Defenders of Ekron (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 15.08.2017

Review for Defenders of Ekron on PC

Representing the apex of mech-suit technology, the Anakim is indescribably powerful. Its pilots must endure decades of rigorous training. Some, like Eneas, don't quite have what it takes. Not to be deterred, this young man enters into an experimental program. In less than a day, he becomes a virtuoso in the art of Anakim piloting. However, something ominous seems to have awakened inside him. Well, this is no time to sweat the small stuff, because Ekron is teetering on the brink of cataclysmic war. The Renegades, peacekeepers turned traitors, are about to obliterate the Republic.

"Never do the same thing twice." That seems to be the general idea behind Defenders of Ekron. With every passing stage, new mechanics are introduced, and players must deal with a wide variety of situations… Wait a moment… There's that word again. Of all the words that can be used to describe a game, none result in as much bile as the word variety. All too often, variety leads to disaster. When a piece of entertainment software isn't allowed a sense of consistency or cohesiveness, all of the ideas in the world can't save it.

Screenshot for Defenders of Ekron on PC

To get an understanding of just how much variety is in this game, let's start with the Anakim. This particular model is unique in that it gains more powers with the destruction of certain bosses. At first, the mech is "only" capable of unrelenting cannon fire, a bullet deflecting shield, and enemy-targeting charged shots. Before long, it'll obtain massive blades, the ability to shoot fire, wave-dashing, and even control over gravity. Furthermore, it can switch forms. Either it brings up its sensors to scan for hidden objects, or enters flight mode to cover ground quickly. On top of everything else, the Anakim can expend energy to recover shields or go berserk.

It's a lot to absorb, and players might have a little trouble keeping track of which button does what. Thankfully, abilities are unlocked at an appropriate pace. There will never be a point where a number of them are unceremoniously dumped in the pilot's lap. There's time enough to try everything out. A multitude of training missions are also available. They help to ease the stress of obtaining new powers. It's also worth taking the time to earn points, which are then used to upgrade the Anakim's various functions at the Hangar.

Screenshot for Defenders of Ekron on PC

As mentioned earlier, this game is composed of a wide variety of situations. Each stage is creative in how it makes use of the mech's every aspect. In one case, the flight mode is used to chase an exceptional foe through a winding tunnel. One must take care to avoid homing missiles and other obstacles along the way. Another stage is filled with mines that require the sensor in order to be seen. The catch of course is that while the sensor is in use, the pilot can't fire his weapons. The scenarios are diverse and interesting, though they also tend to involve a little too much puzzle solving.

Screenshot for Defenders of Ekron on PC

A sizable portion of the war effort is going to be spent wandering through labyrinth. Towards both the beginning and end of the game, Eneas will venture through a series of rooms, using his powers to figure out a myriad of problems. It's a neat change in direction, and yet also a little disappointing. Being able to shoot flames or control gravity sounds pretty awesome, until one discovers that it's usually relegated to silly pet tricks. Imagine how impressive a fire cannon would be, if it could be used for something besides sliding block puzzles. While it is possible to replay completed stages, most of them don't allow access to all of the weapons.

Still, this title comes together when it matters most. The boss battles are really well done. Each has a different approach, and there's value in pursuing different strategies for handling them. The more shmup-oriented stages are also pretty enjoyable. Although the mech has a large hit box, which makes dodging attacks a little more difficult than it should be. It's one way to incentivize Anakim's defensive capabilities, but it can also be pretty annoying. Energy management is also nicely implemented. Aside from basic movement, every action requires energy to perform. Learning when to let up the assault in order to recharge is very important.

Screenshot for Defenders of Ekron on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Even with its flaws, Defenders of Ekron is a fine title for fans of both action and adventure. The campaign is filled with fun scenarios and thrilling boss battles. Controlling the Anakim is an effortless process. Players will quickly adjust to its many forms and abilities. While it is very much a double-edged sword, the massive amount of variety still works in the game's favour. Every stage is different in its own way, ensuring that the player is rarely bored.

Developer

In Vitro Games

Publisher

In Vitro Games

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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