Developer: Eiconic Games
Release Date: December 2nd, 2014
Available On: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Reviewer’s note: I played this game on the PlayStation Vita. There may be differences between versions.
As the PlayStation Plus service continues to become popular several games are actually finding themselves being released and put on the service their first day. Such is the case with Final Horizon: an action tower defense game that doesn’t really innovate the genre but at least manages to be decent.
Each level in Final Horizon starts you off by giving you access to a selection of towers, and starting you off mid-attack so you have an idea where the enemies are going to come from. You can only place towers in specific spots and enemies don’t follow any kind of path or walls. Furthermore, enemies will actually fight back so you need to maintain your towers. Special towers can collect the resources you need to do that, and also to upgrade your existing towers. One interesting feature is the ‘boost’. Once your towers are at max level you can then spend some money to ‘boost’ them, which makes them invincible and have a larger range while dealing more damage for a little while. The game’s other big feature comes in the form of killstreaks, which sound like they were ripped right from a Call of Duty game. After you make enough kills you can activate a killstreak that allows you to do things like drop missiles from space, or stop time. You only get one use per level though, so in theory you’d have to choose when would be the best time. In practice the best time is almost always “as soon as you get it.”
Each of the game’s 50 levels only lasts about 1 – 3 minutes, which actually makes Final Horizon good if you’re looking for a tower defense game to quickly sink into while waiting for something. The majority of the campaign missions simply have you protecting facilities like radar dishes and rockets until all the enemies are defeated. Occasionally you may need to actually use your own energy to power up the object you’re protecting, which lets you basically end the level ASAP. Rarely the game will break things up with a Firestrike mission. In these missions you’ll just be dropping a never ending killstreak on enemies. Easy? Hilariously so. But it’s a good break from tower defense. Each level has between one to three side objectives that you can try to complete as well, though there’s no describable reason to do so besides getting achievements. The majority are just getting a certain amount of kills with your killstreak or going through the level without taking damage. Occasional creative ones like only using one of a specific tower actually do a lot to help make some creative gameplay, but it’s way to rare.
Unfortunately once you finish the campaign there’s little else to do in Final Horizon. You can always replay your favorite levels of course, if that’s what you’re into. You can also replay some levels as a score attack instead, where you try to just get as many points as possible. There’s no multiplayer or co-op of any kind, so I found that when I was done with its short running time I basically put the game down and haven’t picked it up since. There’s no real story in Final Horizon either, some random text messages from AI e-mailing each other is the best you’re going to get. The furthest the story goes is basically “We’re being attacked by the Swarm and we need to stop them.”
It’s a little on the short side, but as far as on-the-go Tower Defense games go Final Horizon is a pretty interesting one. Once you finish it there’s little reason to pick it back up again, but until you hit that point Final Horizon can serve as a fun distraction.