Posted on June 24, 2014 AT 11:07am
At this year’s E3 Nintendo was showing off two prototypes that could evolve into full-length Wii U games. The first, Project Giant Robot, had players build their own mechanical monstrosity and battle against other massive robots. While people flocked to that demo the booth next to it was sparse, one that more people should pay attention to. That game was Project Guard, a title that could reinvent the tower defense genre in a very good way.
In Project Guard you are sitting in a security guard office looking at thirteen television screens, one of which acts as your main screen to switch from one camera to the next. As you play various kinds of robots will attempt to invade your building, and if they get to the central power node then it’s game over. Using your Gamepad you can switch to the camera you want, and take out the robots with your laser cannons. However the hard part of the game is that many of these robots can appear on different cameras in unison, so you’ll need to be on your toes at all times once the round begins.
My demo started out in the Easy mode, where I had to take down five specific kinds of robots in order to win the level. I angled the cameras in the way I wanted them to be, in hopes that I can capture the sight of the robots quickly and efficiently. Once the round started, the bots came a-chargin’! Switching to different cameras and firing at the enemies came very easily on the GamePad, with only a slight pause to figure out which camera was which. In under three minutes I took out the five robots needed to win, and the game was over. Feeling overconfident I decided to try it on Normal mode, where I had to destroy ten specific robots. What happened next was quite peculiar.
The robots were appearing faster, and as I played on the booth workers and those waiting in line to play started shouting behind me. “Switch to camera two!” “There’s a R.O.B. coming closer to the power node on eleven!” “Angle camera five and take them down in one swoop!” While I lost the round, playing on Normal mode revealed what Nintendo could very well be testing in Project Guard: a co-op experience disguised as a single-player tower defense game. Had I not listened to the chants of the other gamers I might’ve lost the round faster, but with the help of more eyes on the screen I laster much longer than I should’ve.
Whatever Project Guard becomes in the long-run, I’m hooked. I’m not sure if this will become a stand-alone game or something that could be a part of a much larger first-person experience. (If the latter, I can see this being in a future Metroid game in some shape or form.) With its innovative way of using the GamePad and the ability to bring those viewing someone playing it into the gameplay as well Project Guard has high potential of bringing forth a fun experience that will have everyone clamoring for a go, as evident by the long line that appeared midway through my turn.
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