Also On: PC
Fortified, releasing tomorrow on Xbox One and PC, is a third-person tower defense title from developer Clapfoot. While the genre certainly has a number of popular titles under its belt already, I think Fortified does a solid job of standing out from the pack, thanks in part to its neat, 1950’s sci-fi inspired visuals, and the solid assortment of traps and tools at your disposal. While I do think the game is a bit light on modes and playable characters, for the asking price, you’re still get a pretty sizeable online multiplayer experience that’s worth checking out.
Gameplay in Fortified revolves around defending stationary rockets from incoming waves of alien foes, which increase in numbers and variety as you move on to new waves. In between the action you can spend in-game currency to deploy turrets, stationary soldiers, explosives, and more in order to deter the oncoming enemy forces. You’ll also get hands-on during the fight, selecting one of four characters to take into battle that come equipped with their own unique weapons and mechanics. This allows you to make changes and adjustments on the fly, even while a wave is advancing, which helps keep the action fast and frantic.
Forward progression in both single and multiplayer mode comes from sticking to one of the four characters classes, and earning experience for completing Campaign missions or Invasion waves, the two modes featured in the game. For Campaign there’s a decent number of missions, each getting progressively harder, with more rockets to defend, pathways to manage, and enemy variations to fight. Leveling up the playable classes, Captain, Rocket Scientist, Agent and Spaceman, will grant you skill points that can unlock new weapons, traps, and other tools to aid your fight.
As far as variation goes, the classes do a pretty good job of being distinct from one another. There are some unlocks that are shared between each class, but it feels as if they have definitive roles to play, and when experienced via multiplayer, those roles stand out even more. In addition to the unlocked abilities, each character has a sort of ultimate skill, which fills up over time as you wipe out enemies, allowing for some limited invincibility along with some other character specific functions, like flight or freezing shields.
Fortified is also pretty challenging, at least as far as the single-player experience goes. Multiplayer with a group of communicating friends eases the difficulty a bit, but the first time you encounter a boss it will still throw you for a loop. But the challenge is a good thing, as it again highlights the various functions available to each character, and really makes you think about how you spend your limited resources to defend the various rockets on any given map.
All in all, I’m pretty impressed with Fortified. It has very few shortcomings, most notably the repetitive music and lack of modes, but at $14.99 it gives a very fun, challenging, multiplayer experience for Xbox One and PC players alike. So definitely check it out when it drops this week, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.