Co-op has changed a bit between Sanctum and Sanctum 2, most notably in how resource division is managed. After each wave, resources are placed near the core in the form of two floating items representing tower cores and currency. Whoever grabs those items gets the resources all to themselves, everyone else is out of luck. It's a baffling gameplay decision, and it takes quite a bit of wind out of the teamwork feeling co-op mode should foster. Compounding the problem is the fact that any player can recycle placed towers and move them elsewhere, which can lead to some serious tension and even griefing, depending on how cooperative the other players are.
The time we spent with Sanctum 2 was mixed. It's a very different game from the original, and fans of one won't necessarily be converts to the other. Sanctum had stronger teamwork elements and many more layers of strategy in tower placement and resource management. The action elements in Sanctum 2 easily overshadow the tower defense portion, making the experience not-so-optimal for less experienced FPS players. While co-op alien blasting is always fun, fighting for resources feels like an unnecessary burden on the team.
Sanctum 2 releases May 15 on PC and Xbox Live Arcade. The PlayStation Network version should hit this summer. All versions support online co-op for as many as four players.
Contributors: John Bardinelli and Marc Allie