It’s a good time to be a fan of action-oriented tower defense games! While PC gamers finally get to enjoy the original Toy Soldiers on Steam, those of us playing the deliriously wonderful console-only sequel, Toy Soldiers: Cold War, get $10 of new DLC. For some odd reason, it’s broken into two separate $5 packages. Napalm and Evil Empire each include a three-mission campaign, a new mode for the survival missions on the old maps, a new versus map, and a new barrage attack that might come up when you kill one of the bonus targets and get a randomly determined special attack.
The new minigames are as disappointing as most of the old minigames. I can’t see playing either of them more than once to set a basic score. I mean, seriously, whack-a-mole, but with capitalist pigs? Similarly, the new survival modes are puzzling. Trauma mode just means that every time you place a turret, your base loses some health. It’s a pretty minor tweak. It’s more the sort of thing you’d see on an options screen than in a DLC package. Then there’s the commando mode, which means you’re just running around the map using a permanent supersoldier. These are the same guys you get as occasional power-ups. America gets the goofy Rambo and the Soviets get the goofy Dolph Lundgren. There’s no harm in having all of the action and none of the strategy, but it’s a bit like taking a great joke and drawing it out for too long. I can get that for free on Saturday Night Live.
The DLC campaigns each have three new missions, and there’s enough variety in the map layouts and included vehicles to set them apart from the main game’s missions. Since many of the Soviet defenses have their own unique tweaks that you could previously only enjoy in versus games, it’s nice to get more time with them in the Evil Empire campaign. However, Napalm’s Vietnam oriented maps are much livelier than the dreary Eastern block maps in Evil Empire. The new barrage attacks are probably the best thing in the DLC. The Soviet orbital beam is especially gratifying.
The biggest drawback for this $10 of DLC is that Toy Soldiers: Cold War was already such a full-featured package. Without folding any new units or defenses into the mix — this aspect of Toy Soldiers has been pretty much frozen since the original World War I setting — it just feels like new ways to play the same old game. But at least this same old game is one of the best action oriented tower defense games you can play.