixel Junk Monsters has demonstrated this.

2008 saw the arrival of Defence Grid: The Awakening which took the simple concept of tower defence and layered upon it a deep and challenging game along with a very polished presentation. With Defence Grid 2 (DC2) developer Hidden Path plans to build off of the legacy of the previous game while making it somewhat more approachable and a much less frustrating experience.

I played the PS4 version of game and, with its imminent release, I wasn't surprised to see that it was very polished and the interface with the PS4 controller very easy to pick up. Faced with 30 waves of creatures, all determined to deplete the power cores that run the base I was charged to defend, I could only use strategically placed installations that would inflict as much damage as possible on the hoards of critters. The onslaught started slowly with small clumps of creatures running down two predefined lanes. I set up missile launchers, guns and lasers to pick these off and as I did so the location where most of the destruction takes place develops a heat map that can be used to place further installations.

In DC2 it is possible to upgrade installations to make them more effective. There is a risk to doing this, however, as upgrading is not instantaneous. It requires the installation to be rebuilt, which costs vital seconds when there is an attack being mounted against the base. It is therefore advisable to only do this between attack waves.

One of the core aspects of DC2 is the point-chasing and how you try to better those on your friends list. Ever since Geometry Wars the race to the top of the leaderboard that is populated by your friends has been present in many games and DC2 is no exception. It even provides point gathering data both during and after a play session, just to see where you can improve your yields over and above those in your friends list.

With the arrival of the new generation of consoles the visuals of DC2 are a significant improvement over the previous game. Everything from the animation of the installations to the explosions of the dying enemy units is a visual delight. Hidden Path Entertainment has maintained its reputation in making polished games intact from what I experienced with my play-through of DC2.

DC2 is out on 23rd September on PS4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Linux PC and Mac.

Keep an eye on SPOnG for more impressions from PAX Prime 2014.
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