A two week stint of creative thinking during Brutal Legend birthed four ideas. These ideas then manifested into Costume Quest, Stacking, Once Upon a Monster, and Trenched. An impressive two week collaboration of creative minds to say the least.
Given Double Fine’s track record, it is almost guaranteed that the art direction will be awe inspiring and the writing will be nothing less than witty. But whether this mech shooter meets tower defense will deliver in gameplay was unclear at first. Thankfully, I can confirm that Trenched delivers in every area, in almost every way.
War has unfolded into a unique set of events. A deadly signal broadcast upon the world left only two radio operators alive and imparted upon them unparalleled knowledge. This knowledge then brought about technology way ahead of its time. One abused this knowledge and created a television based monster army and the other did everything in his power to combat this evil by creating mechs called trenches.
While you might be shaking your head at the plot, the game never takes itself seriously and in turn the story provides a ton of whimsy and enjoyment as you fight your way through three regions of the world. Each region brings with it a unique set of maps filled with personality and, more importantly, an increasing amount of challenge. It is because of this challenge that the game provides not only plenty of gratification, but unlimited amount of ways in which to approach each mission.
It is in the sheer amount of customization that you are given the chance to approach each mission as you please. The amount of depth provided here is enough to give any gamer hours of fun. With each core providing unique give and take, there will always be a lot of thought that goes into customizing a loadout. Whether purchased through the shop with money gained from missions, loot dropped from enemies and bosses, or rewards from leveling the dozens of attributes, Trenched provides an addicting loot system that results in some truly incredible loadouts.
Once a loadout is chosen, you will then make your way into a typical tower defense type mission. Protect one or multiple bases through the use of your weapons and emplacements. As enemies are destroyed, scrap metal will be dropped thus providing a currency system for emplacements. It is then up to you to choose how you wish to spend the scrap metal — be it upgrading current emplacements or dropping new ones.
Each and every mission is challenging and fun, but that is then multiplied when playing with friends. While split screen co-op is not provided, the up to four player online multiplayer is painless to setup and will quickly become the preferred way to play Trenched. It is because of multiplayer that each player is able to approach a mission as they see fit. If you are more of a strategist, you might go in with an engineer loadout and be responsible for maintaining the emplacements. If you are into more of the shooter aspect of Trenched, then leave the emplacements to a friend and go in with the big guns and play it as a shooter.
Trenched screams personality, polish, and customization. While it is labeled a tower defense game, it allows for so much more. Lack of split screen co-op is disappointing, but overall, Trenched is well worth the dozens of hours you will inevitably invest in it.