Iron Brigade

We recently acquired Iron Brigade, a World War I style tower defense-shooter hybrid with mechs and turrets, and a television-based enemy called the Monovision.  I spotted this game a long time back, when it was known as Trenched, because of the developer Double Fine who came up with this game as well as Costume Quest and Stacking during one fortnight of development.  A trademark dispute in Europe resulted in a name change, and a delay to the release: December last year on the Xbox, but only this month for the PC.. and another rather quiet release too.

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Terrorhedron

Terrorhedron is an eight player, 3d co-op tower defense game by indie developers MCRO Games.  This tower defense game is rather different from other tower defense as in Terrorhedron, you build and program your own turrets!

You can building turrets from a set of 3d building blocks, with 4- or 6- facing platforms, then a choice of seven types of turret: laser, EMP, Plastic Pulse, Photon Pulse, Energy Vacuum, Plasma Beam and Finance Generator.  You can program each turret to prioritise different enemies; faster moving targets, those closest to the turret or the end of the maze, or the strongest, which gives you a lot of choice in terms of strategy.  Target the strongest enemies at the beginning of the maze, leaving the weaker targets to be mopped up by later turrets, or use the EMP to slow them all down and allow more firing time..

The enemies in this game are coloured spheres, with different strengths and speeds.  As they take damage they change speed, with the weakest targets turning green and travelling at a set speed, but higher strength balls becoming either faster or slower.  You have 100 lives to start with, and although you regenerate a life per round, later on you encounter enemies which are worth a lot more, so your setup of towers has to be able to cope with the changes of speed as well as enemy strength.

Terrorhedron is available via mcro.org, for just $5.

Global Agenda

Shooter MMO Global Agenda was recommended to me at the start of the weekend.. and while I wouldn’t ordinarily pick up a game with little idea about it, developers Hi-Rez Studios had pledged to give all the proceeds of sales during the weekend to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake efforts.  So, I signed up and paid.. knowing that even if I didn’t like the game, at least some good was coming of it.

I had the choice of Robotics, Medic, Recon and Assault, and for my first character I went with Robotics, as I’d get to play with turrets, forcefields and drones..

The game starts off showing my character in a stasis field, in a facility under attack from soldiers who start to free me.  During the scuffle the chamber is smashed and I am freed, but all the soldiers are gone when I get control of my character.

This is where the tutorial kicks in, with directions for basic running and jumping to start with, then a cool jetpack which allows short flights, and my first weapon..

While I have the Mace equipped, I also have the use of a shield, which seems to last as long as my energy reserves, indicated by the blue bar near the middle of the screen.

I reach the top of the building as directed, and I’m told I have to dive off the edge.. a nice cutscene follows where I jump off as instructed, bare feet on view, and eventually crash through the window of a storage room.  Here I get a nice ranged gun, and in the next rooms I get to try it out on easy enemies such as Watchers and Sector workers who try to hide.. and Alarm Responders, who are a little bit tougher.  I also get a ‘Rest’ device, which lets me heal myself.. so far so good 🙂

I’m heading for the roof again.. right at the top I’m introduced to a one-way forcefield, which will let me out to face the first boss, a flying Guardian who fires some kind of homing rocket and wipes me out.  I get a fairly quick respawn back on the safe side of the forcefield, and head out to finish the Guardian off.  Here, I was surprised to find he hadn’t been reset, so it only took another few hits to kill him.

My reward was a cutscene of my escape via train ride.. on top of the train, of course!  My stop is an armoury.. more weapons?  I level up at this point, and am given an off-hand, which for me is a deployable force-field.. which comes in handy because there are plenty more security androids to fight through.  Each roof leads to another, with markers indicating where I can jump off, and use the jetpack to fly to the next place.  Limited energy means I can’t just fly around without thinking about it, which I guess stops it becoming overpowered, but I’m happy being able to jump around for the time being.

Next on the list is a suit, which comes with a robotic arm sticking up over my shoulder.. this turns out to be a repair arm, but isn’t explained at this point.  A few more rooftop fights later, and I find my way into another building, where I’m jumped by this rather cool looking Elite Assassin..

I was expecting a tough fight, but I defeated him rather quickly.. it is still tutorial time though.

Another level up, and I have a Personal Turret, which I deployed here purely for the screenshot 😉

My next mission involves escaping through the sewers, and I suspect that’s where the tutorial will end and I’ll get into the main game..

Surviving Survival

I thought WoW was meant to be addictive, but I’m finding Sol Survivor’s survival mode more so..

In singleplayer, I’m obsessively chasing the badges, with the current goal of getting the gold badge for each.. it took ages to get the Cwm map with a load of attempts coming in around 20 to 30 seconds short of the required 20 minutes.

A friend offered to help me get the badges, so there was more co-op multiplayer.

The Undoer’s “Wall of Death” was made of lasers in this game, and aside from being rather nice to look at, are quite effective.

We also tried out the versus mode; the map was split up with coloured sections to show where you could place turrets, and we each had a drop point and base.  The “Wall of Death” was more effective than my tactic of spreading out different types of tower along the path, and I lost. 🙁

We managed another three-player game during the week too.. now how’s this for a light-show? 😀