Thanks to Curve Studios for the review copy of Titan Attacks on the PS Vita, PS3 & PS4. And just a quick shout out that the game is completely Cross-buy compatible, so buy it on any Sony system and you’ll own it on all three machines.
From first glance, being a Titan game I presumed it was going to be more tower defence than action. Boy was I mistaken. The game has currently been available on PC for some time but has just recently made the jump to the PS3, PS4 & Vita sometime today or tomorrow.
Titan Attacks is actually a game in the vain of Space Invaders or Galaga, with your one tank you’ve got to hold off the invasion of Earth and take the fight to the enemy. Firstly, although there have been a couple attempts at revitalizing this type of game, I’ve never found any as good as the originals. Most of them concentrate on making it far more glitzy than needs be. Titan Attacks however is a much better and smoother experience than any other game of its type.
The basics of Titan Attacks involve you firing a shot at a time to eliminate all the enemies on the screen. Now this may sound boring as hell, and at the start it does take a minute or two before you really start seeing the hook, line and sinker. After the first few waves you’ll have enough money to start upgrading your ship.
This is where the spice of the game is. You’ll have the choice to increase your fire-power, amount of shots you can fire at one time or the add-ons you can attach for added punch. As well as adding shields to your tank, each hit will remove one shield, so it’s always wise to keep a good stock of shields when you face the bosses or tougher waves.
As you can imagine, Titan Attacks does get harder as the game progresses, not ridiculously so, and for those wanting a nightmare challenge I will admit that you’ll be out of luck. I’m no Space Invaders/Galaga super nut and usually I’m not that good at them, in this case though I quite happily finished the game in a couple of hours for it to start right back at the beginning no harder than usual, only difference was that I had all my upgrades, a fully upgraded tank vs meagre aliens was no challenge after going through the harder stages later on.
Besides the lack of a harder mode, Titan Attacks is kinda addictive. I enjoyed the ability to pick up and play one or two waves, put it back down again and do something else, then come back again at any moment. A god send when waiting for games to load or Turn Based rounds to end if you have a Vita handy.
This mixed with its rather enjoyable tempo makes Titan Attacks an easy to pick up and play game that doesn’t alienate casual gamers. Hardcore gamers may want harder modes of play, which may be added at a later date. (The Steam PC version got this a couple of months back so this version should get it eventually.)
As for the rest of the extra features, upgrading your tank is nice but often can be done too easily and by the time you’ve finished the game once, you’ll have everything you could unlock. It would have been nice if they either held some goodies back for the second play through or delayed when you could upgrade certain items to keep you coming back for more.
With the original Space Invaders, you’ll all remember that ever so useless UFO that wonders across the top of the screen every now and then. Well now at least it has a lot more use. It doesn’t just drop powerups to boost your score but a nice selection of special abilities like the super shield or fast firing super gun. On top of that, to earn that extra bit of dosh or not lose any at least, you’ll have to pickup occasional aliens that eject from their blown up ships. Hitting one is an easy way to kill them, where as leaving them alive and missing the catch will result in you losing a fair sum of dosh for them escaping. Catching them successfully though does add a little extra spending money to your account.
Trophies are also available in Titan Attacks, though they aren’t something to set any challenge by. After two play through’s I’ve already got every achievement but one, and that is just a matter of catching a few more aliens. So I guess it could be considered an easy choice for anybody who loves collecting shiny digital trophies.
Now many other remakes have often prioritized fancy graphics and special effects over new gameplay to make the game stand out from the drab originals. Titan Attacks doesn’t do that in this instance. That doesn’t mean Titan Attacks doesn’t look good, it just has a nice simple art style that doesn’t get in your way when playing.
The special effects look polished and each enemy including the bosses looks well designed and adequate for the roll of target practice.
The lasers sound very lasery and the missiles sound very wushy. As you can tell, the game sounds as expected with most of the normal effects well scripted for sound effects. Nothing really stands out in the sound department but you wouldn’t really expect anything to in this type of genre. After a few hours of playing this you’ll hardly care or notice what sounds are blasting around and I played a lot of this the second time round on silent.
The Music in Titan Attacks is just the right type of techno that really gets adrenaline running in your veins and an acute focus out of you that will leave your eyes hurting hours later. If your on the Vita, a good set of headphones is required. The last thing you want to do is annoy someone else with fast paced techno.
Although the game only has five sections and a hundred or so levels, it does take a couple of hours to shoot your way through the hoards of aliens and their large bosses. The game doesn’t seem to offer any special NewGame+ mode but does allow you to continue building a score after you’ve finished by starting again. I presume you could continue going as long you could stay interested or alive.
Titan Attacks only offers the one way of playing through the five stages. So for anybody who thought you might get a lot of play from this, you’ll be disappointed.
On the other hand, you do get a decent amount of play for your money. Unlike, say something costing around £25/$30! (Hint, Hint!)
- Well Done Re-Imagining Of Originals
- Easy To Pick Up & Play
- Cross-Buy Rules!
- Very Little Replayability For Average Gamers
- Short Campaign