Let's get this out of the way first: Sanctum has no relation to the quite terrible 3D movie that hit theaters earlier this year. In fact, it is a quite good first person shooter variant of the tower defense genre, built in Unreal Engine 3 by Swedish indie developer Coffee Stain Studios.
To really understand what playing Sanctum feels like, you first have to wrap your head around how this game does tower defense. As usual for some titles in the genre, there is a grid-like field between a Core you have to protect and a number of "entrances" that enemies will spawn from. On this grid you build 'blocks' to build your maze, and on these blocks you build your tower-turrets.
The weapons allow you to snipe the first enemies as they appear in a wave, or freeze dangerous groups of enemies to stall them in your maze. Being able to shoot yourself makes the game feel much more engaging than just having to rely on your towers. And you will have to shoot a lot, as the game has a 'build phase' and a 'wave phase' -- meaning you can't build new towers after you give the 'ready' command and the wave starts.
While messing around in the first few rounds, we started out sniping enemies near their spawn points to see how fast they went down. Some enemies only receive damage on their weak spots, highlighted by red/orange blobs (think Lost Planet bosses), which sometimes can only be shot from behind. A handy encyclopedia details all the enemies, their strengths and weak spots, and your towers.
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