Aksys Games has long been known for publishing the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series in the gaming community. With upcoming games like Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei on the way, they have gone a step further with their newest title, Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault. Teaming up with developer Acquire, they have released an anime style tower-defense game with a unique spin on the action strategy genre that is available on the PlayStation Vita, PS3 and PS4.
The story revolves around the Silent Apocalypse catastrophe that nearly wiped mankind off the face of the planet. A mystery element called “alternate” emerged that gave people hope and allowed them to flourish and rebuild their cities but also brought with it great calamity and chaos. Monsters ravaged the lands in search of the element to claim its power for their own uses as mankind fought to defend themselves against the evil rampage. Fifty years has passed before the monsters have re-emerged as a larger threat known as the “Altered States” that are bent on destroying mankind. Thus, the surviving populated cities have banded together to fortify their strongholds and eliminate the monster threat as mankind is once again on the brink of destruction and annihilation. Towa is the Deputy Commander and the first to brief you on your duties as the new commander as she introduces you to the other members of your team. You begin the game with a modest roster that includes Chisa, a spunky intelligence officer, Tarkov, a cowardly general affairs operator and Lovelock, an optimistic firearms operator.
As the new commander, you are charged with managing the base’s resources to construct weapons for city defense, residential buildings, support units and public spaces for citizens who live in your city. The crystals received as rewards from successful battles and the taxes collected from residents are used to develop and grow your city from the ground up. Various icons are used in the game that provide information on population, attack power, core levels, altenite crystals, armor levels, happiness, modification modules and ultimate strike weapons. Once you enter the strike phase, the city switches to defensive mode to prepare from enemy assaults with attack ranges displayed with red indicators. Defensive cannons will fire upon any enemies within range as you monitor your city by switching your weapons strategically. Stages are cleared once all enemies are eliminated with experience assigned to your team members and a decision to praise a party member to raise their morale and stats. If you lose the Command Center, the city is lost and the end result is failure. The game automatically saves your progress after each battle but you may also save the game at any time.
More characters will join your roster as you progress through successful battles in the game. This adds a deeper interactive element in battle as your teammates will issue various commands and respond differently to the same situation. The game never takes itself too seriously as there are plenty of hilarious and comical moments of your comrades teasing and poking fun at one another. It is refreshing to see so many personas cast into the limelight that makes for entertaining conversations.
Visually, the game is vibrant with bright character designs and artistic backgrounds. Considering its release on the Vita, PS3, and PS4, the graphics are not groundbreaking but remains aesthetically pleasing enough to watch. In contrast to the characters, some of the backgrounds are rough and dull with drab colors of grey and green visible. As for the voice acting, an exceptional job was done with the cast as the characters are believable and don’t come across as annoying or irritable. The one-liners spouted by your teammates gets old quickly as you’ll hear them over and over again in the extended dialogue and in-game events. The soundtrack in this game is fitting and appropriate for the comical and tense moments of the game as you command and defend your city from enemy invaders.
Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault is a solid tower-defense game with a great blend of action, strategic gameplay and a comical character roster. The game doesn’t reinvent the wheel as it sticks to a tried and true formula of tower-defense mechanics that is easy to pick up and play. It is unique as the game has comedy and heart and never takes itself too seriously between its whimsical and serious moments. With an affordable price tag and a relatively small file size, Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault is an immersive and highly addictive game that is fun and sure to entertain tower-defense and strategy fans.
SCORE – 80%
This review is based on a digital copy of Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault on the PlayStation 3 provided by Aksys Games.