Developed and published by Clapfoot Inc, ‘Fortified is an explosive strategy shooter where players will defend the Earth against a menacing Martian invasion in the 1950s. Play as one-of-four pulp inspired heroes as they fight swarms of terrifying robots with an arsenal of Cold War era weapons and experimental technology. Protect the city by building a network of defensive structures, commanding an army, and jumping into battle against dangerous sky scraping attackers. Fight for Earth alone or with up to four players for the ultimate co-op defense experience.’
Fortified has all the ingredients to make a really addictive game, however don’t go in expecting to complete it easily. If you play through one level at a time you will get to a point where you simply haven’t levelled up enough and unlocked enough upgrades to progress any further without struggling. You will find yourself playing the first five levels over and over until you can get past the 6th level and so on, as this is where the game ramps up in difficulty. It is also worth noting that whilst you can play Fortified in solo play the game is really tailored to be played as a group, and playing alone will become very frustrating once you have more than one rocket to defend.
This by no means makes the game terrible, the gameplay is good, There are four characters to choose from. Spaceman, Captain, Rocket Scientist and Agent. Each having their own un-lockables and special abilities. You have to play with each character to unlock levels for them, so you can’t play through to level 12 with let’s say the Captain then decide to change your character to one of the others, as it will be locked off until you beat the other 11 levels with that character.
You also level up as you play as mentioned above, and you unlock different weapons and defences to place as you go, you’ll also have the ability to upgrade your weapons and defences too. adding different firing rates to machine guns or giving rocket troopers incendiary rounds for example. You are also able to chop and change your defences on the fly without being penalised for selling anything. So if you’ve placed something by mistake or have placed something that isn’t working, you can sell it for what you bought it for and put something else down.
Structures come in two varieties, static units that can be placed and deal damage within a certain area including ground and air, and manned units that are troops that have a static position to defend, denoted by the sandbags surrounding them when placed, but can be commanded by the player using the D-pad. You can get them to follow the player, position them all on a waypoint, fall back to the rocket or set them back at their original positions.
There’s a nice variety of enemies to fight, all of which a robotic Martians. They all have different abilities and speeds and it keeps the game flowing, you’ll find though that sometimes one or two will slip past your defences and start dishing out damage to your rocket. Especially the Annihilators, shaped like balls these seem unaffected by defences and seem to roll straight past and unfold at your rocket dealing some decent damage, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for these, as they can often become enough of a distraction for all hell to break loose.
The 1950’s comic book style is kept up throughout, and is even pulled off well in the 3D rendering of the game, with characters almost having a toy like quality to them. The music is also fitting, along with all the laser firing, gunshots, explosions etc. It’s nothing spectacular but it all works well together making for an all round decent experience.