SteamFirst Deathtrap title resized
I won’t lie: I spent the tutorial level of NeocoreGames’ tower-defense/action Deathtrap yawning–it was just so easy and options were so few. So then I am thrown into the first level. Okay, it was a little more complex. Then I get to buy some upgrades–

Wow. This game is deep. 3deep5me, some may say. It’s beautiful.

SteamFirst Deathtrap 1 SteamFirst Deathtrap 2 SteamFirst Deathtrap 3I mean, to be fair, I have always been attracted to cluttered messes of data; big assemblies of chaotic numbers and pictures look great, and once I got over the shock of seeing so much information on-screen, in a format I am not used to, I realized how everything is organized and it made sense. Upgrades and such made lots of sense: weak improvements that persist. I have learned from Red Orchestra 2/Rising Storm that these kinds of upgrades rock. So, that’s the upgrade system.

Then I clicked play. Hm.

 

It was quite difficult. And fun!

I realized I could not just run ‘n’ gun, or randomly place and upgrade traps. I had to have a combination of running and attacking with my ranged attack and placing well-thought-out attacks; anything else resulted in the baddies getting through and into the [insert the name; seriously, I never can remember off my head which means that NeocoreGames may want to address this and make it feel more vital]. Lots of running, cursing myself for being dumb, and clicking furiously in an attempt to rid my buddy of some possessed dogs. Good stuff. Challenging, intense, and an absolute blast: the perfect game, essentially.

SteamFirst Deathtrap 4

Allow me to take this time to explain.

Deathtrap is a tower-defense/action game, so you have to set traps (of innumerable varieties) (not really, there are just a handful, but learning the difference took me quite a while) to keep waves of baddies from entering the [thing I still don’t know the name of]. After a certain amount of damage (teleportations, it seems, the [Thing] is broken and you fail. So you gotta run and use your character’s active attacks and buffs and other abilities while your traps take care of the bulk of the work. Kills garner Essence (the game’s currency) and between waves, you have the chance to buy and upgrade more traps. Each level brings new layouts and baddies to fight.

Adding traps between waves
Adding traps between waves

Gameplay: 4.5

Other goodies

Let’s talk about that soundtrack for a moment here: it’s amazing. Best music I’ve heard in a game since Mirror’s Edge and rivals the soundtracks for most movies. Seriously, Hans Zimmer and John Williams better be on the lookout. Graphics are crisp and detailed and in the coolest steampunk-esque style I’ve ever seen. I’m typically not a fan of weird themes or lore, but Deathtrap‘s presentation of just about everything is just stellar. For added bonus, there’s even a co-op mode!

SteamFirst Deathtrap 6

 

Sound: 4.5

Graphics: 4.5

However…

No game is perfect…though, to be fair, you really have to reach for any mud to fling here. I found the default controls to be a tad silly–arrow keys for movement on a non-Flash PC game? Gross. Thankfully, we can remap those. I find the clutter attractive, but it’s highly unlikely that fellow n00bs will, too, so beware the steep learning curve of the messy UI.

 

Closing thoughts

I have only one: why haven’t you bought it here yet?

Overall score: 4.5

(wow, the average of three 4.5’s is 4.5? I don’t believe this sorcery…)

 

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