I had just finished the fourth level of Kuno Interactive’s latest tower defense title, Defense Technica, when I was reminded of an idea that I think about a lot. If a game does everything right, even if it’s all been done in the past, is it considered a good game? Do titles really need to innovate to be 8’s or 9’s? I’ll leave that up to you, but I can say this: Games like these are still a blast.
Defense Technica has just about everything that its title implies: mechs, defense, and a sleek-looking steel interface. I went into this game with a clear picture in my head of what it was going to be, and I was not surprised to find that picture accurate.
The game has a middle cursor that you move around to empty spots on the map, where you can build different structures and weapons to defend the core system. Enemies come at you in waves, and you have to pick the correct setup for the mission at hand; only then can you successfully defend the core. Sound familiar?
The game was originally made for mobile devices, and I was surprised to find that control scheme still in the PC release. It doesn’t really transfer over too well. I naturally tried to use my mouse cursor instead of the big, blocky center cursor that was made for touchscreens. Not only that, but the whole layout just looks and feels a lot like a game that wasn’t made for PC. The movement and building choice controls reminded me of Ensemble Studios’ Halo Wars…a game made for consoles.
Once we get into the gameplay, however, things get a little better. Even with chunky controls, you get somewhat used to them by level three or four. I’m not one for tower defense games, but the air of suspense and the micro management aspects that make the genre succeed are definitely present. The feel of the game is sleek and complete, and even on lower graphic settings it feels very atmospheric. I was playing the game on my aging laptop and still getting a good FPS count.
For those of you looking for story, keep looking. The game can convey its world to you well, but it doesn’t go farther than that. I thought we were trying to get past the whole “mecha sci-fi” theme, but this game still has it, with a steel color palette and robotic voice actors. Then again, anyone who is familiar with tower defense games is probably used to the lack of a gripping story, which is a real shame. The genre leaves a lot of creative freedom for video game writers, but it’s just not going to be found here.
All that said, Defense Technica is not a game you shouldn’t play. If you like the genre, you will be racking up hours on Steam with this game. It’s a complete package with plenty of levels, and while the difficulty can be a bit much at times, it’s not something to pass up simply because it doesn’t come with new gadgets and mechanics. I would’ve loved to see the developers do something outside their comfort zone, but it’s not a huge deal that they didn’t. Hey, there’s always the next game.