I Haz a Mobilized Trench
Weeks before the official "Summer of Arcade" begins, Double Fine has released Trenched for Xbox Live Arcade. You may ask, What exactly is Trenched? Trenched is not only an outstanding (third person) mech game, it also adds elements from tower defense games as well as loot mechanics from a game such as Diablo.
The game takes place in a World War I era. There is some silly story about how a "broadcast" which made two people (Frank Woodrof and Vladamir Farnsworth) very, very smart. Woodrof used his knowledge and "smartness" gained from the broadcast to create trenches (mobilized trench mechs) to help in war. Opposingly, Vladamir wants to spread the broadcast so everyone can gain from it (he is a little crazy). You play as the son of Woodrof, and must stop Vladamir. The story is somewhat interesting, but overall i didn't play it for the story.
You can customize your Mobilized Trench in many ways. You may choose to have a very light mech, a medium sized mech, or a very large mech. Each different size of mech has their benefits. If you choose to have a light mech, you will be able to have a larger variety of turrets (emplacements) at your disposal, but fewer guns on your mech and a smaller defense. If you decide to be a heavy mech, there will be a much larger variety of weapons you can use, you will have a lot of defense, but at the cost of fewer turrets. A medium sized mech is a mix between the two. Weapons include: snipers, artillery, shotguns, machine guns, and broadcasters (think.. radiowave type weapon). Different turret types include: shotgun, repair, machine gun, flak, mine dispenser, artillary, etc.) The customization is some of the best I've seen in a while for a mech game (it's been a while since i've played one), and it's very easy to understand how everything works.
In Trenched, you defend against wave after wave of enemy with your "trench" mech against enemies called monovisions (created by Vladamir). Generally, you have to defend a building from the enemies from the monovisions. This will require strategically placing turrets and preparing the correct type of weapons before the match begins (before you start each level it will tell you the recommended weapons to use). You collect scraps from fallen enemies, and spend scraps on turrets and upgrades for them. There is good variety of enemies, from suicide bombing monovisions, snipers, little rolling balls that will try to destroy turrets, tank enemies, and many more. You can play trenched cooperatively with to three others. The game is a lot of fun when playing with others, and its always interesting to see how someone else customized their mech. The game encourages team work, and is best played with others.
Now that you understand how the Mobilized Trenches (mechs) work, you may wonder how the loot works. Basically, stronger enemies will drop boxes of loot, and you will pick them up
. At the end of a match, you will see your stats for that game, as well as what loot you have gained. Loot consists of different turrets, chasis, legs, colors, weapons, and outfits. There is a rarity system to loot, each item will have a different color (White, Green, Blue, Purple). Some loot requires a specific level (the cap is level 10). I'm currently capped at level 10 right now, and i keep coming back to try and get the best gear to make the most badass mech. On top of the loot system, you get money for completing missions. You also get money (and loot) for achieving a certain number of kills with each weapon (or turret). Money can be spent buying stuff from a shop (which is generally white gear), you will buy stuff from the shop until you hit around level 8 or 9, when loot drops just become better.
There aren't really many complaints I have with trenched. The game took me around 4 hours to beat by myself, and i'm continuing to play to improve my mech (and because it's fun). If i had to make one complaint, it would probably be that i wish there was more content. I wish i could get to an even higher level and there was a larger variety of loot (i've found some rare items multiple times). I can't really complain though, the game is on fifteen bucks.
Overall, Trenched is a blast to play, and will keep you coming back to improve your Trench. It combines together some great genres of games and does it very well. This is one of the few games that i'm actually extremely looking forward to DLC, because i enjoy the game so much. If you have ever had an interest in Mech or Tower defense games, definitely try out Trenched.