Defenders of Ekron Review

Defenders of Ekron is a mech based twin stick shooter that attempts to broaden the genre with a successful mixture of gameplay elements for a valiant first game developed by Chilean based In Vitro Games. Originally announced under the working title ‘Project Mega’ back in June 2014, Defenders of Ekron is now slated for a Q1 2017 release on the PS4, In Vitro Games have also recently announced the games submission for Steam’s Greenlight program which may see a future release on that platform.



Throughout Defenders of Ekron you play as main protagonist Eneas, a cadet pilot who, alongside his team, has to defend his country from civil war, whilst also delving into a deeper conspiracy that keeps the narrative ticking along. Certainly much effort has gone into creating a lore within Defenders of Ekron, and although the story is a typical by the numbers Sci-Fi plot of dystopian conspiracy, it’s certainly strong enough that you’ll follow along with it, but not enough to make it a memorable tale that you stay with you long past the credits.



Defenders of Ekron has an amazing visual tone that throughout the 10 hours I spent with it left me repeatedly impressed at the hand drawn backdrops and characters within the cutscenes. It makes you feel like the developers drew some amazing concept art for the game and decided to use them within the finished product.

Outside of cutscenes the visual style of Defenders of Ekron remains a consistently high standard, with slick mech animations, well fleshed out designs for enemies and a broad range of mission locations that each showcase the artistic talents this new studio has to offer.



Unfortunately, I found the sound design for Defenders of Ekron to be slightly lacklustre, with a forgettable soundtrack and some intrusive sound effects. The game doesn’t quite live up to the high standard set by its excellent visual style. This isn’t to say the game is totally offensive to the ears, not by a long shot, and I’m sure that they’ll be some who love the soundtrack but there was no moment where I felt the music matched the pace of the gameplay or the distinctive style of the visuals. The sound effect that has been used for the games ‘Analysis Mode’ was the only audio that has stuck with me and that’s only because I could have done without the bleeding ears when trying to scan unknown objects.



Defenders of Ekron offers a really solid gameplay experience, with slick and simple controls and a surprisingly broad range of gameplay styles. It doesn’t just throw endless hordes of enemies at you and then a boss fight or two in there for good measure. Some missions totally do throw enemies at you and give you a boss fight or two, but some involve really satisfying puzzle solving whereas others give a wide area for exploration.  It all gives the game great pacing and really breaks up what could have been another brain melting 10 hours of dodging, shielding and shooting.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, I found Defenders of Ekron really hard at times, with scarce to find health regeneration and an unforgiving barrage of enemies the game can send your way. It can sometimes become laborious, but mostly it presents you with a hard challenge and makes you put the work in to best it. Although all this may well be down to simple fact that I’m simply not good enough at it, but I can’t remember the last time I’d struggled so much on a twin stick shooter.


Defenders of Ekron is a really bold effort by In Vitro Games, the strong visual direction and well-crafted gameplay and level design showcases some real glimpses of talent from the indie development team. The really early difficulty spikes and sub-par sound design being the only thing holding this game back from being a real indie gem of 2017.

It does however leave me intrigued as to what In Vitro games have in the development pipeline for the future and personally I look forward to seeing them build upon what seems to be promising start from the team.

Defenders of Ekron Review
  • Story - 6/10
  • Graphics - 9/10
  • Sound - 5/10
  • Gameplay - 8/10
  • Promise of Certain Doom - 10/10
User Rating 0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Rob Beckett781 Posts

Volunteer writer, poor mans excuse for a grown up, and certified panther rider... I'm told I have far too many consoles that i'm convinced come to life and have endless series comedy capers when the house is empty. Sort of like Toy Story, but really poorly written and every character is voiced by Jai Courtney... a bit like that...


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