Review: Sanctum 2

Sanctum 2 is an immersive tower defence game, literally throwing you in the trenches amongst your turrets.

The original Sanctum mixed up the tower defense genre by throwing you into the thick of things among your towers. Well-armed, you were just as integral to the defense of the level as they were. In this sequel you are once again pitted against countless swarms of enemies, but in a bigger and better way. Building upon the strengths of its predecessor, Sanctum 2 has shed its training wheels to deliver you and your friends a really fun and addictive experience that is sure to keep you engaged.

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Some Towers, and a Whole Lot of Defense

As per the tower defense genre, at the start of every round you are able to position your walls and towers in preparation for the ensuing onslaught. Simple and intuitive, the mechanic for placing and building your defenses feels solid. You are even able to slowly upgrade towers, increasing damage and range until you are able to completely level it up for additional benefits, which vary tower to tower. With a variety of enemies coming from multiple entry points, planning accordingly becomes extremely important.

Placing towers is easy and informative.

Once the round starts, enemies will begin weaving through your death maze, rushing towards your cores. If your core’s health reaches zero, game over. After every successful round you gain more wall segments and currency to build/upgrade towers. Unlike the previous Sanctum, enemies will attack you, even going out of their way to do so. Dying will take you out of the action for a few seconds, which may mean the difference between victory or defeat.

Expect to be in the thick of it.

Enemies are much more varied, and depending on the wave composition, will dictate your course of action. When these enemy types are mixed together I found myself frantically running around the map to stay alive while also minimizing damage to the cores; often times using myself as bait to protect the later. It creates a much more engaging experience than the first Sanctum, and each round will keep you busy.

Four Avatars are Better than One

This time around you will have multiple characters to choose from, with their own standard array of weapons, including assault and sniper rifles, shotguns, and grenade launchers. Each has their own unique advantages depending on the situation, which lends itself well to online co-operative multiplayer. They all handle nicely, and expect to use them– as your towers will most likely miss a few enemies along the way.

The multiplayer is where a lot of the fun may be found with a group of friends. The Survival Mode boasts quite a few challenges, buffing enemies while giving players handicaps, all for the reward of increased experience. It can become extremely difficult, almost infuriatingly so, but you have a lot of fun along the way. Resources are shared between team members, which can be frustrating if there is poor communication.

 Select your character and invite players at the start of each round.

As you play rounds, your character will gain experience and level up. This unlocks more turrets, weapons, and perks as well as slots for equipping them, transforming you into a much more versatile combatant. Unlocking new turret types is rewarding, giving you reasons to go back and replay old maps with your new toys.

New and Improved

Overall, Sanctum 2 is a fantastic sequel, building on the novelty of its predecessor while bolstering all new features, environments and challenges. Coffee Stain Studios has breathed new life into tower defense, where I would have otherwise lost interest some time ago. If you are a fan of the genre, or interested in giving it a try, you can’t go wrong with this unique hybrid which delivers on its promises. 

8
Review: Sanctum 2
Sanctum 2 is an immersive tower defence game, literally throwing you in the trenches amongst your turrets.

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Author
Max Graham
Born in Canada, currently living in the US, I am part of a startup that designs games for physical therapy. In my spare time I like to keep up on games and share some of my thoughts with the community.