E3 2011: Toy Soldiers Cold War Preview Hands-On

More than just toys, this tower defense playground is where children go to die and real men are born.


Toy Soldiers Cold War is the latest installment in the franchise from developer Signal Studios. In our demo, we jumped into an ongoing match in progress and teamed up with a partner to defend American territory from Soviet forces. The battle took place in a lush tropical jungle filled with about seven mounds to place down turrets and a patch for a respawning helicopter. We had only a few choice seconds to set up guns and defend our toy box before the tower defense began.

The Soviet enemy sent out many different unit types, such as infantry squads, helicopters, and armored tanks. To combat these enemies, we could build machine-gun nests, antitank cannons, antiair guns, and powerful mortars. Each weapon had distinct advantages that made it well suited against each enemy type. The rapid fire of a machine gun was excellent for taking down enemy soldiers, but it lacked the fire power to combat vehicles. Likewise the strong antitank gun could not be pointed high enough to combat high-flying choppers. Each tower itself could be further upgraded to boost its life meter or offense power.

The single friendly helicopter on the east of the map could be used to lay down a hail of bullets or launch deadly missiles. To compensate for its immense power, the helicopter ran on a small battery supply. After depleting this bar, the whirlybird would crash back down to the earth and require tens of seconds to be rebuilt. Additional special units included those gained from kill streaks. After blasting enough Reds, we were rewarded with the commando: a blatant homage to Rocky Tango himself, Sylvester Stallone. We controlled our John Spartan from a third-person over-the-shoulder view and showed them that we were the law with a high-powered bazooka.

After about 20 solid and intense rounds, our toy box still stood strong against the communist threat. The game also includes many minigames, two-player versus, and a single-player campaign, but unfortunately, the build was malfunctioning during our coverage. We will be sure to have updated coverage in the future.

Toy Soldiers Cold War is an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive that will be released in the summer of 2011



The first game was fantastic. I loved the WWI style play, it fit the game play well. I wonder how more modern armies will be with it though.