Resurgence map packs: you patiently wait your whole life for the arrival of just one and two come along within as many days. The first, priced at the massive 1200 points, aims to build upon the gargantuan multiplayer monster that is Modern Warfare 2 while the other, priced at a humble 80 points (70 odd pence by my untrustworthy calculations) is tasked with expanding the impressive Xbox Live Arcade title Defense Grid: The Awakening. My bet down already on which outsells the other.
The daringly titled Map Pack 1 is the first of four offerings from Hidden Path to be released on a one-a-week basis through June. Complimenting two already expansive campaigns are the maps Service Interruption and Height of Confusion. There’s also a new achievement bundled for those who need a little more icing on their cake. Icing in the form of an e-penis enlargement, of course.
And that’s your lot. There aren’t any new towers to play with or enemies to maim with level 3 cannons and what little voice-work there is has been recycled (veterans will be fully aware by now that the AI assistant will not be buying you a drink should you make it through this fight).
But we’re dealing with an expansion that costs the same as a can of coke at my local newsagents and Defense Grid is still one of the best tower defense games out there. The formula works and it works well enough that it doesn’t need to be ruined by shoehorning new towers or units in, there’s plenty of variety anyway.
Service Interruption is typical of the maps that make up the majority of the main game. The outer level coerces the aliens into a suicidal march around the perimeter of the map before chaperoning them into the lower, more maze-like middle. The lower section is where the majority of the room for tower building is so it’s crucial to utilise the limited choke points should you be aiming for gold medals (and that hugely alluring 10G).
Service Interruption is the prettier of the two maps too, painted in a dusky blue to compliment its snowy mountain location; it’s a tranquil lonely place right up until the point where countless hundreds of marauding aliens show up to ruin the serenity. Much like Tesco on a Saturday.
Fittingly, Height of Confusion is the precise opposite: a massive and equally unexciting grey plane that has you creating your own obnoxiously difficult route for the aliens to willingly march through. As the antithesis of Service Interruption it’s the perfect follow-up to the more analytical style of play required for the first map. If you’re as lacking in tactical foresight as I am then Height of Confusion is all about assembling as many towers in as little time as possible and once you’ve built 40 or so is just a case of sitting back and reveling in the carnage. And nuking any sly escapees.
Alternative modes like the 10 Tower Limit (no prizes for guessing), Poison Core (painfully unfair if you’re an alien) and Challenge mode (campaign for the hardcore) ensure that, unlike that other Resurgence Pack, there are no arguments for not getting your moneys worth here. Simply put if you’re a fan of Defense Grid then this first in a line of four packs is more than worth brushing off the metaphorical dust and diving back into one of the Xbox Live Arcade’s better games.
And just to put that price into perspective once again, because really that’s the only thing worth mentioning, making this 627 word review an astonishing waste of your time; Map Pack 1 set me back four times less than it would have cost to outfit my avatar with a virtual dog-in-a-bag.
A dog. In a bag. On my TV. For £3.50…