Format – PlayStation 4/PlayStation Vita
At one time or another, all of us must have seen, heard of, or even played Space Invaders. It’s about the most popular video game ever designed and numerous iterations have been designed and delivered over the years.
Titan Attacks! is Curve Studios’ own interpretation of a classic and when it works, it really works well.
For a budget price, this is a generous cross-buy offering, enabling you to play on Playstation 3, Playstation Vita and Playstation 4 for the price of one. As you might suspect, each platform has its own benefits but Vita, arguably, is the most natural of the bunch.
See, while the game works well on PS4 and offers a nice distraction from the big immersive experience of an inFAMOUS: Second Son, this feels like a natural handheld game. Following traditional Space Invaders gameplay, you control a tank and have to gun down ghost-faced alien creatures floating in the air. These will fire back at you, so you’ll need to dodge dynamically, and the aim is to clear the entire screen to move onto the next stage. You’ll also need to catch the flying saucer at the top of the screen for extra points.
But here’s where things get a bit more interesting…
You earn money for killing enemies and can then spend that money at a shop in-between levels. Here, you can purchase additional shields, gun power, extra bullets, smartbombs, add-ons and even a full recharge. The purchases naturally improve your tank and chances of survival in the heat of battle. The shields do diminish as you get hit, but you’ll want to avoid that as much as possible, especially since it affects your multiplier moving from level to level. And each time you progress, Titan Attacks! feels less of a clone, and more of a tactical tour-de-force. Soon, with all your purchases and all the different enemy types that start to crop up, strategy will become a crucial part of your gameplay. In order to persevere, you will need to come at this with patience, timing and reflexes.
And to add to that mayhem, some enemies will appear dead, but actually hurtle towards you, damaging your vehicle on impact. A skill bonus is awarded if you catch them again before they fall through the bottom of the screen or catch you, but again, another reason to watch the reflexes. Some aliens also drop little Curve-Buddies which you need to be careful not to kill, and position yourself underneath so you can catch them.
There are also Challenge Levels which task you with killing as many inoffensive unidentified flying saucers as possible in order to get a maximum score. Again, for all the monies. Getting them all gives you an uber prize as well, so that’s pretty awesome.
Oh, and did we mention the boss battles? Well, Titan Attacks! has some of them too. And bloody fiendish ones, at that. Get through a series of stages just to move onto the next area, and more often than not, you can find yourself coming up against a brick wall fighting these guys.
Titan Attacks! appears like just another Space Invaders clone at first glance, and even while playing it, you’ll be all too familiar with its origins, yet it’s only while writing and reading about it that you realise just how much Curve Studios have added in here. It’s actually a pretty deep and detailed and worth a look for the odd pick-up-and-play.
There were no technical issues during our playthroughs’ on both Playstation Vita and Playstation 4. The game was always smooth and fluid and only suffered some slight input lag during a run on Remote Play. We do miss a competitive multiplayer mode and wish there had been some leaderboard offerings. As it is, Titan Attacks! has just one game mode and that’s it, but fortunately, this is probably where you would spend most of your time anyway.
Areas for Improvement
- A multiplayer mode of some distinction.
- Leaderboard support
Technical Competency: 9/10
Graphic/Sound Quality: 9/10
Network Stability: N/A