dkirschner's Sanctum 2 (PC)
| [August 7, 2014 11:33:25 AM]
| This is a tough one to write. I want to love Sanctum 2 so much, but in the end, I just can't. The original Sanctum was an awesome blend of Tower Defense and FPS. Sanctum 2 swaps the focus, so it's an FPS/TD hybrid rather than a TD/FPS hybrid. Sanctum 2 modified almost every aspect of Sanctum, some good, some bad. Here are the pros and cons:
There are 4 playable characters. Each has a unique gun and special ability. Skye has an assault rifle and can double-jump, the ninja has a high-powered crossbow and is fast, the military guy has a shotgun and extra HP, etc.
The levels are much more explorable. There is random stuff to wander around and see and poke at, including mines you can pick up and place near the core for when enemies reach it. There are a few achievements for finding secret areas in some levels. There are also some infantry sitting around that will shoot enemies for you. It's cool that there's some more life to the environments, which look great.
The new map UI is excellent. There's a minimap in the upper left that constantly shows the routes enemies will take, where your blocks and towers are, where the enemies are. If you hit Tab, a bigger map appears showing the same stuff, but with clearer information about your towers, where they are, what kind they are, what level they are. It's a really nice map.
There is a new rank leveling system. You get earn XP for headshots and other things. As your rank improves, you unlock towers, guns and perks. The perks are all new in Sanctum 2 and are basically little buffs you can load out with. You can wind up with 3 equipped at a time. The last level I played, since I kept dying, I was using one where the core regenerates 10% HP after every wave, the core damages enemies for 2000 that are attacking it, and when I died, I respawned instantly and had 25% increased damage for 15 seconds, instead of taking the usual 10 seconds to respawn. I usually used damage perks, like dealing 45% more damage to enemy weak spots, making my fast weapons have half ammo and half firing speed, but do 200% more damage.
Finally, feats were pretty cool. This reminded me of Bastion in that you can set map modifiers to make your life more difficult and grant you bonus XP if you win. I completed the achievement to beat a map with all 5 feats (the first map, haha). The feats make enemies have 20% more HP, hit harder, regenerate, 20% faster, and make it so you don't get cash back when you sell towers. Ouch.
Those are the positives.
75% of the game is following enemies through a maze with your finger on the fire button. The towers take such a backseat to the shooting. The reason this is the case is because towers have been severely restricted. In your loadout, you can select 2 weapons, 4 towers and 3 perks. In Sanctum 1, I believe you could choose 8 towers. So, half the towers, check. You also now have a tower cap. I could place 15 towers only on a level. However, I rarely got anywhere near that (usually had about 5) because the game gives you so little money after each wave. There were many waves where I built nothing. What kind of tower defense game is it where you don't build towers?!
You can't upgrade your guns anymore, and towers cap at level 3 (instead of Santcum 1's 6, I believe). I usually had like 5 towers because I'd upgrade some of them. I guess I could have 10 or 12 if I didn't upgrade any, or if I just used the cheapest ones all the time. So basically, you just set up one little choke point on the whoooole biiig map. There is a TON of wasted space.
Some of the most badass parts of Sanctum are not here anymore. Where are the floor tiles?! Those were the coolest things. There is really a lack of towers.
There are no saves! NONE! No manual saves, no autosaves, no checkpoints. Died? Great, start the whole level over, have fun. In Sanctum, by the end, there would be 30-wave levels. I've only seen up to 12 in Sanctum 2. Sanctum would checkpoint save every 3 or 5 levels, so if you died, you go back a bit. Why the hell doesn't Sanctum 2 save? The last level I played, I died 3 or 4 times before I finally beat it. It was really annoying having to do the entire level over 3 or 4 times.
Building mazes in Sanctum 2 is so tedious. Maybe that's what TD stands for - not Tower Defense, but TeDious. I'm so clever...In this biiiig map that I kept dying on, I had to run around, run run run around watching 3 entry points, while my 5 towers watched over one little area. Then build the maze bit by bit. Die. Oh, do it all over again.
When Sanctum 2 came out, I bought the season pass. This is the first and last time I will ever buy the season pass. I thought I'd love the game, but I don't. I would LIKE to check out the DLC that I paid for, but I can't! It's LOCKED until you beat the main campaign? What?! Is this a normal condition of DLC? I paid for the DLC, why can't I play it? I should be able to skip to it without beating the main campaign.
Finally, the game has co-op. I bet it would be fun to play with someone I know. I tried to play with strangers. What happened every time was that, if someone entered my game, they hijacked it, would delete my towers and build their own. There was no teamwork. Someone would just come in, never speak to me, and proceed to be the Master Builder. When I entered other people's games, I inevitably would get banned. Why!? Oh, because people set their games to public without realizing it, or they were playing with friends already or something. I don't know. But out of 10 times, I never had a satisfying co-op experience.
Really really disappointing!
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Aug 7th, 2014 at 12:09:24.
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dkirschner's Sanctum 2 (PC)
Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated
GameLog started on: Saturday 2 August, 2014
GameLog closed on: Thursday 7 August, 2014
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