Defense Grid 2 Update Review:
It’s been a few years since Defense Grid: The Awakening was released on the Xbox 360, garnering a wealth of positive reviews and offering an interesting and challenging strategy gaming experience. Five years on, Defense Grid 2 is available to download on Xbox One for $24.99/£19.99. That’s a pretty steep price for a downloadable title, so it is reasonable to go in with high expectations. DF2 attempts to meet those expectations with varying degrees of success.
In Defense Grid 2, you’re tasked with defending a series of locations across five different planets, against the incoming waves of alien invaders. Unsurprisingly, the defences consist of building a variety of tower types to keep the enemy away from the home base, preventing them from making off with the valuable cores housed within. An enemy that reaches the base will pick up a core and head home, if it is killed while in possession of this precious resource, the core will slowly make its way back to safety. This tug of war can be incredibly satisfying, especially as you wait with bated breath to see if your towers will get the last shot in before the thieves disappear forever with their spoils.
There are some great ideas in Defense Grid 2. Building intricate paths and traps for aliens to wander into is very satisfying and it’s fun to sit back and watch the rain of destruction be unleashed on the incoming forces. The player is eased in to the gameplay at just the right pace and the variety of alien boss types call for well thought out strategic defences. Unfortunately, although it initially feels as though there is a wealth of content here, it soon becomes clear that Defense Grid 2 doesn’t have an awful lot to offer in the long run and, as one of the higher priced games in the Xbox marketplace, doesn’t really deliver a gaming experience worthy of its price point. It’s great fun in short bursts though and fans of the genre will enjoy the challenges offered by some of the more intense game modes.