altered_confusion's Castlestorm (PC) review

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Castlestorm Review

Have you ever wanted a game that was part tower defense, part build your own castle, part cause mayhem and damage? Well this might be the game for the CastleStorm has you trying to take on the opponents castle using any means at your disposal. You can send troops, you can cast spells, send heroes into battle, or shoot arrows or sheep from your ballista. All is fair game in this game of Human versus Viking. Long time ago there was a great war between the two races and the Goddess of Peace cried over the bloodshed, and because of that two magical crystals were formed one for the Humans and one for the Vikings. What followed was many many years of peace, and for the rulers unending life, but something strange is happening and once again there is war.

Graphically there's a little bit of a cartoony feel to it, I would say the best example would be Warcraft 2-ish style. The building your castle editor is awesome, I can't tell you how awesome it is to create my own castle. Sure I have to fit all the pieces inside a grid, and I'm limited to how many pieces I can end up using, but it is still awesome. The animations in the game run pretty smoothly even if you're zoomed in or zoomed completely out. I do think the camera is a hair too pre-emptive if I get my mouse close to one of the sides of the screen, but I'm willing to forgive the game for that. You're going to see some great models at work as well. You're going to see knights, militia, archers, trolls, dragons, vikings, bears, donkeys, gryphons, and more. All of which look well thought out and polished.

The sounds of the game definitely fit in with the war and havoc that you're going to be causing. I also tended to like the voices that gave you updates throughout the levels, though the repetition of some of the saying did start to get to me by the end of the game.

The controls are all about how you're playing the game. If you're going to be shooting things with the ballista you're more than likely utilizing the mouse for the most part for targeting and then using the 1-5 keys to change the projectile. If you've decided to launch your hero(es) into battle you're going to be using WASD to move and then the mouse again for attacks, both melee and ranged. If you're going to be sending troops into battle well that's basically selecting the troops with the click of the mouse and then having them go to war, now you do have the ability to tap the Space bar and that will cause all of your troops to duck, just in case you need to shoot something right over their heads.

I have to say that until the VERY LAST battle this game was beyond fun, and I had a hard time tearing myself away from the game. I always thought, in the back of my head, that I had just enough time for one more scenario, or one more battle. The last battle, in my opinion, was the developers use of FORCE to try to squeeze out extra hours or so out of the game. There's no way that you can win the last battle without grinding out some of the levels that will give you enough gold so that you can level up your troops and/or weapons to the point that you stand a chance of surviving the last fight.

Now I did mention leveling up, and this is another mechanic I really liked, sure you had to accumulate some gold from each level that you took on, but through that you could upgrade your units, you could upgrade your spells, your heroes, and even the special structures that you could add to your castle to cause you to collect more gold at the end of a battle if the room was still intact, or could cause your units to deal out more damage, or cause all of your cooldowns to take a shorter amount of time. I loved upgrading those things to make my army stronger, or my attacks more deadly, but once again I come back to that final battle where I felt like I was forced to have to level everything up a bunch of times which meant that I had to replay some levels a ton of times to even have the amount of gold needed to level everything up.

If you end up in the same boat as me I HIGHLY recommend one of the later levels that has Frenzy in the title, it is possible to get through that level in about 30 seconds to 3 minutes, and if you click the restart button it will take you right back into the game and you'll retail all that you previously collected.

With all that said and done though, there are a couple of other modes that will intrigue you just in case you want more than the campaign, and if you've got the strategy to get through the campaign the rest of the modes will be very enjoyable for you. Although I HATED and DESPISED that last level, this is a game that I literally started playing and couldn't put down until I was done, and that says something about this game, so I have to give this game a 9.2 out of 10.

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