Zen Studios are about to unleash their genre busting tower defence game, Castlestorm Definitive Edition, onto Xbox One. The definitive edition includes all the original campaign, all of the previously released expansions, and a heap load of never before seen content. There seems to be a trend of late, re-releasing games and then calling them the “Definitive Edition”, and all that’s been added is all the DLC and little else. Zen, however, have added fresh new content to this edition making it definitely worthwhile releasing again. If you have never played Castlestorm here is the lowdown on the campaign mode. You don the persona of Sir Gareth, a golden haired knight with his airs and graces who, quite frankly, fancies himself rather a lot, and is tasked by the king to defend the kingdom. To achieve this you have a castle, a ballista that fires a range of different projectiles, magic potions, a host of different troops and of course Sir Gareth himself, which you can take charge of on the battlefield.

Your castle is what you are trying to defend from the advancing hordes, and in order to win you must either capture the enemy flag or destroy their castle, and of course they are trying to do the same to you. Winning battles is the key to gaining strength, as you will unlock more projectiles, troops and spell types with each battle you win. These can range from donkey riding troops, right through to firing sheep from the ramparts of your castle with the aid of your ballista. However, every thing does not go according to plan, with your troops organising strikes and complaining about the lack of toilet facilities along the way, all the while you have to keep an eye on a very devious wizard who is helping out the other side. The whole campaign and it’s side missions of turkey and bore hunts is done in a very humorous manner. With witty one liners and Sir Gareth being a little stuck up his own arse, I found it a very delightful and easy going campaign, that was enjoyable right to the very end.

This is only a fraction of what Castlestorm Definitive Edition has to offer players, with survival, skirmish and hero survival mode to contend with. These are a great way of taking a break from the campaign and raising funds to level up your troops, spells and your hero, as with everything, it costs gold. Levelling up your troops and the like is important, as the more you progress the stronger the army is that is trying to invade your kingdom, so you really don’t want to be sending out level 1 soldiers to fight level 9 trolls, do you?. Hero survival is very rewarding as it’s just you and your hero protecting the flag in the middle of an arena, with enemies attacking from both sides. As the name suggests you must survive and protect the flag through as many waves of enemies as possible. At the end of each wave your health and the flag are reset, which is handy as this mode can get hectic fast. The other modes are equally as entertaining if not pretty much the same sort of idea. Skirmish is something like the campaign, with an advancing enemy and in order to win you must either capture their flag or destroy their castle. This for me is one of the major pit falls of Castlestorm, as there are only so many ways you can spin an idea and call it a new mode. Once you have gone through the campaign, you have, in effect, played all of the modes available.

Multiplayer is also available both online and local, but at the time of writing finding a match online was impossible after trying numerous times. However ,I have had the Castlestorm online experience in the previous edition, and to be fair it is very enjoyable playing against a human player. It definitely gives you more satisfaction knowing that somewhere there is a player cursing, after you have just decimated his entire castle while shooting all his troops in the head as they spawned. On the other hand, I suppose, when I lose they are thinking the exact same thing. Playing in local multiplayer is just as rewarding if not more so, as you actually get to see the other players tears as you complete that perfect victory and destroy his work of art. When I say work of art, I mean his castle, because in Castlestorm you can completely design your own castle and use it in all of the modes available including the campaign. Building a castle might sound simple, but depending on what rooms you add to the towering structure, depicts what troops you can build, how many and how fast. You will have to thing about your strategy quite a bit before you complete the perfect battle fortress. Building these rooms in the correct place will also determine how quickly they can be destroyed by the advancing player, so keeping your troop rooms at the back or bottom of the castle is a wise move. Remember once a troop room is destroyed you can no longer build that troop for the rest of the match, handicapping you in the battle.

After spending some time now with Castlestorm Definitive Edition I still enjoy the experience that the game has to offer. If you have already played this on the previous format, then buying it again is definitely worth it, it delivers hours of fun and humour, running at a smooth 60FPS in HD on the Xbox One. My only concern is, as I have already mentioned, throughout the variety of modes available there is not a ton of difference. The campaign is the most worthwhile journey, but you will need to build up those gold reserves in order to advance effectively. I am dubious about companies releasing definitive editions, as for the most part it’s just cashing in on a title that has little or nothing new to offer gamers apart from upgraded graphics. Zen Studios have managed to dispel my reservations giving us the right mix of new and old content to warrant another release of the game. Buy it play it, and see you on the battlefield loser.