Genre-blending is always an interesting experience in gaming. Aegis of Earth combines many strategy, RPG, and puzzle elements in one delightfully cohesive package. Are you ready for an all-out Protonovus Assault?
Monstrous creatures have invaded the planet so humankind is forced to live in circular self-defending cities. You play as a commander who leads a ragtag team of specialists to defend these cities from oncoming attacks. Oddly enough, the attacks only happen whenever you're ready. Between battles, you manage your city by building weaponized units, residential structures, shields, and power generators. Your citizens' happiness is key because the more content they are, the more people will want to move to your city thus resulting in you receiving more tax revenue. Whenever their happiness slips, you could always build a park or shopping mall to boost their spirits. Your team needs to be managed, too, because their focus and energy levels dictate how helpful they'll be in battle. Also, you can redeem gathered resources to research new units and command center enhancements via the R&D lab and use items that give you boosts. To progress through the story, you basically check off missions such as defeating a certain amount of enemies, using a particular character, or researching a specific project. There's certainly a lot to do, so let's see how it all ties together and move on to the battle system.
Each city is composed of four rings (known as zones) that you can rotate on the fly. The first three zones contain permanent installations while the final one holds temporary units such as shields. Enemies approach the city from eight different directions so you have to keep rotating zones in order to stay on top of their onslaught. An interesting dynamic is that you can line up similar units across two or three zones to make them more powerful. Therefore, balancing between trying to cover every oncoming foe and being as efficient as possible is quite tricky to do. In the end, the combination of building your city and using it effectively in battle is a phenomenally satisfying and unique mix. I've never played anything like this in my life and am I ever glad that now I have.
One of the best features of Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault is its lovely cast of characters. As the story moves along, you'll slowly be introduced to new team members. Each chum has a distinct personality and their conversations are great fun to watch. They have suitable voices, too, although a lot of the dialogue just consists of text. Overall, it's rare to see a cast that's this endearing.
Even though there are plenty of gameplay mechanics and aspects to building up your cities, a gentle learning curve is masterfully implemented that can allow any gamer to become an elite commander. Additionally, I discovered that lowering the difficulty results in less loot earned in battles. That being said, if you want to acquire a lot of goodies then upping the difficulty may be a good idea. It's great to be rewarded according to how much you challenge yourself. I wish more games utilized systems like this.
Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault may be a unique and enjoyable experience but it does have its issues. The first of which is that the gameplay becomes rather boring after playing for a while. Once you figure out all of the complexities, battles start to get repetitive. At this point, it's probably best played in short sessions. Next, you only ever get to play in the two modes. In other words, you're either managing your city or fighting a battle. Because of this, things can start to feel quite confined. Eventually, you'll dream of being able to explore the cities or walk around your command center. Finally, there are many events and voice clips that repeat way too often. For example, upgrading a unit results in a character saying the same three or so lines over and over again.
After all is said and done, I enjoyed Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault a great deal. Although it has its downsides; the unique gameplay mix, brilliant cast, and rewarding challenge make it one impressive RPG.
- + Fantastic blend of gameplay mechanics
- + Wonderful cast of vibrant characters
- + Gentle learning curve with a difficulty system that rewards you for challenging yourself
- - Core gameplay gets tiresome after a while
- - Game world is a bit too confined
- - Frequently repeated events and voice clips quickly become annoying