Build your defenses and protect your objective from the hordes of mutants
Work cooperatively with up to 3 other players to defend your objective
Customize your character with cosmetics and your weapons with cool skins
*Note: Band of Defenders is currently in Open Beta and will only be launched on April 6th 2018. This is simply a first impression review of the game and it will be updated if the game underwent major changes to its gameplay.
Featuring a Mad-Max-style post-apocalyptic theme, Band of Defenders is a unique first-person shooter that incorporates the best of tower defense, namely the defense-building part. The game focuses more on co-operative gameplay, allowing you to work with up to 4 other players in the defense of your objective. In addition to the huge number of cosmetic items, there are also tons of turrets, barricades and even traps to be unlocked via loot crates. If you are a fan of games like Orcs Must Die: Unchained and Fortnite (not the battle royale version), then this game is right up your alley!
Before we begin, you should know that you can get into the Band of Defenders’ beta testing simply by heading over to their official website and subscribing to their newsletter (you can always unsubscribe later). You’ll need to confirm your subscription for it to work, and you should get the free Steam key to the beta version of the game.
Once you’re in the game, it starts you off with an epic game trailer along with a fairly simple-to-understand and surprisingly fast tutorial where you’ll be taught the basics of the game, including the fact that the game is split into several alternating “attack” and “building” phases, and that the building phase has a time limit. You will learn how to craft new weapons as well as how to build, upgrade and repair your defenses too.
There are plenty of defenses you can build, be it turrets, barricades or traps. You can also craft other deployables, like medicine kits and ammo tables (for ammo refills), and place them during the build phase. As you may expect, every item on the build menu costs money and you can only get them by shooting at the mutants. How much you’d get though depends mostly on your performance when the shooting commences.
Weapons are also crucial in this game, especially if you’re a good shot. Unlike your turrets, you can dish out headshots like there’s no tomorrow, allowing you to whittle down waves of mutants really quickly. You can craft new ones during the build phase as long as you have the blueprints and the coins.
Now, for the attack phase, you’ll basically be running around the objective you’re trying to protect, trying to stop any mutant from getting anywhere close to it. The gunfights are exhilarating and it’s not at all arcade-like. The game even has really cool toggle-based sights that blurs out the surroundings, allowing you to focus on the enemies directly in front of you.
Band of Defenders also provides a wide range of mutants to challenge you with some wielding guns, carrying explosives, or having special EMP-like powers which will disable nearby turrets. Not to mention, at the end of every match, there is a Boss wave where an incredibly hard-to-die and powerful mutant will enter the battlefield and put all of your defenses to the test. Also, a quick tip – like any shooter game, hitting the mutants on the head will cause triple damage, so make sure you aim before you shoot! However, if you die in a match, you won’t be resurrected... so keep that in mind!
Every successful match that I’ve played (so far) have awarded me with loot crates which contains new weapons and some pretty cool (and sometimes hilarious) cosmetics/skins for your character and your weapons. Talking about characters, the game has 3 preset characters for you to play as, though you have absolute freedom in customizing their outfits.
Band of Defenders currently offers its normal waves-based game mode but it has an endless mode in the works. For the basic mode, there are 4 difficulty levels, namely easy, medium, hard and apocalyptic. The tougher matches you play in, the more experience points you’ll earn if you win. The game provides a different map for each difficulty level.
In short, Band of Defenders is a unique and exhilarating “hybrid” game that manages to successfully combine the intense action of a basic first-person shooter with the strategical planning and thinking required in mounting a defense.
However, due to being in beta, Band of Defenders doesn’t exactly have a lot of players at the moment and its buy-to-play business model (after launch) may not help it gain the necessary player base it needs to be actually fun to play. So, although we can’t really say that the game will have enough players for it to survive in the long term, we’d recommend you to at least try the game especially if you have friends to play the game with or that you enjoy innovative new games.