It’s a double whammy from of Zen Studios this month, having barely put down KickBeat, Zen now head-charge CastleStorm Definitive Edition, a 2D destruction tower defence brawler, to PS4. Whether you are a fan of the tower defence genre or not don’t worry – if the game has a Zen Studios emblem on it you are safe. That being said, this is CastleStorm, so you’re not going to be safe for too long.
CastleStorm has a straight forward game plan: defend your castle from Neanderthal grunting Vikings while rallying your troops to annihilate your opponent’s stronghold. To win the fight, you’ll need to reduce their castle to rubble quicker than a planned demolition. Alternatively, you can wisely deploy warriors, break down their castle door and steal their flag.
There’s a lot going on at first to get your head around and your trusty ballista (which is mounted to your castle) is a good starting place. This will launch projectiles towards the enemy. The aiming of such a crossbow is delightfully easy and so satisfying when each arrow, exploding fruit and sheep connect. Yes, you heard right, sheep. There really is nothing more satisfying than hurling livestock at your opponent’s castle and watching the mass destruction unfold. You’re going to have a lot of fun playing this one.
In CastleStorm, the stereotypical cartoon Vikings and their homelands look beautiful; it’s like DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon has come to PlayStation. The DS4 controller handles brilliantly plus the comical voiceovers ballooning out of the speaker also bring action that bit closer home. Due to the elaborate construction of each opponent’s castle, you’re going to need accurate and relentless fire power if you want to be the first to create a fallen heap of medieval mess. Throughout your epic journey, levelling up your weapons and making your motley crue of warriors stronger is essential to progress. Side quests, while not that important (and a tad on the short side), don’t help you complete the story but they do offer chances to earn precious coins. Spend these coins wisely on upgrades as you’ll be encountering giant transformer type barbarians made of stone that don’t fall easily. You’ll also need to multi-task by protecting your troops as they sprint to take cover in the mines. Gameplay is certainly varied which makes CastleStorm such an addictive PSN title.
There are also a huge amount of extras to get your head around; for example casting spells like the Heavenly Sword spell will rain down swords from the heavens on the unexpected Vikings below. If you want you can even edit and construct your own custom castle, a “Pimp My Castle” if you will. There are so many different ways to win and play which make every level so diverse.
When battles become a little one sided and not in your favour, you can teleport right into the thick of the action and join the scrum. Here, for a limited time, you will have full access and permission to go completely nuts with your axe. Accompanying the gameplay is a story that unfortunately is only explained by text, but the humour delivered in the cut scenes is a real treat. Campaign mode consists of Kingdom Quest and Welcome to Viking land. When you enter Viking land, you will change protagonists and this opens up a whole other world of weapons, allies and foes. As well as the main campaign mode you have Skirmish, Survival, Multiplayer and Co-Op. All in all it makes for a really full package to enjoy, the only absentee being a platinum trophy.
CastleStorm first came to the PS Vita last year, and this Definitive Edition contains the original CastleStorm campaign as well as both DLC packs, “From Outcast to Savior” and “The Warrior Queen”. Amongst other new features the game includes brand new content exclusive to the Definitive Edition – new battles, new game modes, spells, and support for voice commands. Also CastleStorm Definitive Edition runs at a sweet 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second.
Prepare to be impaled, as Zen Studios CastleStorm Definitive Edition throws a stimulating challenge coupled with super addictive gameplay. All Hail the Castle of Zen!
Lizard Rating 9/10