Sanctum 2: The Pursuit DLC ReviewNovember 11, 2013
I was excited to learn that Sanctum 2 had come out with new DLC – I had loads of fun playing the original campaign, and have been eagerly anticipating new quests in the saga to exterminate the Lumes! The most recent content pack is titled The Pursuit.
The goal of Sanctum 2 is to build towers, add weaponry, and survive hordes of enemies. These enemies spawn from various points on the map, denoted by red triangles. With each wave, a set amount of specific enemy types, known as Lumes, pour from the triangles, and attempt to destroy your core. If the Lumes make it past your defenses, and manage to destroy your core, it’s game over.
The Pursuit is the third DLC for Sanctum 2, and continues the story of the Titan. If you haven’t played, stop reading, ’cause I’m about to spoil things. Okay, so when the original game concluded, our four heroes were left with the knowledge that the Titan, a massive Lume, was about to stomp out life on the planet. I mean, this thing is gigantic. You’re hardly the size of an ant, next to its feet. I was really looking forward to fighting it!
Thus far, the first Sanctum 2 DLC, titled Road to Elysion, saw the entrance of a new character named Tsygan. Tsygan is a mercenary with dark hair who shares a past with Haigen, and battles the alien horde with a cross bow. Then, there was the second DLC, the Ruins of Brightholme. In Sanctum 2: The Pursuit, Skye, her little sister, Sweet, Haigan, Tsygan, and the robot, SiMO, are hot on the trail of the Titan – hoping to destroy it once and for all, before it decimates the planet. This time around, they are venturing deep into the heart of Lume country, inevitably leading to a showdown with the Titan!
Sanctum 2: The Pursuit takes place in the Outskirts. There are four levels to defeat: Dam, Field, Bog, and Last Chance. While the first DLC, Road to Elysion, relied heavily on overpowered enemies, Sanctum 2: The Pursuit hopes to overwhelm with the sheer size and number of the force it sends against you.
The Dam is your first round with the new menace. It’s a large, industrial, mechanized facility, with a lot of open space for combat and tower building. Our heroes are chasing after the Titan, and plan to wipe out anything in their way. This is a huge map! Enemies will come at you from above, and below. You begin with a small maze, already created when you begin the level. I dismantled these towers, and used them to create a gun cluster, closer to my core.
This is your first introduction to the new enemies: Heavy Pup, and Bliskeblaske. The Heavy Pups are smaller versions of the heavily armored, cockroach looking monstrosities from the very first game. However, unlike their slow moving kin, the Pups are faster, and they appear in hordes, rather than simple two, or threes. Bliskeblaske look like insect helicopters, and often times float past your defenses undetected.
There are ten waves to dispatch, in order to move forward. During the final wave, you’ll need to deal with not one, but two bosses at the same time! Two Super Heavy creatures appear from both sides. Super Heavies, the boss level equivalent of the Pups and normal Armored Heavies, have the ability to shoot a devastating beam, that can destroy everything in its path. I found it best to lure them away, since they pause for a brief moment before charging, and sending off their murderous blast.
The story continues in the FIELD, and you learn that the military is taking over, there’s mass panic, and there may be help coming from Elysion One. As the name implies, your battleground is on an enormous field, which is a lot larger than the Dam. Lumes spawn from the furthest right corner. During the ten brutal waves, there is a ridiculous amount of enemies. Every wave pours an almost endless onslaught against you, utilizing every Lume you’ve ever battled against.
This time around, once the final wave hits, you’ll be facing off against two Hover Queens. Hovers are tentacle, armored, jelly fish type Lumes that float through the air, and let off a sonic wave when you come too close. Hover Queens have an insane amount of HP, and taking them down, especially as a duo, is difficult. I recommend a few level 2 towers, or even level 3, if you plan to survive this final encounter.
In the BOG, Tsygan hacks into a computer, and brings up video recordings of a foundation meeting, where there appears to be some sort of power struggle. Here, your core is set smack dab in the middle of a marsh, and the enemies will flow out of four different locations from the north, south, east, and west. Your core is utterly surrounded, and there isn’t that much space to build towers. It’s like a small island, and you’ll need to get creative in order to build a maze worthy of surviving.
There are also a few empty spaces where towers already exist. Four towers, all Mind Control Spires, are already set up, at the beginning of the stage. You can either leave them to cause confusion to the Lumes, or take them down, and use their recycled energy to create brand new tower bases. The boss here is only a single Walker Patriarch – I was afraid there were going to be two. With so little room, its smash attack can rip through all of your defenses in only a few moves. Taking it out before it does this is pivotal for victory, since Lumes will crowd relentlessly through the gaps.
LAST CHANCE is the final showdown with the Titan! This is it. There’s barely an introduction here, just Skye and Sweet running into battle, hoping help is on the way. This is a seriously difficult battle. The core is susceptible from the left and the right, where two looping hallways lead up to a platform. The hallways cannot have towers built within them, so relying on towers that have a long range attack is best if anything ever gets through to the core.
The Lumes will spawn from two different points on the field. Every enemy will emerge in droves, packed into the narrow mazes created by the towers, in ten overwhelming waves. In the end, you need to deal with three Super Heavies. Three. This is not an easy task, and you’ll need to create a winding maze, long enough to whittle them down, and allow your towers to finish them off, while Lumes flood the battlefield. I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard. I died several times, before building a maze and setting the right turret combination to defeat the three Super Heavies.
Once the battle is done, you watch a cut scene unfold of Tsygan and her massive laser gun. I won’t give away too much, but I will say that the battle with the Titan is out of your hands. Again. You never get the chance to face off against it. Ever. Which is extremely disappointing, considering it’s the main baddie we’ve been chasing since the end of the first campaign in Sanctum 2! For three DLCs now, it has been the major focus, and the primary adversary that our heroes are trying to stop. And in the end, there is no battle, no epic clash. Just a cut scene?
Sanctum 2: The Pursuit is a great DLC with an anti-climactic ending. It is fun, and challenging, but I didn’t find it nearly as difficult as Road to Elysion. That’s a good thing, because Road to Elysion was really cheap, with Lumes that had + signs after their names, and an almost inexhaustible amount of HP! Whereas The Pursuit was a very satisfying experience that kept me on my toes, and despite lacking a final battle with the Titan, was still very enjoyable. After the events of The Pursuit, I’m interested to see the direction the final DLC takes the story in. The fourth and final Sanctum 2 DLC will be coming out soon.