Epic War TD 2

Not so Epic War.

Epic War TD 2 is a tower defense title by AMT Games. The game boasts 9 towers, 2 mega towers, 44 enemy types, 50 missions, and as the developers promised, 100+ gameplay hours. The also connects to your Google Play profile where you can gain experience by unlocking achievements in the game.

The game offers two game-modes: Arcade and Pro. Arcade has medium difficulty, unlimited towers, and the ability to sell towers. In the other hand, Pro mode restricts players with limited towers and banning them from selling unneeded towers, on top of having to play through hard mode.



EWTD2 follows a very standard tower defense design. You'll have to build your murder-towers along the fixed enemy paths and prevent them from exiting the map. Enemy units can't attack or destroy your towers. You only have 10 lives and each enemy that escapes the map, regardless of size/type, will deduct one life. Unlike other tower defense games, you don't have special abilities or special moves that you can use in case of emergencies; you'll have to rely on your towers for the entire battle. Defeating enemies will earn you cash that you can use to build more towers or upgrade them.



There are nine towers in the game and two mega towers. These towers can be upgraded to LV4. Before you can upgrade a tower, you should spend collected Stars in the Lab to unlock various towers and their next upgrade level. For each upgrade, the cost and resell value of the tower also skyrockets. Unfortunately, only the damage of the towers are increased per upgrade; their firing rate and range stays the same.




As you progress in the game, you'll encounter various enemy types, from the squishy foot soldiers to the sturdier mechs and tanks. However, there are only truly 9 enemy types and the rest are recycled units with buffed stats, abilities, with different colored palettes. Their names are even color coded. (Example: Mariner, Mariner Blue, Mariner Green, and Mariner Black) Each enemy type has an individual tower they're weak against. Players will be forced to upgrade these towers as they encounter upgraded versions of enemies since the older towers' damage output won't be able to catch up. Not only that, upgraded versions of enemies have techs or skills that will make your job a lot harder, ranging from healing their allies, super armor, extra shield, and auto-repair to name a few. Flying units need dedicated anti-air towers (there's only two of them in the game).



While the game is advertised having 50 missions, these aren't entirely unique. First, there are 25 maps per mode. Each map has three checkpoints, represented by stars. Each checkpoint has around 3-5 waves each. And the maps, though beautifully designed, are very limited. You'll find yourself fighting on recycled maps every so often. These maps doesn't have fixed spots where you can place towers. You can drag and drop the towers to allowed spaces. While this gives players freedom to move their towers around, it's pretty easy to miscalculate the spacing between the towers, wasting precious space. This is true when you're deploying the larger, mega towers. Towers don't change appearances when upgraded.



The entire game is pretty straightforward. "Linear" is the best word to describe the whole gameplay. You don't have that much freedom what towers to deploy and where to deploy them because of VERY limited funds. There are even missions where you can't win unless you follow very strict steps or sequences on what towers to buy first, when to sell them to get enough funds to buy a new one, when to upgrade one, etc. SPECIFIC tower placements and TIMING are important too. If you build a necessary tower too far or too late, it can ruin the flow of the mission. It can be quite annoying since your options will be very limited. You're technically forced to play how the developers designed the map / mission instead of letting you devise your own approach to a situation.



Another problem I encountered is the actual tower placements. When you open the option that will bring up the different types of towers you can purchase in the lower part of the screen, and you need to place that tower in the area near the tower selection menu is, you'll have problems deploying the tower you selected. There's also a chance that you'll select a wrong tower. To combat this situation, you're forced to zoom in so you can safely select the tower you wanted and place it on the spot you intended to put it on.



Next, EWTD2 allows players to spend collected "Stars" from missions to unlock new towers and upgrades. These upgrades are laid out in a straight line instead of a "skill tree" format; you must unlock the currently available upgrade before you can unlock the next one. There's also no point of farming Stars since you'll earn just enough to unlock stuff from the Lab as you progress. Replaying a mission doesn't earn you anything worthwhile so basically, every map is a forgettable affair.



You can pause the game so you can study the map and build towers or upgrade them using as much time as you need. The game keeps track of your latest progress and will allow you to restart a wave or the whole level. You'll definitely need this option since trial-and-error is an integral part of every map.

The game's visuals are stunning and detailed. The unit and tower models and renders looks very detailed. The maps have some dynamic elements like small debris flying or fire burning in the background. Killed soldiers leave bloody corpses and destroyed vehicles or mechs leave burning wreckage before phasing out of existence. The towers' animations are pretty detailed as well. You can see the muzzle fire from turrets, the Tesla Tower's top that changes speeds when it is idle or firing, the volley of miniature rockets that the anti-air tower releases, flaming enemies set by flamethrower towers, etc. In a tower defense game, there will always be times when there's a lot of things happening in the screen at the same time. EWTD2 handles it pretty well without any lag. (The game's download page also states that it can work on low-performance devices) Overall, EWTD2 sports top-class visuals.



As a paid title, there are no microtransactions or annoying ads in the game. It doesn't require internet connection except when it is updating your Google Play profile so you can play it offline anywhere, anytime. This said, you don't have to spend anything more than what you paid for the game. Basically, there's no blatant "pay-to-win" structure in the game. On the downside, players will have to go through a restricted experience, thanks to the game's generic, linear gameplay. There are also no "daily rewards" or perks given to players who play the game regularly, but that doesn't ruin the experience at all.



Overall, the game has a pretty solid but generic design. It has very good potential, and adding (or taking unique approach) on different features like giving players helpful abilities they can trigger, more maps, more modes, and freedom to choose their own strategy will make the game even better. Even adding a skill or tech tree where players can upgrade not only the individual towers but unlock additional skills as well. The visuals are stunning, the sounds are pretty good too but the limitation of having only one method of clearing the map is definitely not fun.



As a closing note, is EWTD2 worth the money? As mentioned a few times above, the lack of freedom or flexibility the imposes on a player will quickly turn a normal experience to a mundane one. Trial and error is a natural part of playing Tower Defense titles; however, repeating a wave or level several times just to get the ONLY sequence of buying or placing things is not enjoyable. There are other free tower defense games that offer quicker, interesting gameplay, if you can bear with the ads, and the temptation to spend money on microtransactions. Sure, EWTD2 has great graphics, good unit to tower balancing, offline playability, and non-existent ads but you have to weight those pros to the cons, which mainly revolves around the actual experience. And most people like me, choose the latter.

4.0 / 5.0
 
review by vhayste | Mar 25th 2015


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