Defender is back sporting a whole new 3D world. After getting hands-on with the PS2 port at Midway Gamers' Day, is it worth a trip down memory lane?
Eugene Jarvis’s classic arcade title is re-born in Midways remake, Defender. You still need to blast the aliens and save the humans, but it’s a whole new world now. This surely ain’t your daddy’s Defender.
The Aliens are back, and want to feed on human flesh once again. Gameplay is primarily made up of objectives that you’ll have to accomplish. Save some humans, save small city, shoot numerous aliens, pick up power supplies, move tanks, etc. It’s mainly a shooter at its core, with some minor strategy elements. The human race is much more advanced in this version (it’s about time) and can operate tanks. While you’re shooting down aliens, you can drop tanks to take out enemies and provide air support or strategically protect areas. You can also pick up and fly around with the tanks to double your fire power. Have a heap of aliens to take out? Set up a couple tanks, and then fly around with one.
There are 6 ships that you’ll be able to fly with, which have different upgradeable attributes and hardware. The more you save and better you do in levels, the more you’ll be able to upgrade your ship with new firepower. Each ship has an arsenal of 8 different weapons, but can only carry 5 at a time.
Visually, Defender is solid. The ships and environments are richly detailed, and look good. Midway has even designed some of the early aliens to look like they did in the original arcade version. If Midway can keep the frame rate consistent, Defender will be a visual treat.
Midway has incorporated a lot of the classic sound effects from the 80’s arcade title and remade them for the new version. One of the early guns you get in the game sounds exactly like the old laser blast. Even the aliens have some of the same sound effects. If Aliens capture humans they mutate into a harder form just like the original. Now you have the added bonus of hearing the human scream in terror (and pain if you’re not quick enough). To add to the mood, KMFDM has signed on to do a remake of the 2001 Space Odessey theme. To guide you on your way, the base will be barking out orders over your radio. Aurally, everything is well done.
More than just a shooter, Defender is shaping up nicely. With a wide array of weapons, and an included co-op mode, shooter fans should keep an eye out. Defender is due to release in November.