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Toy Soldiers War Chest Review

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If you’d asked me this time six months ago which series of games Ubisoft should concentrate on bringing to Xbox One, then chances are Toy Soldiers would have been pretty near the bottom of my wishlist.

Whilst the previous Toy Soldiers titles on Xbox 360 were fairly decent affairs, the tower defense genre isn’t exactly at the peak of its powers at the moment. In fact, I wouldn’t for one minute expect to see a plethora of titles encapsulating the art of defence going anywhere near the big current generation consoles in a hurry.

But Ubisoft and Signal Studios obviously think differently, feeling that there is a bit of a market for a title that would probably have been best off arriving three or four years ago.

And you know what? They were damn well spot on!

toy soldiers war chest review pic 4

Toy Soldiers War Chest is a delight. With the original title faring pretty well back on Xbox 360, and its Cold War sequel just about managing to put up a fight, I wasn’t expecting much from War Chest; but maybe it’s been the additions of some of my childhood favourites that has managed to help me get on so well with the latest onslaught.

A fast paced mix of strategic defence and some hardcore action gameplay, it’ll be up to you to deploy your troops in a correct enough manner in order to help save your Toy Box from destruction. In a change from the norm however, the Hall of Fame edition of War Chest enables all those characters from your childhood to spring into life. With the likes of G.I. Joe, Cobra and Ezio with his Brotherhood of Assassins all taking starring roles, the real hero in my eyes just has to be that of the most powerful man in the universe…He-Man. Not only does he get the very best units to deploy, but take control of the legion, killing enough enemy soldiers in the process and it won’t be long before you can go hands on with He-Man or Battlecat themselves in a third person view point.

Now, whilst it’s nice to see all these iconic figures from the past arriving in a modern day videogame, no matter how much I wish to believe they can, they wouldn’t be able to sell a game by themselves. They need decent gameplay, they need local multiplayer and they need a decent online offering.

Thankfully Toy Soldiers War Chest has all of the above and more.

toy soldiers war chest review pic 1

With 15 campaign levels and eight different Heroes and armies to get to grips with, the latest Toy Soldiers can never be accused of lacking in the content department. Each army contains numerous special units, all of which can be upgraded as you earn more medals and coins, with the leveling up procedure being extremely well thought out, tempting you in more with the inclusion of better, more powerful, weapons on the horizon every step of the way.

Much of the action takes place across two different forms of gameplay. The standard tower defence system that will be well known to many is in place, with numerous unit placements all at your disposal. How you use them is completely up to you and as long as you have the requisite cash amounts needed, you’ll find yourself placing artillery, infantry, armour and anti-aircraft units with ease. Leaving them to battle alone is then entirely possible, with the player just needing to upgrade their hitpoints, damage attacks and range enough to deal with the opposition. You can if required take control of any of the units yourself, ensuring that no matter how useless your army lemmings are, at least you’ll know that success or failure ultimately falls firmly in your own hands.

Going all in and completely hands on also has other advantages, namely the chance to earn enough experience points to send your teams leader into battle. And taking control of Ezio, G.I. Joe or He-Man is not only an absolute delight but at times a complete and utter game changer. Just when you think your Toy Box can stand no more, a brief sortie with the leader, clearing out the last few remnants of the opposition army can ensure that you get to move safely on to the next fight, taking the most valuable medals and decorations with you.

toy soldiers war chest review pic 2

Decide to go it alone and wage war as a single player and you’ll find a decent campaign amid some highly stressful moments. You can however take your army online, taking part in the full campaign via online co-op, teaming up with a friend in a 2v2 battle, going heads up with a stranger or partaking in a little sofa time with a loved one – shooting the hell out of them with your Hero never gets old. Considerably easier when playing with a friend, it’s a great way of being able to check out each armies contingent without having to spend the cash to unlock them. As long as you are both chatting away on mic, then the strategic side of a two player battle works wonderfully well, whilst your attacking prowess as well as your defensive capabilities get a workout in the head-to-head matches.

And even when the campaign is over, the decision to include a Weekly War is a good one. Bringing five new missions each and every week, compete in and master the battlefield put in front of you and rewards a plenty will be yours, enabling you to upgrade your units to an even larger degree.

There are a few downsides to War Chest however, but nothing that is a real game killer. Firstly it can at times get confusing as to where your battle partner is deciding to spend their time, especially when playing with a partner online. It would be nice to have a clearer view of exactly what is and what isn’t going on on the battlefield, with it becoming particularly difficult to get an understanding when you are controlling your Hero direct. It works fine as long as the co-op partner is micced up and happy to chat, but if you manage to find someone online who decides to spend some time as a mute, things can be a bit of a struggle. Game loading times are also extremely long with the occasional 30 second freeze taking hold in the menus. Thankfully though none of this seems to affect the actual gameplay which is sharp and fast with well detailed visuals and sound effects which recreate the very best bedroom wars brilliantly.

Additionally, the inclusion of microtransactions is a bit of a shame. Coming in the form of ‘packs’, much like those found in Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare, if you haven’t earned enough coins in order to buy the next big unit upgrade then you may just be tempted in with real cash. Whilst they aren’t needed in order to wage war against even the very best generals, just the sheer mention of them is enough to scare away many gamers. Thankfully you shouldn’t find them playing too big a role in the online matchups that you’ll participate in, but the sooner they disappear, the better!

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Toy Soldiers War Chest is, by its very nature, repetitive. But never so much so that you wouldn’t want to spend many an hour with He-Man, Ezio, G.I. Joe or indeed the basic pack Heroes. The standard characters may lack the huge charm of the big names, and you may struggle to find too many strangers available to battle against online, but if you have any friends with the game, or are able to entice a family member to spend some sofa time together, then you’ll find a solid, fun experience that gets better the more you play it. Even more so if you purchase the Hall of Fame Edition.

You thought the defence genre was dead? Far from it!

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Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.

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Joseph Zambri
Joseph Zambri
8 years ago

This game looks good

Michael Green
Michael Green
8 years ago

Got the first Toy Soldiers and absolutely love it. Kids think it’s great too

Michael Chidley
Michael Chidley
8 years ago

This game looks awesome

stugtina
stugtina
8 years ago

Looks to be a cracking game, I think me and my son may have huge fun battling out on this one

Erica Price
Erica Price
8 years ago

Good to see a great new arcade game coming out.

William O'Hryn-Miles
William O'Hryn-Miles
8 years ago

I played a little of the Toy Soldiers games a while back, would be fun to get back into the action with this new Toy Soldiers game.

Lucky Dan
Lucky Dan
8 years ago

This game looks awesome

Steven
Steven
8 years ago

The Toy Soldiers games are really fun. I would really like to play this.

Justin Plunton
Justin Plunton
8 years ago

looks a great fun game, not had opportunity to play yet though.

Eric Kromenaker
Eric Kromenaker
8 years ago

Would love to win this but good luck to everyone.

June Etherington
June Etherington
8 years ago

Looks amazing. My son in law & his friends would love it with especially with the ‘Weekly War’ that’s mentioned. If I won it I would be the bst mother in law in the world. haha

Pamela Savage
Pamela Savage
8 years ago

sounds great. I love this kind of game

Theresa Thomas
Theresa Thomas
8 years ago

Sounds cool. It is getting harder and harder to find suitable game for younger boys. Might have to give it a try.

Virtuous Lumox
Virtuous Lumox
8 years ago

I loved the previous Toy Soldiers games. I even bought the kinda crap mini-game collection that was TS: Boot Camp on Windows Phone just to support the franchise. I cannot wait to play this one. The addition of licensed toys I owned as a child, blind boxes for upgrades/skins, and weekly wars for bonus boxes all make this so much better, but with the same gameplay I know and love. NEED THIS!

Adric Morrison
Adric Morrison
8 years ago

Sounds cool. Might have to give it a try.

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago

Nice review. I played a little of Toy Soldiers on my Xbox 360 and thought it was pretty fun. This “Weekly War” you mentioned looks like it will keep us playing for a while.

A Little Chunky
A Little Chunky
8 years ago

Looks like it has a lot more content than the previous games. Would be awesome to play this and try all of those new heroes..

A Little Chunky
A Little Chunky
8 years ago

Looks like it has a lot more content than the previous games. Would be awesome to play this and try all of those new heroes.

Warren Jacobs
Warren Jacobs
8 years ago

nostalgic – sounds fun

Nick W
8 years ago

Looks like an awesome game.

cheryl
cheryl
8 years ago

sounds like something my son would love !! thanks for a great review.

Michelle Banks
Michelle Banks
8 years ago

looks good x

rann
rann
8 years ago

Can’t wait to play it.

ShihTzuOnYou
ShihTzuOnYou
8 years ago

I actually bought both Toy Soldiers games on 360 while on sale, but never got around to playing them! I’m glad you guys found War Chest fun. Maybe I’ll finally experience some Toy Soldiers for myself, and then I’ll get around to trying the other two games since they’re announced for backward compatibility.

Shawn Sigurdson
Shawn Sigurdson
8 years ago

Toy Soldiers and Toy Soldiers: Cold War were among my favorite arcade games on the Xbox 360. I even bought the DLCs for both because I enjoyed it so much. I thought the introduction of co-op was pretty cool in Cold War, I’m excited to see it back again. I’m also pumped for that He-Man hero. 🙂

Mark Ballantyne
Mark Ballantyne
8 years ago

Looks really good as a 80s kid he-men would bring back some memories

João Xabregas
João Xabregas
8 years ago

awesome review 🙂
i’ve the previews titles of Toy Soldiers and had a great time playing them, this is a must get game. the fact we can know choose between 8 heroes it’s pretty cool

Daniel
Daniel
8 years ago

I really enjoyed the first two Toy Soldiers games and Signal Studios has done it again with this new entry. I love that there are now 8 different heroes you can play and 15 campaign levels. “This one’s for Jimmy!”

J Birks
8 years ago

Great fun in co-op, it’s clear that Ezio is nothing compared to He-Man!

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8 years ago

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