Defense Grid 2 Includes Player Marketplace and Co-op

Defense Grid is getting a sequel that will be bigger and more robust than its predecessor.

Back in 2008, Defense Grid: The Awakening released to critical acclaim in the tower defense genre, and was featured by Microsoft during their 2008 GDC keynote speech. Available for free to Gold members last July on the Xbox 360 as part of the “Games for Gold” program, a new swath of players were introduced to its 20 levels of alien intruders and power core defense. Now, Hidden Path Entertainment is working on Defense Grid 2, which will be filled with new features fans of the original and tower defense lovers alike will enjoy.

Like its predecessor, players will be tasked with guarding power cores on pre-set maps in order to protect human colonies on alien planets, in a top-down view. But the similarities end there. Built on an entirely new engine, players of the original Defense Grid will find a more seamless and graphically enhanced experience. Not to mention entirely new maps, enemies, towers and single-player story campaign.

This time around, Defense Grid 2 has added multiplayer to the mix for two players. Designed to support couch co-op on both the PC and consoles, you’ll never have to worry about split screen minimizing your experience. There are two modes: co-op and competitive multiplayer, where players will compete on a separate yet identical map, sabotaging their opponent by beaming in a tougher version of enemies they killed, right in the area it was killed.

I got some hands-on time with DG2 co-op and it was immediately fun and intuitive to play. In co-op mode, you will share a single map, defending the map’s cores as a team. The map’s grid and resources are split equally, giving each player their own space to focus and worry about. An advanced mode removes the divided restriction, requiring you to strategize and communicate more with your teammate. There is a live updating performance chart and personal leaderboards, which really gave a sense of competition within the player collusion.

For those playing on Steam, Defense Grid 2 will also feature a map editor and player marketplace. Players will be able to create their own maps, submit them for sale, and if approved, have them available for DLC by other players. Map sellers will receive a portion of the profits for every sale. Since this feature utilizes Steam Marketplace, it won’t be available on console versions of the game. Those of you who are intrepid builders out there might have a chance to turn a slight profit, perhaps at least covering the cost of the game itself. Personal profit aside, allowing for player generated maps and marketplace will increase the longevity of the game for all players, giving you more long term bang for your initial buck. And let’s face it, map editors have long been the source of some of the greatest game maps of all time. Perhaps you may have even heard of a little map called DOTA.

Defense Grid 2 is set to launch Fall 2014 on PC (including support for Linux and Mac gamers), Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

You can keep up to date with all the E3 news over on our E3 channel.

Janelle Bonanno is Editor-in-Chief at GameFront. Find more of her work here, and follow her and Game Front on Twitter: @s0osleepie and @gamefrontcom.

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