There’s trouble brewing in the metropolis, and only one thing can stop it: guns, and lots of ‘em! Artillery pieces, mortars, mines, alien blasters, atomic super-gizmos, that’s what it’s going to take to save the city! And you’re in the middle of it all – with three friends. Fortified! combines the best aspects of tower defense and third-person shooters with a healthy dollop of class-based teamwork to boot. All of it is set in a 1950s space-invaders movie where it’s up to your team to protect the Earth from flying saucers, every day of the week.
You’ll do this, in part, through clever use of the game’s many tower defense objects. From Cold War-era missiles to technology adapted from captured robot weapon systems, the variety of options is incredibly deep. Different enemies are weak against different types of structures and defenses, and Fortified! does give you some indication of what’s coming in the next wave – but this is also a game that rewards trial and error. There’s no one proper way to succeed in a mission.
And that doesn’t just go for the tower defense aspects, either; you’ll want to decide what the proper blend of relying on your towers versus relying on your shooter skills is. Each mission presents targets that get through even the toughest defensive structures, and it’s up to the player’s trigger finger to finish those guys off. Four characters, each with unique skills and abilities, face off against the Martian menace: the Rocket Scientist with her jet pack and extra maneuverability, the Agent with his vast knowledge of the aliens and their weaknesses, the Space Man with his heroic courage, and the Marine Captain with his oodles of bullets.
Fortified! can be played solo or with any combination of the above four characters, and the game dynamically shifts its difficulty level based on how many players are in a mission at any given time. Even better, every character can be leveled up and customized to fit a given play style, so you can choose to focus your characters on certain strengths, and shore up their weaknesses with towers… or go for a balanced approach. It’s up to you.
As if that wasn’t enough, a third layer of gameplay gives players the chance to command A.I. Army units and friendly robots throughout matches. Towers offer passive A.I. defenses, but with the Army units, players can work together to move active defenses at enemies, too – all while using their characters to focus fire or put a special world of hurt on particularly tough enemies. With all this depth, though, Fortified! is surprisingly easy to play with the Xbox One controller. Everything you need to do is a simple button click away, with very little need to open menus or pause the action.
Menus or not, you’re sure to enjoy Fortified!’s sci-fi look and feel, with monsters and aliens recognizable from some of the great pulp films of the 1950s and 1960s. The art style is both endearing and enthralling, and there’s plenty of clever design that goes into the way towers, traps, and enemies work – this isn’t just another pretty face. Now grab your Thompson and your jet pack, solider! The citizens of Earth are counting on you!
Fortified! Hits Xbox One later this year via ID@Xbox.