I’m not the biggest fan of tower defence games and, if I am to be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Angry birds either (which is essentially a tower attack game), so for all intents and purposes, I really shouldn’t have enjoyed my time with Zen Studio’s CastleStorm: Definitive Edition, a game that essentially combines the two premises for what is……a tower attack and defence game?
Whatever it is, despite my initial apprehension, the returning CastleStorm: Definitive Edition has turned out to be one of the best action strategy games that I have played in quite some time. Upgrading the original CastleStorm to include all of the previously released DLC, some all new content and the usual array of 1080p / 60fps tomfoolery, CastleStorm on PS4 and Xbox One is more than befitting of its ‘Definitive’ status.
Taking on the role of Sir Gareth, you are tasked with protecting your king’s castle from the attacking enemy hordes with the ultimate aim to capture their enemy flag or completely destroy their own castle. This is achieved primarily via a mounted ballista capable of reigning down hellfire on your enemies – said hellfire ranges from your relatively standard warmongering weaponry to the decidedly more imaginative likes of live sheep…..whatever gets the job done I suppose. Further to this Angry Birds inspired style of attack, you also have the ability to control your upgradeable troops along with specific control over Sir Gareth himself.
The balance between attack and defence certainly keeps this a tactically interesting experience with an array of unlockable troop types, specific spells and unique projectiles working well to keep the experience feeling fresh throughout the relatively lengthy campaign.
Unlike the majority of games created in a similar mould, CastleStorm’s longevity is enhanced no end by what is a relatively charming story and a host of basic, but ultimately memorable characters. It’s hardly Skyrim, but considering the fact that the setting and core gameplay inevitably remains largely unchanged, having a surprisingly strong narrative combined with the host of aforementioned unlockables do a great job ensuring that the experiences never becomes stale or overly repetitious.
Further to the commendably robust campaign mode, CastleStorm: Definitive Edition is also home to an array of side missions that, while unlikely to hold your attention for too long, can be used to raise additional funds for your army that can subsequently be used to upgrade your troops and abilities for the core battles in the campaign. There are also a host of additional modes including, Survival Skirmish to Hero Survival Mode which, again, while unlikely to take up too much of your time, do at least offer up a handful of unique ways to play for those looking to get every last drop from the, CastleStorm experience.
Outside of the campaign though, you’re most likely to spend your time in either the local or online competitive modes. While currently very quiet online, it does offer a solid structure for those able to find willing competition, but honestly, CastleStorm is at its best when played locally. With the ability to customise your castle and the on-going tactical balancing act between attack and defence, taking out a friends castle or stealing his flag from under his nose can prove a highly rewarding experience.
With its already handsome visuals enhanced by the upgrade to 1080p / 60fps, Zen Studios’, CastleStorm: Definitive Edition is great looking game, one that confidently marries its good looks to an impressive array of content and a set of strong underlying mechanics. Charming and tactical, robust and user-friendly, CastleStorm: Definitive Edition delivers one of the finest action strategy games of the last few years via a combination of charming aesthetics and strong, balanced design.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - /10
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