Every now and then, a game comes along with a combination of things I like that usually isn't brought together. In the line of Double Fine games, Brutal Legend
was a combination of real-time strategy and hack-and-slash combat. It was actually quite reminiscent of the game Sacrifice
. I can't think of something else quite like Trenched
, but it has the same style of feature combination. Here's what you get:
Do you like building robots? I like building robots. Trenched is about building robots. There are 3 varieties of chassis, each with a couple models and each of those with their own stats and properties. The same can be said for the legs on which you'll be stomping around, giving you stomp, sprint, or deployment options with certain bonuses to each. You can even slap some nifty paint jobs onto the whole thing.
The equipment of weapons on your "mobile trench" is handled without weight restrictions, relying on the number of available weapon slots on a given chassis. Some weapons take more than one, and these are generally more powerful.
All-in-all, the customization gives you plenty of options and creates roles to fill, but doesn't get bogged down with needless technical stuff as some dedicated mech games can. It is even worth coordinating with other players to ensure all the armament bases are covered.
Unlike Armored Core, you won't be boosting around, jumping and flying (or wall-jumping off buildings, if you've seen that sexay new Armored Core V gameplay). You will generally be plodding around in a MechWarrior style that makes your positioning an important part of the gameplay. While feeling restricted arbitrarily in movement is something I would normally dislike, in this case it fits with the gameplay. If you could race around, there would be little point in building turrets.
To compensate for the somewhat sluggish movement, players can drop turrets onto the battlefield just about anywhere. These come in three varieties: light, support, and heavy. Light are guns in the standard style, such as machine guns and anti-air flak; support emplacements don't damage enemies but can slow their movements, collect currency automatically, or heal friendly players.
The gameplay itself is built on the tower defense model. Increasingly difficult waves of enemies appear and move to attack a central structure players are tasked with defending. There is a decent variety to the enemies and paying attention to the pre-mission warnings ultimately proves to be quite important.
One of the things I enjoy the most in games is a feeling of progression. I like getting new stuff, and one of the things that creates that feeling is loot. Loot from bosses, loot from rankings, loot from random enemies. You'll almost always get something worth upgrading to. It's a little bundle of joy that you race to collect.
The new equipment comes in quickly enough and with enough variety that you'll almost always have something new to try or waiting for you, free of charge, maybe after a level increase or two. There's not as much as in dedicated games like Diablo 2
, and it isn't randomly generated, but until you've got six of everything you'll probably always be pumped to see a shimmering loot box pop out of something.
Competitive multiplayer is great and all, but I almost always have more fun playing cooperatively with people. Trenched
balances its multiplayer in a fairly effective way. There are extra enemies, and everyone splits the income from defeating them. This stops it from being an unbeatable field of turrets and makes working together on equipment more important. It's a quick road to failure if, between four people, you can't handle a certain enemy type like air. There's no way you're going to get a good ranking, and will just be stuck plugging away while they tear down the building you're supposed to protect.
Adding to the cooperative fun, there are also regiment challenges. Everyone you play with gets tied into your personal regiment listing, and so you all work together to unlock parts and customization items for your marine. It's a little extra something that rewards you just for playing with other people.
All these elements blend together quite seamlessly in Trenched
with little to no confusion other than some convoluted menu layout. It's the kind of game that's spent weeks making me say "just one more level" hunting for the last bit of equipment or trying to get a good ranking and sucked up hours of my time in the process. Trenched, in the end, obviously isn't more than a $15 downloadable title but I have received well more than my money's worth out of that exchange.view gallery