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Thread: Toy Soldiers: Cold War Review
09-06-2011, 06:13 PM #1
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- Jan 2010
Toy Soldiers: Cold War ReviewThe Cold War played out behind the scenes more than on the battlefield, but the toys and scenarios were iconic parts of many childhoods. With that, Signal Studios has injected Toy Soldiers: Cold War with the militaristic bravado of the 80s, drawing "First Blood" with its second helping. Cold War surpasses the original Toy Soldiers with famous (and destructible) locations, awesome firepower, and arcade-friendly bonuses – not to mention bazooka-toting action figures.
Like Toy Soldiers before it, Toy Soldiers: Cold War is a hybrid-Tower Defense game using toys as units. Players choose between seven emplacements – ranging from anti-tank cannons to machine gun turrets – and upgrade them to stave off approaching waves of enemies. The hybrid element spawns from the ability to jump into any unit from a third-person perspective and take control. This option makes Toy Soldiers: Cold War a whole lot of fun. You can also jump into any number of airplanes, helicopters and tanks to aid the fight – only limited by each one's battery power.
Toy Soldiers: Cold War's miniature fight against Communism takes place in a 1980's bedroom filled with VHS tapes, Rubik's Cubes, pencils, and dice. But the real contrast with the original game's bleak, WWI-era toy setting comes from wonderfully realized locations like Egypt, Paris, Mount Rushmore, and Washington D.C. Every legendary structure and standard building can be leveled with cannon fire – placing Reagan's demand about that damned wall into your hands.
The gameplay feels similar to the original, but Toy Soldiers: Cold War shines with its variety. From jets to helicopters, the Cold War opens a lot of fun technological doors, with room for bigger destruction. Watching an action figure pop out of its packaging to level an enemy city while shouting "I'll bring you a war!" is the fulfillment of young-boy fantasy. Each new element controls well, and high-kill-combos reward you with Barrages, slot machine-like bonuses that deliver special weapons, aiding your domination over the battlefield.
But then, domination isn't really a problem anyway - the experience isn't overly tough on normal difficulty. If you lose control of a map, you can rewind waves to correct mistakes -- but I only had to replay a single level, the final attack on the Capitol. It's a great feature, but doesn't seem necessary, and the hardest options only unlock once certain levels are conquered.
While the locales and designs work well, Toy Soldiers: Cold War's camera has some issues with democracy. From Cold War's isometric angle, it's difficult to see into the distance, and invisible walls block your cursor from fully exploring each map – you'll need a vehicle for that. But vehicles suffer vision issues as well. It's not game-breaking, but it's a frustrating curveball in an otherwise great game.
Multiplayer remains a fantastic aspect of Toy Soldiers: Cold War, and co-op is a welcome addition. The modes are fun, and once the difficulty bumps up to General and Elite, any help is appreciated. New mini-games let you jostle for high scores, but half of them are rehashed training modes, and the rest are forgettable.
09-28-2011, 10:51 PM #2