A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fortified is a downloadable third-person tower-defense game. Players use weapons and abilities to fight off steady streams of Martian robots. Weapons in the game range from realistic, such as shotguns and grenade launchers, to fantastic, sci-fi-themed weapons, such as freeze bombs and Tesla coils. The nature of the game involves lots of shooting and violence, but it's all directed at nonhuman robots that fall apart and disappear when defeated. The game supports online co-op play for up to four players, which helps foster teamwork but could expose younger players to offensive language in party chat.
What's it about?
If old TV and radio shows are to be believed, it's only a matter a time before our planet gets invaded by our alien neighbors on Mars. In FORTIFIED, the Martians aren't coming; they've already arrived. The game takes place in a 1930s, sci-fi-styled world one year after Martian invaders have begun to attack the planet. To fend off the alien menace, the government puts together a special team of four unique characters: an astronaut, a secret agent, a rocket scientist (complete with jet pack), and a military captain. Their mission? To act as a last line of defense and hold off the Martian robotic forces long enough to launch a series of rocket-powered counterattacks. For these heroes, saving the world is just another day at the office.
Is it any good?
When aliens attack, sometimes the best offense is a good defense. At least, that's the case with Fortified, a downloadable tower-defense game for Xbox One and PC. You play as one of four heroes facing off against wave after wave of weird Martian robots trying to destroy rockets launching against the bad guys. Before each wave, you have a little time to set up some defenses, and once the waves start you get to run around each map and shoot whatever your defenses might leave behind. There's a lot of shooting and a lot of action, but somehow the game still feels a little light.
One of the biggest problems with Fortified is repetition. Although the enemy robots come in all shapes and sizes, each level still plays exactly the same. The earlier stages offer some good challenge and strategic thinking, but once you've leveled up enough, the game becomes a cakewalk on normal difficulty. Increasing the difficulty reduces your build time before each wave and only makes enemies tougher, not smarter. It's fun playing online with others, but unless you're playing with someone you know, it can be hard to coordinate moves with teammates. With strangers, a lot of times, your "help" just tends to get in the way. Even with these frustrations, Fortified still does a good job of putting together a pick-up-and-play, arcade-style game that, in a different world, might enjoy a steady diet of any kid's allowance in quarters.
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