Action Game, Gaming Review, Platformer Game, PlayStation Game, RPG Game

Aegis Defenders – PlayStation 4 Review

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Tower Defense with a spin

Game Info: (Box Display)

  • System: PS4, Mac, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: Humble Bundle
  • Developer: GUTS Department
  • Release Date: Feb 8, 2017

Who it Caters to

Aegis Defenders delivers a truly unique and fresh take on the tower defense theme. Those who like action/platforming titles and tower defense will love the hybrid design offered in Aegis Defenders. Aegis Defenders offers either a solo player experience or cooperative play with a friend via local drop in and drop out co-op. With 18 different levels and 4 unique characters each with their own personalities and abilities, Aegis Defenders is a fun title with a nice mixture of strategy and role playing. If you’re looking for a new indie title to play, then you’re going to love Aegis Defenders.

What to Expect

Aegis Defenders fuses two genres rarely ever mixed together in the gaming world. Players will go through platforming sections to find relics and defeat enemies all while solving puzzles in the beginning of a stage. Then Aegis Defenders switches to a tower defense title where players must build traps and defenses to defeat waves of enemies that grow in size and strength as the waves continue. Aegis Defenders also a full 8-10 hours of gameplay either alone or with a buddy via co-op that is accessible at any time while playing. With 3 different difficulties to choose from and a slew of challenging stages to overcome, Aegis Defenders will test your tower defense and platforming skills like no other game before.
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Story

Long ago, the human race was nearly obliterated due to various power struggles and a powerful technology called Aegis. Though despite the world becoming an altered state far from how it once was, there are still those who make a living somehow. Enter Clu and Bart, two young raiders who have a knack for finding treasures from the ancient times. However, when the two discover one of the Aegis, they will find themselves in a dire situation as they prevent evil hands from reobtaining it. Clu and Bart won’t be alone in their struggle and will have to come to rely on their allies and their own skills to stop those who wish to obtain a power that can once more destroy the world…

Gameplay

Do you remember tower defense games way back in the early 2000s? These fun titles that had players building turrets and other traps to defend a singular point on a map were amazingly fun but eventually became flooded in the video game world. There were hundreds—possibly thousands—of tower defense games and after a while they died out due to their mass numbers. However, developer GUTS Department seemed to have a thought on how to reinvent the tower defense concept slightly and thus, went and released Aegis Defenders. Does Aegis Defenders do what they set forth to accomplish or is it yet another tower defense title with some slight changes here and there? Why don’t we here at Honey’s Anime find out in our review of Aegis Defenders? In Aegis Defenders, players assume the role of Clu and Bart at least in the beginning, more characters join as the story progresses. Clu is a young girl with a fiery passion for all things treasure hunting and Bart is her grandfather who seems to be similar but with a stronger head on his shoulders. If you’re playing solo in Aegis Defenders then you are taking control of both Clu and Bart at the same time—though the CPU handles minor tasks which we’ll mention in a moment—or in co-op, you can choose between one of the two. The goal in Aegis Defenders is simple enough, solve puzzles and defeat various enemies to reach the end of the stage. Each of the 4 characters have different weapons and abilities to be used to accomplish this goal. For example, Clu can dodge quickly and Bart can block enemies with his weapons. However, as we mentioned earlier Aegis Defenders has a tower defense element and that becomes relevant once you arrive at the end of the stage. Here is where Aegis Defenders gets the latter portion of its name. Players will be forced to guard a specific point of interest from waves of enemies that increase in number and toughness with each wave. Luckily, Aegis Defenders offers numerous ways of defeating foes thanks to each of the 4 characters having various traps and items that they can use or even combine with other characters. Take the early pairing Clu and Bart, these two can combine their skills—Clu makes bombs/traps while Bart makes turrets and blocks—to make a triple shot turret. Smart players can even combine various pairings to make some neat traps like a wall that blocks enemies while turrets constantly barrage the enemies as they try to smash their way through. If you wish to do even more damage, you can pay attention to the colors of the enemies which indicates which character can do the most amount of damage to them with their skills and weapons. Aegis Defenders isn’t using completely new themes with tower defense titles but equally, it does incorporate some rather fresh ideas that keep these elements from ever becoming stale or overly simple. Speaking about simple by the way, Aegis Defenders is far from simple. While co-op makes Aegis Defenders slightly simpler, solo play will test players quick response times and use of strategic setups during the tower defense portions. Players will need to order their AI controlled teammate to wait in specific locations for both puzzles—usually switches or waiting on a platform—and defense portions. Our only gripe is that sometimes Aegis Defenders has some truly tough spikes in difficulty that make solo play a lot harder. With a friend, Aegis Defenders is still tough but as the old saying goes, two minds are better than one. Here’s a helpful tip, scour the maps for items to help increase how much you earn. It will then help you buy better gear from the caravan which acts as your respite as well. Graphically, Aegis Defenders is a truly nice blend of comic book art and retro 16-bit visuals. The various environments look similar to a game like Shovel Knight but equally a bit stronger with some high levels of detail here and there. We did also love the art for the cutscenes and character models during dialogue portions—which are hilarious and sometimes very serious—as they show full character models which look unique and stunning. The same can be said of the music which keeps areas tense when the action is heavy and equally sullen when a sad story element is happening. Now, if we had anything negative to say about Aegis Defenders—aside from the difficulty spikes—it would be the camera during co-op. When characters are close by, the screen either is fine or splits slightly to show what each player is dealing with. However, during the platforming sections when characters might be jumping around or very far apart from each, Aegis Defenders’ camera continuously adjusts to the action in a way that is kind of annoying. This might be a personal issue with us here at Honey’s Anime and we won’t say everyone will feel like this but for us it was just a pain. Though, aside from that, co-op still works extremely well and honestly makes for a better experience then always going alone during.
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Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Aegis Defenders is a truly amazing game that feels rather unique despite using two very common gameplay mechanics. The tower defense and platforming aspects both work quite well in Aegis Defense and the ability to play with a friend at anytime adds some charm and longevity to it. We had a few issues with the difficulty spikes playing solo and the odd designs seen with the multiplayer screen when two friends are playing but regardless of those minor issues, Aegis Defenders works very well. Aegis Defenders might be a tried and true design in both gameplay mechanics it uses, but we loved how well developer GUTS Department handled it. We highly recommend Aegis Defenders if you’re interested in a title that doesn’t reinvent the wheel for the gameplay it has but does things in a truly different way that works.

Honey's Pros:

  • Very stylish designs that blend retro and comic book-like art
  • Solid gameplay for both the tower defense portions and platforming sections
  • Co-op
  • Great OST
  • Strong story and characters

Honey's Cons:

  • Difficulty spikes can be a bit annoying
  • Screen during co-op can be bothersome

Honey's Final Verdict:

Developer GUTS Department has been hard at work making Aegis Defenders since its kickstarter back in 2014 and it shows with every detail within Aegis Defenders. While we played mostly in single player mode, with a friend Aegis Defenders becomes a truly fun title with players having to work together to figure out how to tackle various enemies and what traps/set ups will work best to defend an area during the tower defense sections. Minor issues keep Aegis Defenders from being a perfect title but nevertheless it gets pretty darn close and we had a blast playing it. Are you thinking of picking up Aegis Defenders? Let us know in the comments below and, for more game reviews and articles, be sure to keep stuck to our amazing hive here at Honey’s Anime.
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