Review: Line of Defense Tactics – Tactical Advantage

it’s quite unrefined on the PC…

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Some games are a bugger to put a label on. Line of Defense Tactics is, in the shortest terms, a squad-based real time strategy game based on an upcoming MMO (called Line of Defense) without ever being an MMO itself. Clear? Good. It’s a bit like XCOM, but in real time and with less aliens. Ok, this isn’t working. Let me try again.

In the game you control a squad of four characters through a series of 16 missions. Ranging from the tutorial-type missions at the start through to some devilishly tough encounters later on you work together using the strengths of each person to make sure you make it through the level in one piece. Lose someone along the way, and you fail the mission. Don’t worry though, even if you’re told that you’ve failed you can move on to the next level. As you make progress you earn points which help you to improve your characters in a range of ways, giving you the vague idea that you’re in control of what’s going on. The problem here, is that quite often you’re not.

Line of Defense Tactics has also been released on tablets too, meaning the interface needed to be suitable for those getting touchy feely with the game. As such it’s often pretty tricky with the mouse, with clicks ending up being registered on the wrong sprite, or accidentally dragging a line of movement for a character instead of moving the camera a bit. In that instance, it can be particularly annoying if you’re carefully stealthed level is ruined when you run out into a room full of bad guys and get gunned down before you realise what’s going on. Selecting a character can be a tough ask too, especially if they’re standing in an awkward place which makes you select something entirely different instead. I’m sure it works great on a tablet, but it’s quite unrefined on the PC.

LineOfDefense

The missions themselves are actually quite cool if you can avoid the annoyances. Whether you’re infiltrating a ship, hopping into vehicles or smartly positioning enemy-shredding turrets there’s a decent amount of variety here, but it takes quite a long time to get to the cool stuff and it’s not out of the question that the wonky control system will have put you off by then. Stick with it though, and you’ll get some reward, just not as much as you might like.

There’s a horde mode too, with enemies piling at you until you finally run out of health, patience or the will to live, but it serves a purpose by giving you a few points to spend on your characters between the proper missions. There’s been some attempt to provide some value for money, but it doesn’t quite feel like enough when there are so many other flaws that get in the way. It’s a shame, because under the shroud of fiddly controls, clumsy squad movement and a shortage of content there’s a decent game ready to emerge. Later levels are far more fun, but getting there is tough going, and it’ll probably be fans of the imminent MMO who get the most out of this.

There’s definitely enjoyment to be had by someone, but I’ll leave you with this: if you’re looking for a Sci-Fi strategy game, XCOM is a few quid cheaper on Steam…

Reviewed on PC

Line of Defense Tactics (PC)
Line of Defense Tactics (PC)
Date published: 2014-03-24
4 / 10
 
 

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