STAFF REVIEW of Defenders of Ardania (Xbox 360 Arcade)


Tuesday, April 3, 2012.
by Brent Roberts

Defenders of Ardania Box art Deep in the magical fantasy world of Majesty, a dark magic has emerged that threatens the safety and security of your realm. It is your quest to gather what alliances you can form from Dwarves and Elves and more from across the lands to combat the cause of this evil force. Ready your towers and prepare your army because it's time to fight back. The battle lines have been drawn, now it's time to go to war in the tower defense game, Defenders of Ardania!

As we begin our journey we have to give mad respect to developer and publisher Most Wanted Entertainment for their new take on tower defense games. By a simple innovation of incorporating a tower offense into Defenders of Ardania, they have taken the traditional tower defense games to a whole new level. With this new innovation of tower offense comes a steep learning curve that has to be accounted for. Now when you combine your units, towers, and magic the wealth of options increases exponentially and thus, so must our adaptation to the new gameplay. Since we briefly mentioned the depth of this game we have to point out that there are a total of 24 different units that range from fast moving assassins to giant eagles that fly overhead on their way to wipe out the enemy base. With so much to control, build, and manipulate, sometimes the action can get a little bogged down and very confusing. Let me explain.


The layout and levels of Defenders of Ardania are done quite well. There's nothing ground breaking or earth shattering, but they do look very good for an arcade title. One of the main issues however were that a lot of the structures looked similar when built aside from a different color. This brings to mind a classic scene from the movie Grandma's Boy where the great idea was to render the character a different color. Something simplistic like that would help you find your towers amidst the landscape and other buildings. There are some variances but unfortunately they are few and far between. Another issue in Defenders of Ardania is the incredibly boring storyline. There are many levels to go through in single player, however, as mentioned before, mastering the learning curve of this game will determine if you enjoy it or not.

While the single player story falls very short to just spamming quick rush attacks on the AI, the heart of this game lies in its multiplayer. Supporting up to four people in an Xbox Live match, you will be able to challenge your friends and more on all 18 campaign levels. This is where the hybrid RTS combines with tower offense to create some spectacular battles online. If you don't have a lot of friends, it doesn't matter because you can also throw in some AI to fill in the empty spaces. The multiplayer also offers some benefits such as you can actually talk and hear other people instead of the generic 'bad Sean Connery' impression and other generic voice acting. The script itself has some light hearted moments but the overall audio quality is marginal at best but it is better than just reading blank text.

With so many options at your command, Defenders of Ardania tries to overcome some shortcomings by incorporating some new innovations, and while this works somewhat, the fact that these shortcomings exist does hinder the overall enjoyment of this game. Priced at a hefty 1200 MS points, Defenders of Ardania wouldn't be considered an instant buy, but if you're a fan of tower defense or RTS style games, then wait for this to hit the 800 MS point mark before you pick it up.





Overall: 7.5 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10

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