Defense Grid: Resurgence DLC 3 of 4 Review (XBLA, Steam)
Posted by Jim Cook, Jun 15, 2010 09:24
Notice: This article only covers the fifth and sixth maps of the Resurgence expansion pack. These maps will be released on June 16 as a pack, with $1/80 Microsoft Points getting you both in a single purchase.
The Resurgence expansion continues to explore unusual ideas and layouts, meant for advanced players that have already cleared most of the existing maps. Map pack 3, consisting of the fifth and six maps in this expansion, is a mixed bag; one map is merely decent (but still worth playing), while the other is very interesting and has lots of subtle touches.
First up is Urban Planning which continues the ’playing a stage-and-a-half’ theme from Risk Exposure in the last pack. This stage has no aerial routes, instead giving you two very separate core storages to protect; one is on a very short path, the other on a very long and twisting route. This map is extremely easy to beat if you’re just after the bare minimum of a victory; you can commit only token forces to one path while putting heavy firepower on another, and easily win on your first try if you do this. The real challenge lies in getting the higher rankings, and I suspect that’s going to be pretty hard even for those more skilled than I at Defense Grid. Overall this is my least favorite map in Resurgence so far, though that’s not as bad as it sounds; ’my least favorite’ is still fun and worth playing a few times.
Next is Tactical Diversion which does have some aerial routes (though they’re easily covered since it’s a small level), and only has you protecting one core storage. It starts out as a simple matter of building a long stage for the aliens to march through, but several subtle touches are going to probably going to require you to replay it a few times. You may need a couple tries to learn the routes the aliens prefer, how to manipulate them, and how best to place your towers to take advantage of this. You may lose on Tactical Diversion for a little while, but each time it happens the map is laid out such that you will see why, and it’s easy to correct your mistake once you understand it. This series of subtle improvements to your game plan will eventually lead to the map playing smoothly, and it’s very satisfying. If Urban Planning was my least favorite in Resurgence so far, then Tactical Diversion is the reverse; it’s easily my favorite.
This leaves the third map pack in an odd but mostly good position. Urban Planning is easy to beat but hard to master, whereas Tactical Diversion takes a while to learn but flows easily once you understand it. When my biggest complaint amounts to "even the ’bad’ map is actually fairly good," that’s a fine thing. If you enjoyed the previous Resurgence map packs and want more, this one is worth picking up as well and priced right!
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