Prime World: Defenders Review

A brand new Tower Defense from Nival. Is it everything I'd ever hope a TD to be? Well... Sort of.

A brand new Tower Defense from Nival. Is it everything I'd ever hope a TD to be? Well... Sort of.
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In this week’s video I get a chance to play the newest tower defense, Prime World: Defenders.

Prime World: Defenders comes from the developer Nival, a company based out of Moscow, Russia.  They brought us Hero’s of Might and Magic V and Prime World, a new MOBA they’ve been working on with an extra castle building aspect to it.  So it seems they enjoy taking a genre and doing something new with it.  This is their attempt at the Tower Defense genre.

Doing Things Differently

The things that they seem to be doing differently is they have added a whole new part to the meta game.  Before you go into a game you get to modify your collection of cards.  As you play through each level you are awarded random different cards and the in-game currency of silver and a rating of 1-3 stars (these stars are used as a form of currency as well).  You can then go to the store and use the currency to buy cards and upgrades.  You can “forge” and “evolve” these cards to make them stronger. 

Gameplay Differences

They made some pretty cool, unique aspects to the gameplay as well.  First off they give you magic abilities to use with cooldowns.  There are the obvious variety of spells, things like a frost spell that slows an area for a period of time, bombs that do area of effect damage, and spells that do lots of damage to one target.

Another mechanic is while in a game, randomly placed Tower buffs appear on the map–things like a damage boost, attack speed boost, and range boost.  Use these very wisely.

There are also randomly placed structures that, when destroyed, give you more prime. These structures also include health regeneration towers for your enemies, meaning kill them quick or the monsters will never die.

Story

I guess I should mention prime is the resource used during a hold out.  It’s a fictional resource that drives the whole story behind the game.  It’s also how they tie this into their MOBA, Prime World.

The story goes that an Apocalypse fell on the world and killed off most of its inhabitants.  The few that did survive now have found an ability to use magic!  The source of the magic comes from Prime.  Prime is very difficult to find so obviously, the world falls into war to try to acquire it.

In Prime World, the two sides are the engineers and tech heads, which use prime for experiments and use it in classic don’t-care-about-the-consequences way, while the other side is where they use prime for magic.

In Prime World: Defenders you decide you want no part of it.  Your battlefield is called “Prime Zone” and it is in the middle of nowhere, uninhabited by humans and littered with vicious monsters called the Touched.  This is where you go to get your prime, thus you build towers and stop the Touched from taking your prime.

Prime World: Defenders has some great potential and here is a list of what they nailed and where they fell short.

Pros

  • Art Style
  • Story
  • Sense of progression
  • Cards meta game.
  • Extremely strategy heavy(for those of you who like that)
  • Large variety of creeps

Cons

  • Lacks what I love most about TDs.  Endless streams of enemies to kill.  This game feels slow and small, what I want is just mass carnage.
  • Combining cards mechanic missed a huge opportunity to allow me to create towers with multiple effects.
  • Strategy is so complex that you feel dumb and helpless against this small invasion.
  • Rigid track, little to no maze building.
  • The flying units still follow the same line as everything else.

I gave it a 6 because of the missed opportunities.  They could have made a huge maze builder while still keeping the level of strategy.  They could have allowed me to combine a mortar tower with a fire tower and get a mortar that also burns the enemy.  It just consumes the fire tower to give experience to the mortar. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when I tried this and found out it doesn’t work that way.

My criticisms and desires for a game they didn’t want to make aside, if you want a story driven TD with a sense of progression, this is your game.  If you want a tower defense game that is strategy heavy and challenging, this is your game!  Check em’ out on Steam!

Also check out some of the other new tower defense games from the indie world.

As I point out in the video, I’ve loved tower defense games ever since Warcraft III custom maps and I’ve just been waiting years for a good TD to bring back that magic.  I don’t believe it has come yet.

I think it might just be a problem with me–nostalgia or something.  I think I have the same problem when it comes to trying new MMOs.  I can’t help it, I play a new MMO and all I do is miss WoW…

It was the same with this game.  I played it, tried it, tried to like it… And then I just bought Warcraft III (because I can’t find my old copy) and started playing the old school tower defense games.  (I also just beat the campaign again… Talk about nostalgia, that was EPIC.)

A brand new Tower Defense from Nival. Is it everything I'd ever hope a TD to be? Well... Sort of.
6

Prime World: Defenders Review

A brand new Tower Defense from Nival. Is it everything I'd ever hope a TD to be? Well... Sort of.

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