Last year Toy Solders came onto the Xbox Live Arcade scene with its unique blend of tower defense and third person shooter gameplay. The first game took place during World War I against the evil German army. This time around in Toy Soldiers: Cold War we are given a “what if” scenario. As in what if the Cold War had escalated further and Russia decided to advance its military might throughout Europe. Let’s find out together if the boys in Bothell, Washington from Signal Studios can capture gold again.
Toy Soldiers: Cold War takes place in a large variety of settings. You will do battle against the Vietcong resistance in Vietnam and also face the mighty reds all over Europe in a variety of different gameplay scenarios, and finally in the later stages of the game you find yourself defending Mount Rushmore and Washingtion, D.C. The games campaign mode sees you battling your way through eleven different stages, increasing in difficulty and ferocity as you move along.
The core gameplay element of both Toy Soldiers games is tower defense. And what you are defending is your Toy Box from advancing troops. The way you do this is your decision. You will have a variety of different locations where you can place heavy weapons like machine gun nests, anti-tank, anti-air, artillery, mortar teams, and even a cannon that fires a poisonous gas to kill advancing soldiers. Placing these different weapons at strategic places is the key to victory. All of these weapons will work passively, but you can also take control of a particular unit at anytime and destroy your foes. Taking control of your defensive units is the bread and butter of the Toy Soldiers series and is what really sets this franchise apart from other games of the genre. The game also offers the ability to upgrade, repair, and sell your units at anytime so you can adjust strategy based on the given wave of enemies you are about to face.
Outside of building and maintaining your heavy weapon units you can also control some battery powered vehicles. These vehicles range from APC’s, Tanks, Helicopters, and you can even take to the sky in a fighter jet and do battle against Russian MiG’s! Your battery power on the vehicles is limited though, and in order to keep going you will have to search around the map for batteries, otherwise you risk blowing up and having to wait for your vehicle to recharge. Another amazing gameplay element was the barrage’s. Once in a while you will see an enemy with a star over it, and if you kill or destroy that target you will earn a random kill streak of sorts. Most of them are a wide range of air strikes, but the one that stands out the most is the Commando! When you earn the commando and decide to call him in you take control of a Rambo looking soldier with an M-60 in one hand and an RPG in the other. And for the next 30 seconds you get to go fucking nuts and blow some shit up. The Commando is unstoppable and doesn’t need to reload, he has one mission and one mission only…KILL!
A much needed addition the franchise was cooperative mode throughout the campaign. I’m happy to say that Signal Studios has heard the fans and added the desired option to jump in with a friend and defend against the bloody communist bastards. Versus mode also returns so you can go to war with a buddy or a complete stranger with the quick match option. Also making a return is the much loved and challenging Survival mode where much like the campaign you take on wave after wave of enemies. The only difference in Survival mode is that there is no end, and you must see how long you can last. The last mode rounding out the play list is a fun set of mini games that pit’s the player in a variety of shooting challenges.
The overall presentation of Toy Soldiers: Cold War is much like the first game. The colors are vibrant and each location in the game is unique and amazing in its own way. The sounds of the battlefield can be heard long after the smoke has settled, and the cries of your soldiers during battle can be entertaining. And who can forget the 80’s inspired soundtrack that sounds like something you would hear while watching Red Dawn.
Overall I have to say this game is shaping up to be another hit from Signal Studios. If you were a fan of the first you will likely love the second game. I for one enjoyed every moment of the campaign and can’t wait to revisit the game again with a friend when it launches. As an added incentive there are some kick ass avatar awards you can simply earn, such as a sweet mullet with a red bandana so you can look like Rambo. Toy Soldiers: Cold War will be available for download via the Xbox Live Marketplace starting on August 17th for 1200 msp.
|Addictivley Fun, Co-Op Campaign, Great Avatar Awards||Only Eleven Levels|