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Posted by drew10 on Dec 15, 2010
Comet Crash: Bionic Swarm – Pelfast – PSN

Comet Crash: Bionic Swarm – Pelfast – PSN

I shall state from the outset that I’m not the biggest fan of Tower Defense-style gaming. I’ve dallied with it, and have a lot of love for Nintendo’s Advance Wars series. But generally I’ve kinda given the genre a wide berth.

However, I was introduced to Pelfast’s take on TD Comet Crash and the latest update Bionic Swarm, and was somewhat intrigued.

At first, I felt a little overwhelmed by the game, but not necessarily in a bad way (Like I said, I’m not the biggest Tower Defence fan). I got through the initial Training Mode easily enough, but was left instantly confused and feeling a little thrown in at the deep end when I started the Campaign. However with some perseverance, I began to get to grips with it.

Comet Crash has a twist up its sleeve – unlike every TD game I’ve seen or played in the past, here you have the ability to take the attack straight to the enemy from the off, while simultaneously defending your camp. You have free reign of a spacecraft which can fly across all areas of a map at all times, and is used to create your army, and send them out to bring down the opponent’s base. You’ll be setting up walls of gun turrets in a maze-like fashion, in an attempt to make the enemy’s route to your base as difficult and treacherous as possible.  Building harvesters is a necessity as they are needed to extract energy from rocks that float overhead. These can also be pulled in by your ship, and guided towards turrets to get blown up for a quick energy boost. This same energy (known as ‘Thorium’) is the power source for everything you create, and keeping it in constant supply is essential.

Adding the new dimension of attack works well and adds a whole new level of play strategy to TD proceedings. It will constantly have you thinking about your next move.

Comet Crash can appear rather basic in graphical terms. It is cold and unappealing in appearance – I suppose it would be, out there in deep space – all very moody and sterile. While everything is sharp and clear to look at, I soon found sub-menus, rock cluster points and the random items you build looking far too similar, it can lead to confusion and a little more differentiation between the items would have been welcome. Battles end up getting very busy with a lot going on on-screen and again this can lead to confusion although things do get clearer with extended play.

Background music is very chilled and laid-back. It proves to be a good choice for this game as it suits the already cold atmosphere. Lots of cool continuous beeps, blips and whirs accompany it, with the odd explosion here and there.

Controls are pretty easy to get to grips with after a while, but for some reason it feels that using a Joypad does not really suit Comet Crash as much as, say, a mouse and keyboard would perhaps.

Unfortunately, not being a Tower Defence aficionado is probably the main reason for my lack of enjoyment on Comet Crash. If you’ve never played a game such as this before you may feel a little lost by it at the beginning and be put off. And yet, with a little perseverance there is a decent game to be had. Those who love the genre will most likely frown upon my comments as I am sure this is a decent TD-style game.

I did begin to feel more comfortable as I progressed, taking on missions that taught me new skills needed in later encounters.  But if I am honest I found little enjoyment in all I did. To me, things just felt a little too clinical and lifeless. However, in an attempt to see the game through the eyes of TD lovers, I do appreciate what it has to offer. Online battles and Co-op add to the package as does the recent Bionic Swarm DLC featuring 16 extra levels, 10 new battle maps, and more weapons. There is quite a decent sized package here especially for the price of £6.29 for Comet Crash itself and only £3.19 for the Bionic Swarm add-on. This is really only a game for fans of the genre and as such performs admirably, for me though I need head-shots, power-slides and ultra combos.

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