Crap! A giant monster has appeared on the city outskirts and is heading towards our base! Quick, summon Voltron to repel the hostile titan’s assault! Those three sentences pretty much sum up the plot of the cartoons I used to watch as a lad… and for the most part cover the main idea behind Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault. In this PS4 tower defence game (also available to buy on the Vita and PS3) players are tasked with protecting their settlement from colossal beasties. Unfortunately, due to budgetary constraints, you cannot construct a lion themed mech to guard your city – so you’ll have to make do with plain old tanks, rockets and energy beam weapons.
Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault’s storyline is broken up into twenty-three chapters. In order to advance the narrative players will have to fulfil the objectives set by a bearded admiral, who somewhat resembles Captain Birdseye. The tasks on your agenda will range from researching new technology, eradicating a predetermined number of monsters or bolstering your population via the acceptance of immigrants. Donald Trump may not approve of that last mission, but hey it’s not all bad. Many citizens equal more tax income that can be spent on shoring up your metropolis’ defences. Just be sure to keep the populace happy with circus events and waterparks or they will move out of town.
Compared to other tower defence games Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault’s battles aren’t very interactive. It’s impossible to manufacture units (or grow zombie repelling spuds) once a level begins. What you can do however is rotate the four districts that make up your city. Invaders are attacking from the south? No worries. Just use the gamepad’s shoulder buttons to reposition your north facing armaments onto a spot where they can target the oncoming threat. Nifty weapon design I must say, although my heart does go out to the townsfolk. The poor sods must get awfully dizzy during attacks, given that their residence will “spin” around the place more than a dishonest politician.
My rating for Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault is a three and a half out of five. I enjoyed the game enough to snag all the trophies on offer, but it’s debatable whether other players will share my sentiments. My suspicions are that most people will tire of the gameplay after a few hours, as the battles aren’t very stimulating. The biggest flaw Aegis suffers from is that success can be achieved with little strategy (which may explain how a dimwit such as myself easily managed to earn a platinum.) Although you have a bevy of weapons to choose from (rockets are effective versus crowds, Gatling guns work best versus speedy critters etc.) you can pretty much turn your city into an impenetrable fortress by exclusively erecting missile turrets.
Despite the lack of challenge, I still managed to have a good time playing through Aegis of Earth. Part of the reason why I liked Protonovus Assault would have to be the quirky roster of subordinates that appear during the story (my favourite character being Towa, the twenty-six year old commander who desperately wants to get hitched.) I also felt a sense of satisfaction seeing the cities under my watch prosper. Who knew that upgrading power stations, terraforming land and maintaining residential zones could be so much fun? Takes me back to the days of Sim City – only that when Godzilla shows up you can now save your utopia from destruction by pelting the oversized lizard with warheads. Haha, revenge!