Sanctum 2, a FPS-tower defence hybrid brings a whole new perspective to tower defence as you know it. From the ability to choose different characters, perks and even weapons, Sanctum 2 has a whole lot to offer.

Story

Playing as one of the 4 Core Guardians, your mission is to repel an invasion of Lume forces, an alien race who threaten to destroy the Facility. The story itself is told through comic strips before the start of each map. However there really isn’t much depth to the story, it only serves to give you a brief background on the waves of enemies that you’ll defeat.

Story reads like a comic

Gameplay

Being a FPS-tower defence hybrid, Sanctum 2 seamlessly integrates the best of both genres. It provides a new view on the tower defence genre as players can now walk in with the action. You now take a hands on approach in defending the Core as you can fight along with your towers while trying to avoid enemy attacks.

Playable characters

The game also allows you to select between 4 unique characters, each with their own weapon and abilities. Furthermore players can customise their selection further by choosing a secondary weapon, 4 towers and 3 perks to equip before starting a map. However, certain towers, weapons, and perks require certain levels to unlock. Even tower and perks slots need to be unlocked before getting the full number of slots. Although it can take while, it does help introduce tower archetypes and their usefulness against certain enemies.

Fighting a wave of Lume

Another feature that sets it apart, is the enemies’ path. There is no set path. You’ll have to create a path for them to follow using walls and towers to prevent them making a beeline for the Core. The game’s map overview and grid system makes planning your towers easy even from a first person perspective.

The campaign contains 16 maps spread across 4 areas. Clearing a map allows it to be played with optional challenges called Feats of Strength. Other available gamemodes are also available include survival, easy mode, and a sandbox mode where you can change enemy HP, tower and wall resources allowing you to experiment with different tower setups or play around as you wish. All these modes are available playable in co-op for up to 4 players.

The 4 regions

Controls

Controls are reminiscent of modern FPS games. WASD is used to move with SPACEBAR to jump or double jump. Shooting controls however are a bit different. LMB and RMB are bound to the primary and secondary fire of your weapon while aiming down the sights is achieved by pressing the CONTROL key. It is a bit unusual, a binding that gets rarely seen and can take some time to get used to. As for towers, they can be selected either through the scroll wheel or through the 1-5 keys. Towers are upgraded and sold through the LMB and RMB while the F key is used to change tower target, allowing for more strategy when it comes to tower placement.

Audio and Visuals

Graphically the game looks stunning. The use of cell shaded graphics allow for effects from lightning towers and gattling turrets to stand out. Bright neon colours are also spread along the game’s maps leaving players something to stare at between waves. Altogether they help add to the game’s sci-fi setting

Those bright and deep colours

The music flawlessly matches the game’s atmosphere and pace. Wave preparations are accompanied by calm electronic beats. But as soon as the timer counts down to zero and the wave kicks in, the tempo hastens as the tension rises to defend your core. The soundtrack’s use of electronic beats, synth and other digital sounds really help keep the game’s sci-fi vibe. Some of the music sound almost alien in a way creating a truly sci-fi experience.

Replayability

There is a lot of content for players to enjoy in Sanctum 2. Having unlockable content gives players all the more reason to replay earlier maps with end-game towers or simply mess around and develop strategies with the other gamemodes. The optional feats of strength for each map also provide a challenge for players looking for more. The game can also be played in co-op with a max of 4 players, with the difficulty ramping up along with each additional player. If you’ve completed the game solo, you’ll definitely have to look into doing it again with others.

Additional challenges

For those that are looking for more content, 4 DLC packs are also available that continue the story all the while granting players new weapons, turrets, maps and even a new character to try.

Conclusion

Sanctum 2 provides a new perspective on the tower defence genre. This FPS-tower defence hybrid creates a unique experience that is enjoyable to veterans and new comers to tower defence whether they’re looking for a singleplayer or co-op experience.

Review: Sanctum 2
The Good
Good integration of FPS and tower defence mechanics
Solid gameplay
Aesthetically pleasing
Funk music
The Bad
Weak story
Unlocks can take a while
8
Excellent
Video game and film enthusiast. Studying a Bachelor of Communications in Media Arts and Production along with International Studies at UTS. I play games in any genre, but mainly focus on CSGO and Tekken. I’m a fighting game aficionado and have met top players from both the Street Fighter and Tekken scenes. My other hobbies include reading, anime and learning the occasional song on guitar.