The late noughties were a time when we all wore baggy ‘boyfriend’ jeans, ate frozen yoghurt, longed for a Zune, and discovered the exciting new sound of bearded men playing guitars, a quick Google search tells me. It all sounds about right, though I also remember an awful lot of tower defence games. Perhaps the most polished of these, and certainly my favourite, was Defense Grid: The Awakening. “Just the right amount of mazing,” I’ll say, “and an AI companion voice that sounds like it came from behind a very respectable moustache.”
Development of Defense Grid 2 has been a bit bumpy, being saved by an investor after falling short with a Kickstarter, but the game seems to be coming along nicely. Following an iffy trailer from an early alpha build last August, lacking in the polish that made the first game stand out, Hidden Path has shared a new trailer that’s got more of ‘the stuff.’
I’m very particular about my mazing, see. I want just enough open room to build my own interesting paths to force enemies down, but not levels so freeform there’s only one real solution: the same as on every other level. Defense Grid struck a nice balance, escalating and becoming more complex through the campaign too. The little smidgen we see here looks bang-on for an early-ish introduction to how it all works.
Though pretty, what the trailer shows is essentially Defense Grid in a new engine with new levels and an extra tower. Not that I wouldn’t happily play that, mind. It’s a shame it doesn’t include anything of the teased co-op and competitive multiplayer modes, but such is the slowly-revealing nature of video game marketing campaigns and trailers up made of little snippets. Why, with a little luck we’ll get to see some of the actual game before launch or even–gasp–play it ourselves.
Defense Grid 2 is slated to launch on Windows, Mac, and Linux later this year.