Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
Buy On
  1. Game Informer
    It feels more like a next-generation "Colony Wars" than Defender. This, of course, is the highest of compliments. [Feb 2003, p.105]
  2. Official Xbox Magazine
    May have some flaws, but the controls feel so good it's hard to put the game down. [Jan 2003, p.92]
  3. netjak
    I love the game and in the same breath hate it. One minute I want to cuddle up with the gamedisk on my pillow, and the next minute want to take it to practice skeet.
  4. After spending a lot of time with Defender I have decided that I would have more fun playing the 1980’s original than spend 50 bucks on this.
  5. 71
    Those who've played the original Defender are those that will appreciate this game the most, though it's a decent game on its own merit.
  6. It’s very strong on concept and not so strong on the actual gameplay.
  7. The graphics also suffer from the ever plaguing problem of graphical slowdown which occurs at almost every turn.
  8. 70
    With numerous incentives to play, it's a shame that the game isn't more visually appealing. It's not a bad looking game by any means, just rather unremarkable.
  9. Cheat Code Central
    It's a nice trip around the galaxy but it won't see hard time on your machine after you finish it.
  10. 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.
  11. With great gameplay, varied missions and solid controls, Defender is another Midway classic tuned for a new generation of gamers.
  12. As the long-awaited remake to a 2D classic, Defender had so much (perhaps too much) to live up to.
  13. A lot of fun and should not disappoint gamers who do not know the heritage of the title, but if you are looking for the pure thrills of the original Defender, then you may be left slightly wanting.
  14. Play Magazine
    The action is always set on high and the immediacy of the appeal lends itself to strong replay. [Dec 2002, p.86]
  15. Xbox Nation Magazine
    What ultimately lands Defender in the "utterly forgettable" pile are its bland graphics, twitchy controls, and various technical problems. [Winter 2002, p.104]

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