Defense Grid: The Awakening was released for the Xbox Live Arcade on September 2 of 2009, it is also available for the PC and is slightly different from the Xbox LIVE Arcade version, giving us 4 bonus maps (Borderlands) and the score system is a bit different adding a bit of challenge over the PC version.
The story takes place in a futuristic planet that was attacked by a mysterious alien race over 1000 years ago, as the title suggests you awaken the ancient AI to help you retake and defend old installations previously defeated by alien forces. The origin of the aliens is uncertain, but we know they will do anything to take away all your power cores. As you advance through the campaign the AI recovers more information and reveals more details about the story.
The campaign includes 20 maps for The Awakening and 4 more for Borderlands, the game include over 60 unlockable challenge modes expanding the hours of gameplay.
This is one game you cant miss if you like tower defense games, the amount and variety of towers let you think and use more than one alignment or strategy for a single map making the game much more interesting and fun to play. You can also zoom right in on the action while your towers eliminate oncoming enemy units.
A few of the challenge modes are easy to complete (specially for those hunting achievements) and others will require you to have patience and an excellent strategy to obtain a gold medal (or simply to complete the challenge), which is good for people searching a game with good gameplay and challenge.
Some of the challenges you can find are: 10 towers limit, 10k and 20k resource challenge among many others, one of my favorites is Grinder, you have to survive 99 waves of aliens one after another, thrilling and excitement (and sometimes difficult) challenge the player to decide the best strategy and use of resources to survive until the very end.
Graphics are excellent for an Xbox LIVE Arcade title, detailed and colorful environments, detailed models and enriched graphics will not disappoint.
Sound is not bad, nothing you will miss when hordes of alien waves die and the the sound of the explosions is all you hear. Voice, sound and FX are great, a bit more of variety in the BGM would be appreciated.
Unfortunately, not everything is good. There is no co-op or multiplayer mode, which could have made the game much more enjoyable. A tower defense game is just not complete without multiplayer and this could be Defense Grid: The Awakening biggest flaw, but none the less still a great title for Xbox LIVE Arcade.
There is not an option to choose difficulty, having the ability to pick easier or harder difficulty would have been desirable but the amount of challenges compensate the lack of this feature.
4 new DLC expansions are available for a total of 8 new maps, each having a campaign mode, challenges and new achievements for the game, for a price of 80 MS Points is not a bad deal.
this may be one of the best titles you can find for the Xbox LIVE Arcade, specially if you like tower defense and strategy games, if not do yourself a favor and download the demo, it is addictive and fun to play with lots of strategy involved, who knows.. you may like it and say “please more!”