brokenbrute's Toy Soldiers: Cold War (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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Toy Soldiers: Cold War

Did you ever play with toy soldiers as a kid? Stage mock conflicts over the dinner table, and watch your little dioramas expand over your home. Maybe Toy Soldiers:Cold War; a simple, quirky, tongue-in-cheek take on the Cold War - if it were fought with miniatures and defence towers - is a game for you.

Simply place one of the six towers at your disposal. Designed to cut through, aircraft, tanks or ground troops, then let your troops man the position - as you survey as a general from above - or drop down into the fray to control a turret amongst your men. All turrets are upgradable and you’ll be cleaving through vehicles or mowing down scores of men in no time.

As with the original Toy Soldiers, you’ll find yourself battling in small maps surrounded by the trappings of everyday life; complete with ash-trays, dice and other house-hold thingamajigs. As though the field of combat were sitting in the home of any battle enthusiast. The developers at Signal Studios have really captured the jokey, 80’s throwback styling; from the patriotic soundtrack complete with power guitar solos, through to napalm, and choppers taking off from football pitches.

In addition to the single player campaign, which can be breezed through without any real competition, there’s verses and survival modes. The first; a one vs one battle, in a similar vain to the main game - first to let 20 units of any type into their toy box is the looser - and latter, wave defence, which, though co-operative, strangely lacks fully featured online support.

Mini-games are the most questionable addition, games such as swatting flies with machine gun fire, or guiding a speeding rocket down a rotating path. Not only do these draw attention to how each element of gameplay falls apart when stood alone but are generally shallow, boring and feel as though there could have been better uses of development time.

Overall gameplay feels unnecessarily simple. Sure, you’ll be able to pilot a chopper, F-14, or drive a tank - all of which are time appropriate - in addition to “barrages”. These pickups range from the flamboyant, but effective touches such as the commander. A Rambo like, one-liner spouting poke at war films of the 80‘s equipped with a rocket launcher and machine gun, or more deadly and explosive options, such as a nuclear strike.

That’s not to say simplification is a crippling blow, if you want to sit down for a weekend and watch little plastic men get blown to pieces, or ignited by a roman candle then you and Toy Soldiers will get on like a house on fire. Whilst a improvement on its predecessor, and great for a weekend of carefree fun, just don’t expect to be engrossed for long. Sure, the single player can kill a couple of hours, you might even play a round or two of multiplayer or survival, but overall, just like the toy soldiers of your youth,you’ll get bored and end up seeking more.


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