Defender Reviews (PlayStation 2)

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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

An amazing advance on the classic Atari game. Dark Lord (46) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Critic Reviews

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PGNx Media (Nov 05, 2002)
There are a few publishers in the current gaming industry whose titles go almost as far back as videogames go. Konami has Frogger. Namco has Pac-Man and Galaga. Activision has its famous Pitfall. Then we move onto Midway. Midway’s list of classic games is very extensive and they are pulling some of those for 3d updates. We saw Midway bring back its famous Spy Hunter franchise back last year and this year they are bringing back Defender.
GameZone (Nov 10, 2002)
Following hot on the heels of its successful remake of Spy Hunter, Midway is now releasing Defender, a remake of the highly addictive shooter from the early 80’s. The basic formula has been retained, but the game features improved 3D graphics, a techno soundtrack, and several tweaks in the gameplay. While not very deep, Defender is an action packed game that any shooter fan should enjoy.
GamePro (US) (Nov 11, 2002)
At its core Defender remains faithful to the original coin-op classic: You fight off alien vessels while frantically trying to rescue colonists before they are whisked away and transformed into powerful mutant ships. In this reinvention, however, much more depth has been added to the gameplay formula. Now when you rescue colonists, you drop them off at factories where they'll build artillery like tanks and surface-to-air missile launchers, which can then be scooped up and dropped in strategic areas to help fend off encroaching invaders. The action is fast and the enemies furious, while a steadily increasing difficulty will keep your fingers taxed to their limits.
IGN (Oct 22, 2002)
The original Defender is one of those games that practically every old-school gamer has played, and the mention of its name usually brings a grin to their faces as a bit of reminiscing starts running through their head. The original game is a classic, and the new version aims to stay true to its predecessor more than completely revamping it.
74 (Apr 10, 2003)
Im Prinzip ist es den Entwicklern erstaunlich gut gelungen, Defender in die dritte Dimension zu portieren ohne das einzigartige Gameplay zu sehr zu verfälschen. Natürlich gibt es viele neue Features, aber diese stellen in der Regel sogar eine willkommen Abwechslung zum ständigen Insektenabschießen und Kolonistenretten dar. Das Erspielen neuer Gleiter und Upgrades motiviert jedenfalls mehr als eine reine Highscore-Jagd. Auf der anderen Seite ist das Ganze aber auch weitaus unübersichtlicher als damals. Die ständige Hektik und der fordernde Schwierigkeitsgrad waren zwar auch vor 22 Jahren schon ein Markenzeichen von Defender, aber Orientierungsprobleme gab es damals nicht. Ansonsten ist die technische Umsetzung grundsolide und die Steuerung geht leicht von der Hand. Auf die Stimmung drücken allerdings unverschämte Ladezeiten und eine Lokalisierung, die so mies ist, dass sie fast schon wieder kultig ist...
Game Chronicles (Nov 25, 2002)
Retro games have almost become their own genre. With high-tech remakes of classics like Asteroids, Space Invaders, Centipede, Frogger, and others there is an increasing selection of titles to put a fond smile on the thirty-something gamer’s face. Last year Midway released a 21st-century version of SpyHunter that put retro gaming on the proverbial map, and now they’ve done it again with the 80’s classic, Defender.
GameSpot (Oct 31, 2002)
When it comes to releasing remakes of classic games, Midway, having one of the richest arcade histories in the entire business, is one of the best-equipped companies. Midway successfully delved into its back catalog last year with an update to its popular arcade game Spy Hunter. Now, one of the company's most famous properties, Defender, is getting an update of its own. The original was a feverish side-scrolling shooter in which the player needed to defend earthlings against a relentless alien invasion. The remake has many of the same themes and elements as the original, but it now plays from a behind-the-ship perspective and has a much heavier emphasis on scripted missions. And while it isn't quite as successful as Spy Hunter at re-creating the feel of the old game, Defender still puts on a decent show.
Gaming Target (Dec 10, 2002)
Before R-Type, there was Defender. Before Gradius, there was Defender. Defender is the granddaddy of them all. The first side scrolling space shooter has been updated for the next generation systems. The question is, is this just another remake that uses a classic title and nothing else? Or is Defender an honest to god updating of a true video game classic? The answer is that it's somewhere in between those two extremes somewhere in between the beginning and the end of this review.
60 (UK) (Dec 05, 2002)
Defender is a fair stab at the aerial combat genre, but in the context of the super-successful original, this update has only a fleeting amount in common with its hardcore original, and certainly will have none of the impact. After some of the incredibly diverse and engaging games we've played recently, Defender feels fairly old-skool and limp in comparison. It's doesn't have the adrenaline fuelled action of the original, nor any neat new ideas to make it feel like a progression. Defender is merely a few borrowed ideas cobbled together and repackaged in new, but not especially sexy clothes. It's the Marks & Spencer of shooters; it's good quality, reliable, but entirely lacking innovation and just not very exciting.
55 (Apr 09, 2003)
Un titre qui aura malheureusement bien du mal à se démarquer comme avait su le faire son ancêtre. Defender, reste un jeu de tir banal, comme on en a vu si souvent et qui tente de remonter sur un podium dont les autres l'ont depuis longtemps éjecté...