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Sanctum 2 Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed
  • X360

Sanctum 2 takes the enjoyable tower-defense-meets-first-person-shooting style of its predecessor and expands upon it with new weapons, towers, levels, and more.

Against an army of alien invaders, the trusty turret has always got your back. Like its predecessor, Sanctum 2 is an enjoyable blend of first-person shooting and tower-defense-style strategy. Instead of watching passively as your towers do all the dirty work, you get to dive into the action and sow carnage alongside them. Both games execute this concept well, but Sanctum 2 has far more content than its small-scale predecessor. This is the fully featured, fully realized game this series needed, and offers lots to enjoy whether you're a strategy fan first and shooter fan second, or vice versa.

Though Sanctum 2 arms you with an array of destructive turrets, you're still the star of the show. Four characters are available at the start of each level; each is equipped with a distinctive weapon--such as an assault rifle or a shotgun--and enough firepower to be a tide-turning force in battle. Enemies attack in waves, and between each wave you are awarded funds to build new turrets and hazard-filled mazes for your enemies to navigate.

When fighting back an enemy wave, you must alternate between thinning nimble hordes of lesser foes and felling slower, heavily armored targets. The tempo is kept at a fast pace as you race up and down the arena checking (and rechecking) how close enemies are to the core, the turrets in their path, and how many shots it'll take to finish the job. You're constantly oscillating between mowing down grunts with reckless destruction and taking carefully aimed shots at the weak spots of larger foes.

On top of juggling different enemy types, you must juggle your selected character's weapons. Weapons overheat after a certain number of shots and take about five seconds to cool down. During those five seconds, you can swap to your secondary weapon and continue the assault. Some weapons are also more effective against specific enemy types, so by timing your cooldowns right, you can alternate weapons at the same time you alternate targets.

Boss enemies take a lot of punishment, and can destroy your turrets.

Towers are your support system. They pick off stragglers who survive your barrage and can be tailored to tackle enemy types you're not equipped to handle. However, during each match, you have only a finite amount of currency, which can be spent on buying new turrets or upgrading old ones. Finding the right mix of both is an interesting challenge that must compliment your personal armaments, enemy types, and map layout. When you finally hit that sweet spot, it's very rewarding as you dispatch enemies with ease.

Perks are another addition to your arsenal, and grant your character new abilities. Some make your shots damage multiple enemies, while others increase the firepower of turrets you stand near. Choosing the right perks can make your character either a well-rounded or a hyper-specialized fighter. Together with the numerous turrets and weapons, there's satisfying variety in how you can tackle each challenge.

And Sanctum 2 has a lot of variety. While the original game nailed its tower-defense-meets-fist-person-shooting design, its three levels and two game modes left you wanting more. Sanctum 2 has four sets of levels, and you can attempt each of these levels using up to five difficulty modifiers or play through them in an endless survival mode. These options are great for extending the game's longevity. On the flip side, if you're having trouble, you can invite up to three friends to join you online, or knock it down into easy mode to help even the odds.

You can customize your character to fit your play style.

With a smart blend of action and strategy, Sanctum 2 successfully combines two disparate genres into one cohesive--and enjoyable--whole. Whether you're a fan of its predecessor or are new to the series, there's a lot to enjoy in this genre-bending hybrid. Every element from the original game has been expanded upon, creating a lengthy adventure that continues to feel fresh even after multiple completions.

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The Good
Unique and balanced mix of tower defense and first-person shooting
Large arsenal and difficulty modifiers encourage replay
Tackle each challenge with up to three friends online.
The Bad
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Sanctum 2

Now this is the tower defense GOW3 should've included in their multiplayer.  Shame on you EPIC!  KUDOS for coffee stain.


Great game, been playing it a ton since I got it on PC. This and Rising Storm are very cheap in price and they offer ALOT imo. Been hooked on them both the last two weeks. Both are alot better than most 50-60 dollar games, while this is very cheap price.


well it's good game the graphics are appealing and it's really fun to play.

the BADs in my opinion are:
1st: gun play has a bit of problems.weapons aren't accurate as you expect em to be they shoot a bit off center and also the reload time is so annoying.cuz instead of just simply reloading,you have to wait until the gun heats down.but what developers want you to do is empty the 1st gun,change to your 2nd one empty that as well,then switch back to your 1st will see it has been reloaded automatically.what annoys me is that you are constantly switching guns which i found it to be annoying specially when you are playing as an sniper.maybe you would like it.but i prefer a simple ammo and reload system rather having infinite ammo with a 5 to 6 second reload time.(cuz i don't like it,it doesn't mean it's bad)

2nd leveling up takes longer than what i expected..i've finished the game 2 time with all the bonus XP's on and i still haven't reached the top level.there are still locked perks as i'm level 15 right now.i don't know what's the cap but i don't progress much even on hardest difficulties + bonus XP's turned on.

3rd there are some miner bugs like when you walk around on branches,you might end up being stock and having to suicide!which i think is a minor complain cuz they would fix those.same as some AI problems,some times they get confused and lose their way and end up standing in one place looking at walls...

other than these nothing else...


Can anyone help me???

I am trying to watch TV, yet it is so awkward! If only there was a better way?


 I am making this game I would like some positive feedback so it can make me feel confident in my game to expand it more and learn more. All of the stuff you see on this video was stuff I learn in an estimated time of 3 months. I hope you guys check it out , like it and comment it. I really wanna know peoples opinions. This video has glitches and errors but thats because im still learning. If a lot of people like it, I will expand the city in the game weekly. THANK YOU.


Time to be "that guy":
[quote]Finding the right mix of both is an interesting challenge that must compliment your personal armaments[/quote]

The correct word is "complement", as in "to complete".  This article currently uses "compliment", as in "to say nice things about".

Of course, that might be your intent!


Enjoy the game you 'own' until your xbox360 dies.


Hm? I've never seen or played the original game but this looks interesting.


There is no BAD in this review? Seen the GOOD where's the BAD?


Heavily enjoyed Sanctum; was a very pleasant surprise to happen upon. Will definitely look into getting the sequel some time down the road.

Sanctum 2 More Info

  • First Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 3 more
    • PS3
    • Unix/Linux
    • Xbox 360
    Sanctum 2 is a first person shooter tower defense game where players assume the role of one of four elite soldiers, each with their own unique abilities and weapons whose mission is to protect the Cores from hordes of mysterious alien creatures on the human colony planet, LOEK III.
    Average Rating103 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Sanctum 2
    Developed by:
    Coffee Stain Studios
    Published by:
    Coffee Stain Studios, 5pb, Reverb
    Team-Based, Shooter, First-Person, Action, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    All Platforms
    Blood, Language, Violence