Ancient Amuletor puts a twist on the tower defense genre by implementing VR and motion controls to great effect – and more content is on its way soon. We took a look at the current version for Playstation VR.
The basic premise for any tower defense game is almost always the same – increasingly large hordes of enemies come at you, and you have to stop them from reaching their goal. Often this goal is the end of a pre-determined path (and you set up and upgrade defenses around this path), and you have to more or less sit back and see if your defense grid holds up once the next wave starts.
In Ancient Amuletor, things play out a lot more hands-on than that. You’re in direct control of a hero who can whisk himself across the playing field to defend a selection of strategic markers (visualized as crystals) – and you actively have to do the defending this time. In that sense, Ancient Amuletor is much more of a VR action game inside the skin of a tower defense game than it is a classic tower defense title.
There are four distinct flavors to the action, depending on the character you choose to go into battle with. If you choose the archer, you’ll engage in gameplay not too unlike the PS3 title Sports Champions – which also features a Move-supported archery mode. Play as the gunner, and you’ll dual-wield pistols that you can reload by pointing them up – giving it a western gunslinger type of feel. The Mage is magic-oriented and casts spells at the oncoming enemies, but the most interesting and original choice is the puppeteer. With the puppeteer, you can remotely control characters on the battlefield and engage in melee combat – making it vastly different from the ranged approach of the other three.
The game supports multiplayer, but only of the online variety – which relies on an online community that isn’t brimming with life for this title. The Playstation VR hardware requirements of course play a role here, which is why I keep wondering why games don’t include local coop mode – with a gamepad player perhaps in control of the oncoming horde in some way. There have been a few titles that have shown that VR and non-VR can play together on a single system, so it would be great to see that in a tower defense setting as well.
For now, what most gamers (and reviewers) will notice about Ancient Amuletor is that it’s a little low on content – only two setting exist and you only get two levels per setting – although every level has five waves of enemies to fight. Luckily, more content is coming out soon – and it’s coming in the shape of free DLC. This is a great (and recent) announcement from the developer, as it adds great value for money to an incredibly fun game that’s currently a bit too light on content.
My advice would be to wait for the upcoming content – if the developer manages to at least double the amount of content then you’re looking at a game well worth the asking price. It’s too bad the game left an underwhelming first impression upon release, because the gameplay is fun and uses motion/VR controls in some creative new ways. Let’s hope it builds on that promise!