Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: PS4, Mac, PC, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Humble Bundle
- Developer: GUTS Department
- Release Date: Feb 8, 2017
- Rating: E10+ Everyone 10+
- Genre: RPG, Platformer, Action
- Players: 1-2
- Official Website: http://www.aegisthegame.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
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.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Very stylish designs that blend retro and comic book-like art
- Solid gameplay for both the tower defense portions and platforming sections
- Great OST
- Strong story and characters
- Difficulty spikes can be a bit annoying
- Screen during co-op can be bothersome