(PAX West 2017) Aegis Defenders
Aegis Defenders is a 2D platformer/metroidvania whose combat centers around tower defense mechanics. It looks good while being more minimal that other things I’ve played here this go-round. I’ll admit that, after hot-joining into co-op mode, it took me a few minutes to realize that the younger of the two main characters was a chick (Clu). That’s not to say the art wasn’t there, but that it didn’t really mater. The character I played was the more aged, bearded old man (Bart) which made for some fun banter with whom I was playing with.
When we needed to defend a specific area for some reason we controlled two people setting up turrets and traps where appropriate. As a single player, you switch back and forth setting up defenses where they are needed based on what color of baddie was coming from where. Blue baddies are more easily killed by the Clu and the yellow/orange by Bart. There are other colors and you’ll just have to make due until other characters are introduced later. Bart can set up walls and turrets and wields a hammer while Clu uses ranged weapons and traps/explosives. It’s a good balance.
While the combat was cool, being a metroidvania doesn’t seem to fit the title well in my mind. I only got to play a bit so my impressions are sparse. I enjoyed the combat to be sure, but using tower defense mechanics felt like you weren’t much exploring a Metroid game and more that you were moving from one area to the next to defend yet another room. There are other enemies to combat and resources to gather on your way from one area to the next. However, Aegis Defenders felt like a grouping of challenge rooms connected with corridors. Will that continue to be fun for the whole game? That remains to be seen. Maybe the story drives it better than I got the impression of, but at least I had fun.
Further Reading on Aegis Defenders: Facebook / Official Page / Steam / Twitter