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Legion TD 2

The first competitive tower defense for PC. From the team that brought you Legion TD. Created by an indie team of 2 best friends. Coming Nov 20, 2017. read more

Legion TD 2 Preview

Author: Luan Erasmus
21-Nov-2017

Category: Preview

Auto Attack Games presents Legion TD 2, the first competitive online tower defense game for PC. Legion TD 2 provides you with various strategic elements that keep you thinking and fighting right until the end. It's more than just plopping down a bunch of defenses, you also have to send offensive units and manage your economy if you want to survive.

Legion TD 2 Preview

introduction

Those of you who played Warcraft 3 and dabbled in the masses of custom built maps created by the online community, would undoubtedly have come across the original Legion TD at some point or another.

Auto Attack Games have taken a leap and followed in the footsteps of gaming giant DOTA, by taking their once little humble map design and turning it into a standalone game. This modest team of two friends has put their heart and soul into this project, and I think they've come up with something good, maybe even great.

What they ended up with is Legion TD 2, a strange name since this isn't really a TD. What you have here is a mixture of a TD and RTS, with limited unit control and no base building. Sounds strange, doesn't it? But it's good, it's very good.

Keep in mind that Legion TD 2 was, at the time of writing, still in testing stages so things might still change in the coming months. However, I found very little that requires any drastic update.

Legion TD 2 will soon be available on Steam.

Legion TD 2 Preview. Giant praying mantes? Bring it on!

Gameplay

This section is somewhat more difficult than I'm used to. Usually, you can label a game by its genre and instantly people know what to expect. This is not so with Legion TD 2. As mentioned, this game has some TD and some RTS elements, but you don't manage bases, you don't command units and you don't actually build any towers. So how did I come to that description? Well here goes...

The ultimate goal in Legon TD 2 is to kill the enemy king before they kill yours. You play in teams of four, each player with a lane to defend, and these four lanes bottleneck into one which leads to your king. The game has two phases, night which is used for planning, building, upgrading, etc, and day when the enemy cries havoc and knocks down your front door. During the day phase you can no longer control your units or construct new ones, you simply have to sit back and hope your little birdies know how to fly.

Instead of towers in the traditional sense, you place defensive units in formations that remain stationary during the night phases and come to life when day dawns. How you position your units requires a lot of planning since every unit is different and you wouldn't want to have your frail damage dealers up front to be devoured first. More towards the traditional sense of TD, the game is broken up into waves of enemy creeps who spawn in every lane at the start of each new day. Killing these creeps awards you with gold, the first of 2 resources in the game, which you then use to place additional defenses or upgrade existing ones.

In addition to the default creeps, you can also send your own mercenaries to go and ruin your enemy's day. Doing so costs mythium, the game's second resource. In order to gather mythium, you have to spend gold to produce workers, and they in turn harvest mythium from a giant crystal at the center of your side of the map. The offensive units you send, in addition to fighting your foes, also provides you with additional income every wave.

Legion TD 2 Preview. A giant mythium crystal, waiting to be plucked.
It's very important to balance your resource spending between increasing your fighting strength and contributing to your economy. Spending gold on defenses might seem like the logical plan but not hiring enough workers for mythium harvesting will come back to bite you in the long run. It's a similar story with your offensive units. Some of these units might be stronger, while others provide a higher income. As if that wasn't enough, you also need to keep an eye on your supply cap which can be upgraded using mythium.

When the enemy hordes approach, your units try their best to fend them off but don't expect to always be victorious. Often, your defenses will fail and you will "leak" enemy units who then proceed on toward your king. Before they reach him though, they'll need to take on any of your allies' remaining units after they defeated their own waves. When this happens, you will still receive some gold bonuses for the kills but the person who gets the kill will receive the majority of it.

Legions

The complexities don't stop there. At the start of each match you can select one of five teams, or legions, to play with. Each of these teams has a unique design and contain different units for you to deploy. Element, as the name suggests, contains elemental creatures, Forsaken is more dark and demon like, Grove is what a cranky mother nature would look like and Mech is futuristic laser fitted things that go pew, pew. Finally, we have Mastermind, which is only unlocked once you reach level 3 in the game. Mastermind uses a combination of units from the other legions which is randomized each game. This definitely makes for more interesting matches, but you'll need to know what you're doing before taking this legion on.

Legion TD 2 Preview. Choose your legion wisely.

Each and every unit is different. Some are melee tanks that can take a hell of a beating but do very little in response, others are high damage ranged casters that can disintegrate entire hordes of creeps without breaking a sweat. Some fight straight up, others have extra abilities etc, etc. 

Then there are the fighting types. The game includes five offensive and five defensive types which work in a rock, paper, scissors kind of manner. Some attack types can do as much as 125% damage to certain defenders while others do a puny 70%. 

You have a list the informs you what kind of creeps will be involved in each wave so you can prepare yourself for that, but since each night phase is only 30 seconds, it's difficult to keep up when you don't know all the units. Add to that the mercenaries your enemies send and each wave has the potential to end your game.

As you can see, mastering Legion TD 2 will take some studying, but not so much as to make it unplayable for newbies.

Design

As mentioned earlier, the original Legion TD made its debut as a Warcraft 3 map. Warcraft 3 served as a nice little engine that provided all the background mechanics, audio, visuals and everything else an aspiring game developer needed. 

Fast forward 15 years and unfortunately, the visual design of Legion TD 2 will have you thinking you're still playing Warcraft. I'm not saying the visuals look just like they did back then, that would be cruel, but the visual design is certainly not on par with most games of today. They've opted for a more animated style, which means that the visuals don't need to be state-of-the-art for it to be acceptable, but even when keeping that in mind, I'm still disappointed by what I see here.

Legion TD 2 Preview. Perhaps zooming in should not be possible in this game.

Audio, I'm afraid, hasn't fared any better. The sound is decent enough, but nothing that's been included stands out in any way. 

Unfortunately for Legion TD 2, the size of the development team is evident all throughout the design of the game.

That said, the game is well balanced, a feat difficult to achieve for even the largest of game development firms, especially when there are so many diverse units included. The very first game I played, I won with a mere 3% health left on my king and I've seen similar results from gameplay videos online. One feature I would have liked is to be able to move my troops after placement. Not only because I might have planned badly but some units might change to something completely different after an upgrade. This doesn't take away from the experience though, it would just have made the learning curve a little less steep.

Legion TD 2 Preview. This represents a victory, not just for me, but for the whole gaming community.

Conclusion

The design was the lowest point for me and while I can appreciate what has been done to the environments, the units feel dull and uninspiring. Also, since the game is still being tested, the community is very limited which makes it difficult to get enough players together for a match. This is a temporary problem though and will dissipate once the game is available to the public and more players join in, which they should. 

Other than that, I have only praise for Auto Attack Games' efforts. It may have taken a good few years to get this sequel out but I'm glad these two friends stuck together and got it done.

Despite some negative points listed, I like playing Legion TD 2. There's enough variation available to ensure it never becomes just another slow paced tower defense game while not being so complicated that you need to spend hours upon hours practicing just to win a match. If you like TD's, RTS' or even MOBA's then Legion TD 2 will have something for you. Go ahead, give it a try.

PROS
CONS
  • Fantasic unit variation
  • Gameplay mechanics that's not too hot, nor too cold, but just right.

  • Subpar visual and audio design
  • Steep learning curve



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