Midway is rehashing another older series and, of course, incorporating elements that are on par with today's technological standards. Games that take place mostly amidst the air come few and far between, but Midway now seeks to add another game to this scarce genre.
Visually, Defender has been impressively created. The ships look quite good and sport numerous subtle details throughout their exterior; in addition, the ships can be augmented as you progress in the game, so the ships' looks will slightly alter throughout. The backgrounds feature a nice amount of detail and color, and the particle effects are up to par thus far, such as the dust and smoke created from the ships.
Looking even more crisp and vibrant are the FMVs found in the game. Everything looks a little sharper than the in-game graphics, and the animations are fairly smooth and effective as far as deliverance of the story is concerned.
Defender is an old-school game at its roots, but it really plays quite like the up-to-date shooters that are currently out for the PS2. Elements from both Dropship and Starfighter pop their heads up in the game, and it's a mission-driven one. Throughout each level is a set number of objectives, such as saving certain people and groups, defending allies, and even transporting materials.
Strategic-play is also encouraged in the various missions and will actually assist you if you have the right game plan. One prime example of this is the ability to pick-up and move weapons, vehicles, armies and more. Such an instance allows you to pick up a tank, and while you're flying through the air, the person manning the gun within the tank will actually take out enemies as you fly. Another cool thing you can do is strategically place allies to certain points where you can gain the upper hand, whether you're trapping the enemy, surrounding it, etc.
Defender currently has a few months left of development, but we thought we'd give you the lowdown on what we know is to come so far. Also, Midway will include the original Defender for those who've never played, and players who have can get another taste. The game's premise is shaping up well so far; stay tuned for screens in the future.
6/3/2002 Joseph Comunale