Finally, after all the hoopla, Xbox’s Summer of Arcade 2011 has come to an end. From the critical darling Bastion to the party game Fruit Ninja Kinect, its been a pretty great year for the promotion. The final game released was Toy Soldiers: Cold War, and it’s a nice way to go out.
Toy Soldiers: Cold War is a pretty basic tower defense title with a few fun twists. For one, at any point you can hop into any of the turrets or battery-powered vehicles and fight the Commie scum yourself. If you do well enough in these sections you can unlock a barrage, which is essentially a killstreak. These are a lot of fun (one even allows you to play as a muscle bound Commando who constantly shouts “DON’T TREAD ON ME!” in hilarious fashion) but they are unfortunately a little too difficult to obtain, as I only got one a few times the whole campaign. Otherwise, the game performs quite well aside from a camera that wouldn’t perform correctly a couple of times.
The game does have a nice smattering of modes to help it out, including a survival mode (with co-op), versus mode, and a few minigames. All game types also have challenges you can complete and leaderboards for the competitor in you.
Probably my favorite thing about this game is the extremely well done Cold War vibe, which is played up nicely. The game constantly plays absurd 70′s and 80′s music, and the environments are as deliciously cliché as you can get. The game itself looks extremely good for a downloadable title; even the animations of the infantry are pretty solid. Ultimately, Toy Soldiers: Cold War won’t win over strategy game naysayers, but it’s a nice title to round out the Summer of Arcade.
The Good: An excellent homage to the era of Commando and Top Gun, tight strategy gameplay, a nice smattering of modes
The Bad: Some of the more ambitious aspects of gameplay could have been better, a disappointing lack of story
The Ugly: An occasionally finicky camera can annoy
Final Comments: Toy Soldiers: Cold War is worth a purchase almost as much for the atmosphere it exudes as the polished gameplay
Score: 8 out of 10