Game Review | Sanctum 2
Game Summary: While reporting back to duty, the Core Guardians are suddenly alerted to a major attack on the Facility – a major research centre, industrial development, and city in its own right. (Wikipedia)
And so we already have the first game to fail the ‘two-hour test’ I’ve set in place for games, with Sanctum 2 failing to provide me with a hook to continue beyond that point. That’s not to say it’s bad though, but it’s not for me.
I am primarily a single-player gamer and this game is very much intended primarily as a multiplayer experience. That plot summary up there? There’s even more of the backstory to this world if you follow the link, but it barely comes across in the ‘campaign’.
Crossing a first-person shooter with a tower defence game isn’t a bad idea, and I can see how this might provide a lot of fun if you have a few people to play it with. Even then, it’s still just pretty much the same thing over and over, so that fun might not last much longer either.
I don’t want to criticise the game too harshly, as it controls really smoothly in both tower defence and shooting sections, and it has a fairly cartoonish art style, which means it doesn’t look too dated for a game from 2013, although don’t expect this to come anywhere close to modern games.
However, the music is utterly forgettable and the ‘story’ in the so-called campaign is wafer-thin, as is the world-building. Really, don’t go into this game looking for something other than the unique combination of gameplay mechanics as there’s really nothing else here.
In addition, the repetition really is an issue, and unless you actually treat the tower defence side of the game as a puzzle game, you’ll spend a lot of time grinding maps to level up the and unlock items to help you proceed.
If everything had been available and you gained points to unlock what you wanted, that might have proven interesting as it would be worthwhile repeating levels to see what works and what doesn’t. Being locked out of certain upgrades by developer design means that there’s a loss of player agency which quickly proved boring to me.
Sanctum 2 isn’t bad really, but neither is it especially good. Clearly designed around multiplayer, the ‘campaign’ is a joke and should be ignored. If you have a group of friends who want something simple to play together, you could have a little fun here, but that’s about it.