CastleStorm: Definitive Edition Review

There’s a plethora of war themed games out there that pit you off against all sorts of enemies: Nazi Zombies, the Roman Empire, Aliens and even Hogs (Yes, ‘Hogs of War’ needs a re-master), but there’s not many that have you upping your defences to fend off propelled Pig with flatulent issues or levelling up homing eagles to put shame to your attackers. Ladies and Gentlemen, CastleStorm: Definitive Edition plays like the illegitimate child of both Angry Birds and Worms Forts. Sound good? Read on, sire.

CastleStorm has a simplistic story; you’re the leader of an army who’s just been robbed of an all-powerful gem that was created from the tears of a goddess to stop war and strife. There’s no complicated plot here, but that’s not to say the story doesn’t take twists and turns along the way. Your adventure starts after a brief tutorial to uncover all sorts of wacky but wonderful scenarios.

In standard Tower Defence style gameplay, there’s an opposing faction or threat that attacks you as time counts down and it is up to you how you dispose of your enemies. In CastleStorm, there are two ways of winning: destroying their castle, or capturing their flag. This simplistic formula is easy to handle and get straight into but gets painfully challenging as time goes on as each scenario offers a unique challenge. For example, one level may have you simply using your Ballista to fire your apple bombs across to destroy their fort but to mix gameplay up, another level called ‘Angry Boars’ (definite pun intended) asks of you to shoot down an onslaught of incoming Boars.

Your Ballista has a trajectory line when aiming and if you’re good with these types of games, you can sail through the campaign mode until you get too cocky and stick the mode on Hard, where that line is no longer there. Each level has a rating too and to get five stars requires you to have the mode on hard, complete in a certain time, stick to mission objectives and have your accuracy above a certain percentage – if not for its lengthy gameplay already, this definitely has you getting the most out of CastleStorm (and your extended warranty on your console because your controllers have hit the wall where that arrow missed that Turkey. Damn Turkeys.

Along with an assortment of varied missions you also unlock different troops, magic and junk to shove in your Ballista to fire. You can only select a few from the list to take into battle with you and it’s up to you how to mix and match your strategy and this also applies when using your well-earned gold to level up which weapon. On my first run through I focused heavily on strengthening my foot soldiers and apple bombs whereas on a second play through, I focused on training my archers and upgrading my Griffin.

Each outcome had me dominating, but there was never a time when it was too easy. Incidentally, it is also your castle that wins wars also and it’s through the use of upgrading and fortifying it using the games Castle edit mode that’s very easy to use. Each room holds a type of soldier and if this room is destroyed, the soldier goes too, so it makes for some interesting castle layouts: Keep your most used soldiers at the back but run the risk of your heavy guys getting bashed? Or keep your castle troops to a minimal to place more defences and upgrades around?

It’s hard to place a negative on a game that’s reasonably priced and offers so much content; from four different modes, a few different factions to play from, a lengthy campaign with leader board scores and a multiplayer (local too), this game is a testament to why developers don’t need a massive budget to make a good game and although you might have played a game similar on the internet in flash game format, owning CastleStorm on your PS4 is essential for that, “I’ll have a quick go before work / school / bed .”

The game never takes itself seriously and the humour helps build character for the game and made me chuckle from time to time, especially with the remarks from my soldiers when I missed the enemy with my arrow and hit him in the back of the head. In contrast however, there were only a few times this happened but there were instances of my arrows completely going through my enemy even with a clear hit. This game can build tension and the last thing one would want is a defect such as this but needless to say, it never stopped me from coming back to this gem of a game and didn’t happen enough to stop me from playing it.

There’s a ton of fun content here that would fill out the pouch of a Trebuchet and I have barely scratched the surface because there’s fun to be had when experiencing CastleStorm and unlocking what it has to offer. This small title would fit great next to your triple-A title games on your PS4 dashboard and where else are you going to find a game that lets you catapult sheep with rainbow farts?

Aiden Pilling

Being brought into the gaming world with a Sega MegaDrive at an early age and later falling in love with the PlayStation, Aiden spent most of his childhood using his pocket money to borrow games at his local Blockbuster store (RIP) and became hooked on gaming ever since. He currently studies English and Creative Writing at the University of Salford and spends his downtime binge watching TV shows and movies.

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