By Michael Mendis
While most of my gaming time is spent delving into story-driven single-player games, every now and then I find a multiplayer game that sucks me in and offers me a different way to enjoy gaming. One such game that has done this for me lately is Legion TD 2, a competitive tower defense game that originated as a mod for Warcraft 3. This new, standalone title was recently introduced to me by one of my supporters, and it’s a fascinating game that has taken me by surprise with how addicting it is.
In Legion TD 2, two teams of four players defend against waves of enemies that are trying to attack each team’s king. Each player creates units to defend a single path in which computer controlled monsters will spawn. If the monsters defeat the player’s units, they proceed downward toward the king; if the player’s units beat the monsters, they teleport down to the king to defend against any monster that made it past your teammates. The competitive aspect of the game is that you can hire special monsters called Mercenaries to spawn on the opposing team’s side. Victory in the game requires coordinating with your teammates to decide when you are going to send big Mercenaries to the other side, and managing your resources so that you can both hire units defend your lane and hire Mercs. Fail to walk those lines, and you'll find yourself falling behind pretty quickly.
When starting a match, there are five character classes that you can choose from; each class has its own strengths and weaknesses, which provides depth to the gameplay but also means it takes a while to get used to each class. As you play more matches with each class, you'll gain a better understanding of how to place and upgrade your units in order to maximize their strengths. I've seen different players use the same class in different ways to defend against the waves of enemies, which indicates that there is a lot of replay value to the game.
At this point in time, there is only a limited tutorial for the game (although this could change, as the game is in Early Access and thus is not yet complete), which means that new players could find it rather unforgiving at first; fortunately, the game forces you to play only against AI opponents for the first few matches, which is easier than fighting other humans. Playing against AI is also a good way to experiment with classes that you aren’t familiar with. Once you get past the learning curve, though, the game is a ton of fun; there’s a subtle satisfaction in perfecting your use of a particular class, and seeing your units come out on top against particularly tough monsters. Even though I’ve logged over 30 hours playing the game, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface, and that there’s a lot more for me to learn and improve upon as I experiment with new strategies. Legion TD 2 is a fascinating fusion of competition and cooperation in a genre that could use some fresh ideas, and it’s well worth checking out.