Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cleared: Sanctum

I recently got a chance to play a bunch of Sanctum with my buddy Aaron Stack, and we are in agreement that we need to do this more often. Sanctum, for readers that aren't aware, is a unique FPS/Tower defense hybrid game, where you build a standard tower defense network and then run around said network with a bunch of weapons when the wave of enemies arrives. First-person shooters and tower defense games are really different kinds of gameplay - tower defense is generally pretty cerebral, as you're planning pathways and trying to maximize the effects of overlapping fields of fire and spend your resources wisely on careful tower placement, whereas a first-person shooter is all action and running around. Coffee Stain Studios, then, deserves special recognition for not only making both of these elements so satisfying, but by blending them so well. A substantial portion of the VOIP chatter in the last game was just constant raving about how good the game was and how much we loved it. This one is bound to become part of my standard multiplayer gaming rotation. If you're reading this and are part of my multiplayer gaming circle of friends (you know who you are) get yourself a license so we can do co-op! Definitely a recommendation on this one!

RPG notes: Sadly, despite how good the game is, there's really not much to harvest for tabletop gaming. Hordes of aliens advancing and needing to be shot is pretty much science fiction 101 and none of the weapons are all that unique. And as far as plot is concerned, there really isn't one. That's okay, though - the game is good enough that you'll be happy you've got it anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I think Sanctum could do two things for RPGs:

    1. Encounter design. I think you could make some wave-based combat encounters and encouraging people to design traps and stuff. That's not really that innovative, but it might be a bit of a change of pace to the normal "you find five ogres in a room".

    2. Expanding the world. I would absolutely love to see more done with the setting of Sanctum, coming up with the rationale behind all these giant remora jerk-faces and glowing sack tree monsters and stuff. I bet if you took some of the artistic designs of the flora and fauna and filled out the backgrounds and stuff, you'd have some great backdrops for a campaign.