Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
Shooter/Third-Person 3D Shooter
ALSO AVAILABLE ON
Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/defender-xbox-1, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/defender-nintendo-gamecube-1, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/defender-game-boy-advance-1, http://www.gamerdna.com/game/defender-playstation-2-1
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A 3D update of 1980's coin-op classic, Defender has players guiding a star fighter from a behind-the-ship perspective in an attempt to thwart an alien invasion. Pilots must once again rescue potential abductees, only this time the threats are bloodthirsty bugs called Manti. Battles take place in a campaign format, playable with a friend in cooperative mode, as pilots engage alien swarms across planetary surfaces on Venus, Mars, and Earth, as well as in the far reaches of space. Players will be able to control pitch and roll using the left thumbstick, perform evasive maneuvers with the right thumbstick, and use both forward and reverse thrusters to blast ahead or to fall back. A lock-on targeting system lets players isolate an objective, enemy, or friendly unit.
Six ships are available to pilot, each offering different characteristics in speed, armor, agility, strength, and special weapon. All ships have the capability to pick up items on the ground or in the air, including colonists and friendly units such as tanks. Whether it's the light and nimble fighter or the slow and heavily armed bomber, techniques such as barrel rolls, loops, and reversals are also possible, and familiar weapons such as smart bombs can eradicate multiple threats in one blinding flash. Navigating the environments is accomplished with the help of a scanner, which delineates enemy fighters in red and friendly units in blue. Various upgrades in weaponry as well as extra lives can be purchased with credits earned during missions.
Once players find and rescue colonists during their mission, they can drop them off at multiple locales. Colonists returned to a drop zone will earn players power-ups, while colonists deployed at either a missile crawler or a tank factory will allow players to build ground units for additional support. Those brave souls who have been captured by the Manti will mutate into new and more deadly Manti craft. Two-player options include cooperative play as well as a deathmatch mode, where both combatants face off against one another in a kill-or-be-killed scenario. Both modes are played from a horizontally split screen. DVD Extras include a "making of" featurette, a retrospective on the game's history, and "coming soon" trailers for Midway games in development. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide