Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. The revamped gameplay manages to stay fresh, but is still able to keep that special something that made the original game so engrossing.
  2. About the only downside to Defender is the games overall length…it is rather short and can probably be finished in one or two sittings by veteran players.
  3. Solid campaign modes, gameplay variety, and visuals make this a must-buy. [Dec 2002, p.42]
  4. While not very deep, Defender is an action packed game that any shooter fan should enjoy.
  5. Like "Spy Hunter" before it Defender is a remarkable update that both satisfies old and new gamers alike with its flash graphics and basic old-skool blasting.
  6. Fans of Defender will definitely enjoy this game, but the longevity may disappoint many if you were looking for a long experience.
  7. The game controls nice and tight—a necessary element for successful fast action. Every button on the Dual Shock 2 is used, but it’s an extremely comfortable and intuitive layout.
  8. 80
    Slick controls make piloting your craft as natural as breathing, and performing barrel rolls, loops and toggling through your weapon inventories become pure reflex.
  9. 80
    It's a real treat to see footage of the original arcade Defender and listen to the thoughts of the man behind it and of the folks responsible for the new one.
  10. Defender's real strength comes through in its willingness to be a shooter in a market full of mediocre hybrids. [Nov 2002, p.126]
  11. If you are a fan, you won't be disappointed, though we should note that the game doesn't last very long, and gives you little incentive to return after finishing.
  12. 75
    It's pretty short, but it's also a fast, mostly mindless shooter, with a hint of some RTS elements thrown in, just to mix things up.
  13. A decently solid shooter that's good for a few hours fun. Shame they couldn't include the original as a bonus, though. [GamesMaster]
  14. Though not as polished or fun as “Spy Hunter,” Defender”will entertain middle-aged men/women that grew-up with the original coin-op as much as younger gamers open-minded enough to give this 3D remake a shot.
  15. Defender can be a fun game ... while it lasts.
  16. It doesn't really share too much with the original arcade title.
  17. Manages to satisfy any modern gamer out for some good 'ol alien blasting in futuristic spaceships. [Nov 2002, p.184]
  18. Perhaps if they would have included the original game and just enhanced the graphics, this would have helped the game and added to what it was missing.
  19. It doesn't really go too far out of its way to distinguish itself.
  20. With great gameplay, varied missions and solid controls, Defender is another Midway classic tuned for a new generation of gamers.
  21. 67
    It's nothing entirely new, but you'll have a good time doing it. [Nov 2002, p.75]
  22. Intelligently blends the three gameplay styles together in a way that works. [Dec 2002, p.202]
  23. It’s doesn’t have the adrenaline fuelled action of the original, nor any neat new ideas to make it feel like a progression.
  24. The action is always set on high and the immediacy of the appeal lends itself to strong replay. [Dec 2002, p.86]
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. LarryK.
    Dec 31, 2002
    9
    Actually kind of hard...I'm still stuck on the first levels!
  2. MitchellC.
    Dec 7, 2002
    7
    Luis is an idiot. This game is most definately not a 10 out of 10. Jedi Starfighter is better in playability and the controls for rolling and Luis is an idiot. This game is most definately not a 10 out of 10. Jedi Starfighter is better in playability and the controls for rolling and maneuvering are better. Does he work for Midway or something? Full Review »
  3. LuisA.
    Oct 28, 2002
    10
    I think that this game should be in the top ten in the US because it's the best space game aside from Staarlancer (created by dreamcast).