Planets Under Attack Review

  • Posted December 15th, 2012 at 09:51 EDT by Dane Smith

Review Score

Planets Under Attack

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A fast-paced strategy game for adrenaline junkies wanting instant gratification for their victories, and no time invested in their soul crushing losses. It serves as a litmus test for those new to the strategy genre and wanting a game without complicated gameplay to make their brain explode.

We like

  • Fast paced gameplay
  • Variety of game modes
  • Zero loading times

We dislike

  • Flawed and forgettable story
  • Sega Genesis era graphics
  • No A.I. bots for online multiplayer

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

(continued from previous page) they hired was entertaining solely because he intentionally said words wrong or the recording studio didn’t double-check. At least none of the British people I’ve met pronounced ‘clerk’ as ‘Clark’ before.

Story wise, this game tries to make an attempt at being humorous but it mostly just services as being better than dead air between missions, and giving you some reason why you are going from stage to stage. The comedy of the story requires the player to literally take their perception of reality and flush it out. You are tasked with paying off your family's debts. The funny thing is you would have easily been able to pay it off after the genocide of your 200th planet. Seriously, I think even a planet of yakuza loan sharks would eventually say enough is enough and stop loaning the character money; if he was really that much in debt he’d have to brave unknown space to pay it off.

What is fun and unique about this strategy game is it incorporates different gameplay modes as part of the story missions. Ninety-five-percent of all strategy game story mission objectives are destroy everything, and usually if it changes for the 5 percent it is survive for X minutes or destroy a certain target. Planets Under Attack keeps switching between elimination, king of the hill, domination, capture, and payback modes, which keeps the game fresh and your mind thinking as you have to change strategies entirely. Elimination requires you to simply take over all your opponent’s planets. Capture is the same as conquer except you only need to capture the planets with bulls-eyes over them to win, which makes the blitzkrieg option enticing. King of the hill is exactly like it’s FPS brethren, as there is a target planet needing to be held for a specific period of time. This gets tricky. If you get attacked by more than one enemy it is always interesting to see who wins the battle as the planet could change hands a dozen times in a matter of seconds. Domination mode has one or more planets with a crystal icon giving you points. Reach the magic number and you win.

Payback is the new one, and I give credit to whoever thought of the idea as it actually hooks into the game's storyline. You have a target goal of money you need to pay back to the loan sharks, who have an invincible planet that keeps spawning ever increasing waves of ships to kill you. Every time you pay money the timer extends before the next wave. But for as much fun and adrenaline the mode produces, it again serves to point out how flawed the simple story is as the golden rule of loan sharking is ignored. Dead men don’t pay back.

Overall the game is fun to play. The controls are tight and smooth, the interfaces are streamlined, and it has a chess-like feel where the game is easy to play but takes time to master. Having an online mode gives the game infinite replayability, as the insanity of a 4-way elimination game will definitely have the strategy adrenaline junkies craving more. Buy the game if you are interested in playing a fast-paced strategy game where the average game time is less than making a cup of coffee. However, if you are looking for something to give you a challenge, this might not be your kind of game as even on hard the game is easy, unless you plan to entirely play against human opponents.

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