CastleStorm Review

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Developer: Zen Studios

Type/genre: Strategy (Angry Birds meets medieval ages with castles, knights and dragons.)

The controls for the game when you first pick up the controller feel a little fiddly, but within ten to twenty minutes tops you’ll fully understand and be using the controls like a professional. Using the left stick you control and adjust a ballistic weapon, which is your most important tool in defending your castle. Using the right stick enables you to control the camera pan the environment and keep a eye on all the action. Both the bumper buttons let you select options to aid you in battles while the letter buttons confirm or cancel actions and issue additional commands. Generally although the left stick seems a little over sensitive and the controls a little confusing at times they do feel responsive, lag free and overall a pleasure to use.

The game has a cartoon like RPG feel to it, with the good guys fighting in blue and the baddies ranging from Vikings to Orcs and dragons fighting in red. Characters seem easy to pick out during the carnage with the camera picking out every individual no matter how far zoomed out. Cut-scenes carry along the story whilst clearly showing what is happening, not only does this make the game more enjoyable as you know what your doing but also can lead to some humorous and comical happenings to make you, the player smile.

Backgrounds are a pleasure to look at with something always going on while you play, these can range from weather elements happening i.e clouds moving or thunderbolts striking the ground to birds flying past with funny results from stray arrows.

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Right from the start you know you’re in for a treat music wise, with a horn of war sounding then a medieval sound playing in the background. The menu music changes from time to time but is nothing more than a tune sadly, it does do the job though and helps the game feel complete with Zen Studios going the extra mile to add minor details. Voices during cut-scenes are sharp and clear with a narrator speaking over the top explaining everything that’s happening to help you through the carnage. During the campaign sometimes you hear characters shout “CHARRGE!” as they rush into battle, they also let you know clearly they have spawned with a simple “I’m here”.

The game feels smooth and fluent with the basic principle of physics being used to stop people attacking your castle. You start off with a basic ballistic arrow firing weapon that can be upgraded with the more kills you gain with it, eventually making it into a lean mean rapid firing machine. Levels start off easy with only a few enemies trying to attack your castle (of course) and you are learning how the game is played it only means things can and will only get harder. Fear not though as the more you play the game, more items and abilities are unlocked and buyable from coins you gain through the levels, in turn making your castle and forces grow stronger faster and generally more badass!

Levels range from defending your castle to killing so many people with headshots or destroying the enemies castle, these link well with the story explaining that basically everyone hates you and you must do anything possible to look after your castle, while stopping the on coming from taking your land.

Enemies vary from vikings, evil dogs and orcs together with dragons, giants and enemy “champions” to not only vary what your defending your castle from and killing but adding something different to game-play, ultimately forcing you to change your defensive stance and learn some new tactics.

Conclusion: In all honesty I never really enjoyed defend the tower style games, but with so many unique features being bought in to change the stereotype, CastleStorm really wants to push the boundaries of not only the players enjoyment but the game in general. With tongue in cheek storylines, endless customisation of your castle and unique little twists on missions. A very enjoyable experience that will no doubt make you keep coming back for more.

THE GOOD:

  • Endless customisation
  • Feels tailored to the player
  • Easy to pick up and play

THE BAD:

  • Weapons can be a little over sensitive
  • Sometimes unclear on what to do
  • Sadly hardly anyone plays online so long waiting times for a game.

Link to Zen Studios: http://blog.zenstudios.com/
Link to CastleStorm (Xbox 360) : http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/CastleStorm/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8025841129a
Price: ($9.99 or £6.75)
My Twitter: @Stemo666