‘Defenders Of The Last Colony’ Preview – White Hot Death
One thing is for sure: Knitted Pixels‘ upcoming title, Defenders of the Last Colony, is looking pretty promising. It seems that the developers are keen genre-mashers, their latest game being part twin-stick shooter, part tower-defense strategy, part arcade clone and all cosmic light show. Games like these make me wish I’d signed up to Galaxy Defender Training when I was still young enough to do so. It excites me – all the guns, the machismo, the desperate heroics in the face of an incalculable and unstoppable evil… but I know, if I’m honest with myself, I’d probably have spent the whole time in the vastness of space worrying if the cat was still okay.
Playing through the beta, it’s clear that Knitted Pixels have a solid vision, one that only ever gets obscured by the phenomenal amount of silvery space missiles you get to fire out once you’ve spent enough time not dying. Cooperative play is to be a big part of the game, allowing up to four players to fight together on one solitary screen. This functions alongside several game types which will provide variety to the endless shooting: ‘Survivor’ will let you test your mettle against an onslaught of enemies, whilst ‘Invader’ and ‘Sidescroller’ modes provide some seriously old-school flavour. Alternatively, you can apparently fight it out between yourselves in ‘Versus’ if your sense of companionship deteriorates enough during the course of the game.
The campaign mode seems to be the main focus, though, and is shaping up to be heavily story-driven as you battle waves of enemies in defence of humankind’s last colony. The idea in each level is to give yourself long enough to recharge the mothership shields as you prepare to jump forward from planet to planet. Clearly, this doesn’t always work out. Those alien bastards are pretty relentless and, as of now, the difficulty curve is pretty wonky.
It’s clear the structure of play hasn’t been fully fleshed out yet – there’s no tutorial available or indication of how long the campaign might last – but the beta does give a fair impression of quite how frantic and rewarding play becomes when holding off the horde. And Defenders looks beautiful – it remains sharp and colourful despite the havoc playing out onscreen and those backgrounds… well, just ogle the images posted here.
So, the building blocks are in place and it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on Defenders of the Last Colony if the idea of co-op 2D blasting gives you chills. There’s plenty of polish left to add before a full release (on both PC and XBLIG), but the potential for mass destruction alone or with friends is palpable. No release date has yet been announced besides the inevitable-but-unhelpful ‘2012’ indication on the website. However, the beta is open for everyone to play and you can grab your copy from the Knitted Pixels website, here, to tide you over until that day arrives.