Event Coverage

March 29, 2013

PAX East Hands-On: Sanctum 2


Sanctum was a very unique game when it released. It was a first person shooter tower defense game. Two very popular but very saturated genres merged together to make and experience like no other game. The only major complaint to ever hinder the game was its overall lack of content. Sanctum 2 aims to address that issue while improving the already successful formula.

The game has a bit more story to it this time, being told through comic like sequences. I did not have much time to focus on the story due to time restrictions, but it will bve interesting to see how the developers have chosen to play things out. Upon jumping into gameplay I was tasked with navigating a very traditional FPS sequence. It was here that I was told that Sanctum 2 is a much better shooter than the original. The focus was split about 50/50 according to the developer, as a result of fans asking for a better shooting experience. This particular sequence was short and led me directly to where I would begin my tower defense.

The tower defense sequences are on par with what players experienced in the original game, but with one very crucial addition, You can now be targeted. Sanctum 2 uses the popular recharging health system that many modern shooters use. I was told that they originally tried a set health bar, but they found that players would only be aggressive until their health was low and then hide in a corner. They said the the recharging system provided the best play experience. Otherwise, you still call down towers, you upgrade them to be more powerful and you fight wave after wave of monsters.

Co-op will again be a very big part of the Sanctum experience, however I did not have the chance to play with others during this demo. I did, however, get to see the new characters. There are multiple characters to choose from each with their own strengths. Players can diversify their character selection to become specialists in certain situations. This, in turn, helps the team survive more waves and makes dealing with more powerful enemies much easier, in theory of course. We’ll know more in this regard once we can play co-op.

Sanctum 2 will mark the series first entry into the console space, hitting the Playstation 3 as well as Xbox 360. It will have all of the same features as the PC version and will release day and date with that version as well. Right now all they could tell me is that they are planning for a Summer release. When it does eventually release, Sanctum 2 looks like it will be a nice diversion from the constantly releasing FPS’ that flood the market. Whether or not it remains a permanent destination relies on how fun the co-op turns out to be and how content rich the final product is.

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No hard feelings... / Chris@thosegamingnerds.com /