Sanctum 2 Reviews

  • InfomoonInfomoon408,184
    26 Mar 2014 27 Mar 2014
    9 0 1
    Author's Note: This is my personal experience with Sanctum 2, and thus it is subjective. Feel free to disregard this review as an opinion piece only. I'll also avoid much in the way of personal strategies.

    Sanctum 2 is an interesting cross between a FPS and Tower Defense game. It offers the player many choices in building elaborate mazes, multiple characters and perks that offer unique and satisfying builds, and a myriad of towers to choose from. Play with 3 friends, and it threatens to be a serious contender for one of the best co-operative experiences available on the 360.

    Right from the get-go, you'll notice there isn't much in the way of a narrative, aside from what's available via short comic strips between missions. While most may choose to skip these optional tidbits of story, those that read through will enjoy a semi-quirky, albeit fun one. But for those that just want to blow up baddies, there's plenty of that too.

    Visually, the game is absolutely stunning. Utilizing the Unreal Engine, Sanctum 2 boasts some impressive, and diverse visuals throughout. From beautiful sky-boxes, background set-pieces, weapons and explosions, to the turrets and barriers themselves, look no further. Most maps will feel somewhat claustrophobic in comparison to the impressive vistas, but many offer secret paths, and easter eggs just waiting to be discovered by those that look.

    Gameplay-wise, the game is about as complicated as you want to make it. The player has access to 15 turrets, and given resources each wave to build them. Though more often than not, 15 will feel like a limitation in comparison to some of the larger maps throughout the campaign. Barriers are much more abundant, and obviously help to maze off as much of the map as you choose to use.

    Enemies will spawn from varying points on the map, in an attempt to destroy the player's core. Their spawns alternate per most waves, in an effort to mix up the player's strategy and turret placement. Much of this is standard-fare per most tower defense games, but with the effective addition of player weapons, often the player can hold off an entire route by themselves.

    With friends, you essentially double the fire-power, but also multiply the enemies' health. With 4 people, enemies will hold 8x the health, so planning perks, and towers is of the utmost importance. While the game does hold a steep learning curve when it comes to perks/turrets, the payoff is immensely satisfying once mastered. Some classes are far more "noob-friendly" when first starting out, so experimentation is crucial for what works best for you.

    When it comes to difficulty, the game offers 2 choices. Play with "Feats of Strength", or without. The feats essentially boil down to increasing enemy speed, health, health regeneration, attack ferocity, and taking away player respawns. You might get away with trying a few of these for an added experience boost at the end of a map, it is not recommended that you play with all of these activated unless you have a firm grasp of at least the game's basic concepts.

    If you plan on playing the game alone, be prepared for some frustration. While the game certainly is fun alone, the true fun is had when experimenting with friends, and taking on the harder difficulties. The online community is somewhat scarce with Sanctum 2, so having friend(s) is crucial to enjoy the full experience.

    Overall, Sanctum 2 is about as good as it gets for co-operative tower defense games on consoles. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more complete game, with both fun and refined gameplay, as well as complex tower-building, and a massive selection of turrets and perks. Grab some friends, build your mazes, and enjoy this great game.
    Showing only comment.
    Worse game ever, considering coffee stain studios has absolutely no consideration nor respect for the Xbox community. A seemingly impossible game to complete without the added weapons of the dlc they never released f8r the Xbox not the perks needed to complete with the f8ve feats of strength, my recommendation is to pass on this horrible game
    Posted on 05 Feb 18 at 14:45
  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    9 0 0
    Company Line: Sanctum 2 is the sequel to the world’s first Tower Defense/FPS hybrid game. Pick from four unique character classes and embark on a mission to protect the oxygen-producing Cores from hordes of deadly aliens who are threatened by their existence. In Sanctum 2, you will utilize elements from multiple gameplay genres to succeed. Construct towers and walls during the building phase before the enemies attack, then jump into the fray and blast everything to pieces in FPS mode. You can progress through the single-player campaign yourself, or play with up to four friends in co-op to discover the secrets of the planet LOEK III.

    Gameplay: Each level consists of multiple waves with a build phase in between. You are given limited resources to mount a defense and then you must hold against the enemy wave. At first, this process is very forgiving and you will be able to progress through the levels without much strategy (even in single-player). In later stages though, you will have to master path building and turret placement to ensure that you will survive the onslaught. Different enemies require different strategies, and then there are boss monsters that will throw all your perfect planning into chaos. With multiple players, teamwork becomes a key as monsters become more powerful and will overwhelm a tower defense quicker.

    There are also four classes, each with a different weapon specialization (Assault Rifle, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Rocket Launcher). These are further customized with perks that allow you to add special abilities to yourself, the core, or gun. Some of these perks stack, and others do not requiring teamwork again in multiplayer so no perk is wasted. You also can pick from one of eight secondary weapons that each function differently and offer different strategies.

    There are a few parts of multi-player that can be annoying. First, whoever grabs the resources gets them. This can be especially frustrating when on the higher levels an inexperienced person decides to take everything and cannot build the advanced towers. Second, unless you set the rules any teammate can destroy your hard work. Now, that can be an advantage if you are helping an inexperienced person optimize their towers, but again a punk can come in and cause trouble. Finally, in public matches people can hop in which increases the difficulty at the worse possible moment and then bail on you. If you want to solo, make sure you set your matches to private or friends only.

    Graphics and Sound: The graphics and sound are fairly standard for an Xbox Live Arcade game, and both do a good job of giving you cues. There are a lot of hidden visual and audio Easter eggs in the game. Monsters will show damage to give you a visual sign of how bad they are hurt, but the actual bar may be thrown by a second enemy. Player Characters will talk to give you audio clues as to when there is a problem ("Are you okay", "Watch the core") which can be helpful when it gets frantic. Each region does a good job of bringing a unique flavor and challenge to them, but due to the nature of the game most levels are a little blocky.

    Controls: The control set-up is fairly standard for a shooter and should be familiar to anyone who has played one in the lifetime of the Xbox 360. The menus are fairly easy to navigate. The build phase however the controls can be frustrating. It is obvious that a mouse was the first input choice in designing the game (the original game was only on PC). While it is not impossible to overcome, you can have trouble when trying to build or repair within a time limit.

    The lack of some way to inform you of attack direction can also be a problem, especially when flying enemies start appearing. You can be looking down a choke point and focused only to be killed from something behind or beside you. You will only be aware of it once the screen starts to go black and white.

    Also, I occasionally found myself trapped by the environment requiring an explosion to lift me out of trouble or a suicide to recover. This generally happened when I was in the heat of battle back-pedaling or trying to cut through the map quickly.

    Overall: I picked up Sanctum 2 looking for a decent first person shooter with co-op options, and found a game that I keep going back to because it offers something unique and fun. I am not sure why this sort of mash-up of genre's has not happened before, but to me it is just as right as peanut butter and chocolate. With a title update already released on PC to address balance issues, I hope this means that this game will get better. It is a good solo game and a fun multi-player co-op game.

    Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
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