Published on June 30th, 2010 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Toy Soldiers Review
Release Date: March 3, 2010
Developer: Signal Studios
Platform: Xbox 360
There is something about mowing down a huge mob of plastic soldiers that is oddly satisfying. Whether it’s a hectic war-zone scaled down to fit in a diorama or simply being able to explore the whole world of battle with an overhead camera view. Both of which might have science fair kid inside you saying, “Yes!” For those of you out there who might be like myself, enjoy the occasional real time strategy but don’t like it to take 50 hours out of my week, look no further. Toy Soldiers from Signal Studios allows you to reap the benefits of a complete strategy game while pitting you into the sniper, driver, or flamethrow firer’s seat. It all adds up to a great time for 1200 MS points.
The gameplay is something that is challenging, but fulfilling. For example, while heading out in Old Willie, a heavy-set but mobile tank, you can roll over, blast, or flame-throw your enemies. This is done while taking heavy fire from mortars and swooping bombers. This is all in the efforts to destroy your enemy and keep them from entering your territory’s toy box.
Defending your foothold can be done strategically or by brute force. Once the tank or any other of your mobile units are destroyed, like any multi-player, there is a waiting period for them to respawn. Turrets also take a beating and must be repaired throughout the waves of attack. There are pre-set layouts on the map which delegate where you can place your turrets. The turret example turns green for the go ahead to lay down some mortar, anti-air, or anti-infantry cover fire. Picking and choosing where to pit the heavy hitting Howitzer may keep you from becoming yet another victim to trench foot. While you may only place turrets in certain spots, from about halfway back you can put down barbed wiring and gas to make sure that little or no enemies get pass the point of running and breathing.
Leveling up is a must, especially when dealing with big maps like these. There is only one particular thing that doesn’t really hurt the gameplay, but adds to the challenge of fending off enemy troops. Although you can unlock new levels for your artillery to get to, you can only level up that artillery during the current map. Meaning, if you want to focus on getting all of your ground machine guns going to a level 2, you must unlock the level on the prior map. Once you get to the next map, the slate is wiped clean. The challenge is to get your artillery back up and start mowing down enemies for the cash to buy the level up during the current parade of bombs and troops.
Toy Soldiers presents itself well. The controller layout offers swift changes for putting down fortifications and for jumping into the gunners seat. Both joysticks offer camera movements and item selections. The LB and RB offer movements in the direction to place turrets or items. Pushing A gives you the options for your turrets. Better prices than your local flea market! B cancels your action or exits turret, while the right trigger fires. Clicking in the left stick jumps to a top down view of the whole map. This is helpful when moving quickly to pan back to see an approaching enemy or prepare for the worst.
The only problem area that gets a little frustrating is the use of the camera. The camera doesn’t always play nice when coming from a top down view and sliding over to hop into the sniper tower. It does however offer some close up battle views, which puts you right up into the action. Finding out where the action is, well that’s another story. A little help from a small guide or radar could help to see where your own toy box is held.
Some of the other great things that Toy Soldiers offered were the achievements. “C’mon, ten more minutes Mom, I’m just trying to boost my gamer score!” There are a ton available to help you cushion that score and online leaderboards are a huge plus. Playing against a friend or other challenger is always a positive aspect, if not a must nowadays.
[xrr label=”Rating: 8/10″ rating=8/10]
+Challenging gameplay and maps
+Strategy or in seat action view
+1200 MS points or U.S. $15.00 value
+V.S. Multi-player and online leader boards
+DLC just announced
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