Metacritic has released its quarterly report on the best-reviewed Xbox 360 games of the year. The list runs from the beginning of 2013, through July 1st, and ranks each …
CastleStorm was developed by Zen Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released May 29, 2013 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
In CastleStorm you’ll sometimes shoot sheep. Out of a ballista. Into a castle. It’s made possible by a unique propulsion technique: rainbow excrement. Zen Studios’ CastleStorm is obviously not a game that takes itself seriously. It has a story, but it’s intentionally dumb. There are blue guys. There are red guys. The red guys steal a shiny object of immense power from the blue guys, and the blue guys, somewhat reluctantly, go to war in an attempt to retrieve it. Cutscenes filled with overtly cheesy and occasionally humorous jokes frequently interrupt the tower-defense-meets-Angry-Birds gameplay, but the joy of launching projectiles, which are only occasionally weaponized beasts, out of your ballista and towards enemy castles and opposing forces marching on your own castle will keep you coming back for more.
Here’s what we liked:
Plenty of options — At first, CastleStorm will seem simple to a fault. You have a castle. The enemy has a castle. You have a ballista. The enemy has a ballista. You have soldiers. The enemy has soldiers. It’s a feeling that quickly evaporates as you progress through the campaign and unlock an impressive variety of unit types, ballista projectiles, magic spells, castles — including those you build yourself — and upgrades. Though you will encounter the occasional mission objective that changes things up a bit, most levels involve you defending your castle and flag while electing to either capture the enemy’s flag or tear their castle down to its foundation. Thanks to the numerous tools of destruction at your disposal and those employed by the enemy, this formula never gets old. It’s challenging and satisfying to implant arrows in troops’ heads, crash down gates with flying quadrupeds and blow castle rooms to smithereens with bombs. Good thing, too, because success in later levels is achieved only by nimbly managing your war assets. Fail to do so, and you’ll be overwhelmed as the no man’s land between the safety of the opposing castle gates quickly becomes the enemy’s land.
Although CastleStorm is due to release next month, little has been made public about its multiplayer offerings. However, in a recent blog post, Zen Studios has lifted the lid on this unknown quantity, explaining CastleStorm‘s 1. vs. 1 split-screen mode, Survival Co-op and Last Stand Co-op modes.
According to Zen, multiplayer progression will be kept distinct from that of its single-player campaign, with players leveling up and earning experience separately in each. Each of the three new multiplayer modes can be played locally or online, and players can even import their own, custom-made castles into multiplayer matches.
The 1 vs. 1 split-screen mode sees players simply attempting to destroy an individual opponent’s castle — the first to do so emerges victorious. Survival Co-op requires two players to team up in order to repel waves of enemies, with one player manning the ballista while the other assumes control of the ground forces. Finally, in Last Stand Co-op Mode, both players assume control of a single hero unit and must stay alive as long as possible while battling increasingly difficult waves of enemies.
Zen has also released a new gameplay trailer that demonstrates CastleStorm‘s newly revealed multiplayer modes in action.
Here we are once again at the start of what’s sure to be another fantastic year of XBLA releases. Each day this week XBLA Fans will be rolling out a list of eight of our most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade releases of 2013. While we can’t possibly cover every single XBLA game planned for this year, we’ll be giving you a varied list of 40 of the most promising titles we expect to release on XBLA in 2013. Once it’s all done, be sure to check back in next Monday when each staff member makes his/her picks for the game he/she is most looking forward to.
Developer: City Interactive
Alien Fear is an Unreal Engine 3-powered sci-fi first person shooter headed to XBLA, presumably at some point in 2013. Though we’re assuming that the above image is a target screen rather than an actual in-game image, developer City Interactive is promising that the use of Epic Games’ ubiquitous engine is allowing them to create an Xbox Live Arcade title that boasts “visually stunning, large-scale environments with impressive long-range vistas and expressionistic lighting.” The co-op shooter has yet to be shown in action, but XBLAFans is looking forward to finding out if the game lives up to the promise shown in the above image whenever we get our first real look at it.
Over the course of the past month, Zen Studios has released a new blog post each week detailing the various character types players can expect to see in the upcoming CastleStorm. With the final entry posted last Wednesday, we’ve compiled all four entries right here for your convenience. Be sure to check the links to each blog post to learn more details about these characters and even tips on how to use them in-game.