7.5
Our overall verdict "bronze"

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The Silent Apocalypse quietly sneaked up on humanity and caused a catastrophe. It has devastated the world and only a few places survived, but it’s not all doom and gloom. A nice shiny new element called “Altenite” was created in the aftermath. This element might just give the world’s remaining survivors’ one last chance for survival. Unfortunately monstrous creatures have also appeared, claiming Altenite for themselves, and these creatures are more persistent than scrap metal men (seriously, guys, leave my BBQ alone). But mankind has been putting up a good fight for fifty years and is finally making headway by developing cities that fight back.

Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault from Acquire and PQube is a tower defence game with a few differences. Firstly it starts off as a visual novel. That’s right, the game’s cut scenes are all one giant, slightly sexually charged visual novel, and right from the off it throws innuendos at you. If you’re not getting updates for the operators on mission progress then talk usually revolves around cups of tea, the deputy’s love life (or lack of), whether small guns do just as good as big ones or merging (more on that later).

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Another key difference is that instead of placing structures willy-nilly they are placed in circular zones that defend a central tower. Giving the city this circular approach allows the gameplay to be simplified as instead of setting specific buildings to attack the approaching enemies you move/rotate entire individual ringed levels. The placement of the structures in these zones when you rotate them also plays a big part in Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault. Enemies can attack you from 360 degrees so you’ll want to make sure as much of the city can attack as possible. If you want to concentrate your attacks you can do so by merging. If the same types of structures are aligned in two or three zones then they become more powerful with increased firepower. (The operators may try to make this sound as lewd as possible with them picturing some three-way human merging action taking place.)

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As you progress your R & D team develop a wide range of new buildings to aid your defence and attacks. These include cannons, missiles, snipers, bulwarks, shield walls and a Blast Cannon (when charged this cannon lets you switch from your godlike overview to a first person view from the central tower). Most of these structures can be levelled up to increase their stats and range of attacks etc. They can also be modified to allow residents to live in them, which is good as this can reduce the number of casualties that may occur during the battle sections.

As you are commanding a city it is your duty to not only defend it but also keep the residents happy. You do this by succeeding in battles, holding events and developing the city. Building a well-fortified city will mean the residents will feel safe and also make other people want to live in your city. This is where the management elements of the game kick in as between battles you need to make sure the city is well defended while at the same time ensure there is room for residents and that there are enough generators to power everything. If you do a half decent job in your first city you will be promoted and offered the chance to command others. This is a nice way of introducing new enemies and keeps the game from becoming stale.

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Graphically the visual novel side of the game looks crisp and clear as is the norm for the genre. The tower defence side also looks very sharp. I got my hands on both the PS4 and the PS Vita version and I can say that overall the PS4 version just has the edge in terms of looks. It’s a close call, however, and the Vita version certainly holds its own when up against its younger, stronger brother. In fact I probably prefer playing Aegis on the PS Vita. (I should point out that the game features a cross-save option but the title isn’t cross-buy and is available for PS4, PS Vita and PS3.)

Trophy-wise Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault seems like a nice platinum to add to your collection. Its shared trophy list is a mixture of popping trophies as you play the game which is approximately fifteen hours and then grinding out the rest. The grind will have you raising cities and operators to level 25, completing missions, carrying out requests and bestowing 101 rewards on an operator.

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Conclusion

Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault seems like a bit of a mixed bag. It’s part tower defence/part visual novel but honestly it does both of these well. The tower defence side does add something new to the genre with the ringed layout and merging of the buildings to create more powerful weaponry. The only downside is that battles can become repetitive. The visual novel side moves the game forward at a nice pace and has more innuendos than you can shake your stick at. Ultimately if you’re after a light tower defence game interspersed with a good visual novel then this is a game definitely worth a look.

NelMaNo Rating – 7.5/10

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NelMaNo is a family man and a long time gamer. He’s a typical Yorkshire man who won’t judge a game until he has given it a fair crack of the whip(pet). Follow him on twitter @NelMaNo