A four-player online co-op Tower Defense 3rd-person Shooter hybrid XBLA game developed by one of the best independent developers in the business?
How could you not buy this game?! Double Fine has crafted another original title and infused it with their unique humor and charm. But this time, you can share the story with three other online friends. It's like having your cake, eating it too, sharing the rest with your friends, and smearing frosting on their faces just to get a laugh.
In fact, if you're playing through Trenched solo, you're doing it wrong. It's so obviously built and intended for co-op play that playing it by yourself is just a waste of time. The levels are designed such that enemy forces will come at you from multiple directions. Later in the game, a single player could easily get overwhelmed. But, if you play with friends, you'll have a blast customizing your Trenches (to create a well-rounded team), discussing strategy, and watching each other's backs.
It's at once competitive and co-operative, but not in the annoying way you might find with the likes of Zelda Four Swords Adventures. Here, the competitive aspect is more about bravado and showboating: who can equip the most devastating weapon combinations or collect the most Scrap.
Near the game's end, when your upgraded Trenches cause so much havoc that the Xbox360 staggers under the pressure and you end up with a choppy framerate, it's hard not to smile through the technical failing. After all, you're causing so much devastation that the game should have trouble keeping up. And you'll say as much to your friends, proud of your destructive prowess. Then they'll try to one-up you, showboating in their own way while you collectively burn through roughly six hours of gameplay.
By the time it's all done, you'll be satisfyingly exhausted from sensory overload and laughing your fool ass off. You'll be genuinely proud of your team's accomplishments, happy with the results, sufficiently fortified with pure testosterone, and eagerly craving more levels.
Trenched is such a riotous good time that I'd love to give it a higher score, but the above-mentioned framerate problems did get annoying after a while. It's never worse than in boss fights, which is exactly where you don't want the framerate to go to hell in this game. Also, though it should be commended for supporting 4 player online co-op play, it completely lacks split-screen support, making it impossible for family members to enjoy together unless they own more than one console in the same house. And, lastly, there were a couple bugs that shouldn't have released with the game. One completely took a player's camera and movement control away, while other bugs infected the network code and resulted in a less than reliable connection with my teammates.
But don't let those negatives deter you from downloading Trenched. It's well worth the MS Points, especially if you have like-minded friends.
Game Title: Trenched
Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: Tower Defense
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date: 22nd Jun 2011