PAX West 2017: Aegis Defenders Hands On
Described as an Action/RPG platformer akin to “Metroidvanias” along with tower defense elements, Aegis Defenders sounds great on paper, especially with 16-bit pixel graphics. The game features Bart and Clu as they explore ancient ruins and attempt to save their world. We were lucky enough to preview this title at PAX West 2017 thanks to Humble Bundle, along with No Truce With The Furies and A Hat in Time, which you can read in part 2 of our Impressive Indies series. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical of the game as it sounded almost too good to be true, mixing various elements that I enjoy.
I am happy to say that Aegis Defenders exceeded my tempered expectations, with appealing graphics and sound as well as fluid gameplay. To begin, the graphics of the game were simplistic but artistically sound and smooth in action. The game also does an excellent job in identifying key objects for the player to interact with. If I had to attribute one word to describe the graphics of Aegis Defenders, it would have to be charming, no matter how cliched that is.
“For those looking for that couch cooperative title, this game also has you covered!”
As aesthetically pleasing as a game may be, gameplay reigns supreme, especially amongst indie titles. My time with Aegis Defenders was limited to a single level which comprised of a platforming area, followed by a tower defense section. The adventuring portion had platforming, combat, and some minor puzzle solving. I would hesitate to call this “Metroidvania” style, though this portion appeared to be very early in the game. Overall, this section was still a joy to behold, and future levels should, in theory, provide an adequate challenge.
The tower defense portion of the level was also a lot of fun, though being early in the game meant that there was very little challenge to be had. The tower defense portion consisted of a time-limited building phase and the defend phase itself. The building phase being timed was not an issue in the level I played, but a more difficult level could result in making sacrifices in one area of the map or building on the fly as enemies attack. Overall, the tower defense portion of the game worked well for a 2D setting, and I expect that later levels will feature more enjoyable frantic gameplay.
One of my favorite titles from PAX West 2017, Aegis Defenders will be releasing on PC and PS4 later this year. Personally, the areas of the game I saw were quite limited, and I am especially looking forward to the later levels of the game in addition to the upgrade system as well. For those looking for that couch cooperative title, this game also has you covered! Overall, Aegis Defenders is shaping up to be a high-quality title that is flying relatively under the radar!