Anomaly 2 is the newest edition in the Anomaly series staking a foot in the tower defense genre. Its last and first known entry was Anomaly: Warzone Edition released just two years ago from 11 bit studios. They continue their efforts to provide us with a better experience in Anomaly 2 with more upgrades, new modes and story as well. It’s a different kind of tower defense game than you’d normally see on the market today but it’s an interesting game that should hold your interest as you play through the single player campaign. I do have a confession to make however: I have not played the first game in this series, Anomaly: Warzone Earth. Therefore I will be judging this game on its own merits instead of comparing it to its previous original release.
Anomaly 2 is what they call a real time strategy defense game that takes what makes tower defense and utilizes it in a different fashion. You’ll control a soldier and a convoy of vehicles that travel a pre-determined path. You have the power to change that path as you delve deeper into the campaign but in the beginning you are guided through the level as you defeat the alien race that is invading and keeping you from your objective. The different vehicles you get to control determine how your progress will be made through the game. It’s up to you to upgrade your units and purchase new ones in order to tackle the current objective that’s handed to you. There is plenty of action as the game provides a challenge making you think of which unit to use at any given mission.
The world map is what you use to navigate across each mission that you move forward through. The overall design of the game is pretty simple to follow and doesn’t do anything too intrusive to interrupt your experience. The game has a pretty decently long tutorial and training area, but it is intertwined with the main story of the game so you’ll be able to jump right in the game once you are given your first real mission to take on. There is a lot to take and you make complete use of your keys and mouse controls. Using the mouse allows you to control your mech units, whether you want to upgrade them or purchase new ones.
The game’s story feels like it’s there but you never completely get a sense of character development, especially if you haven’t played the first game. While I did understand there was a previous element to the story that was introduced in the first game, this second entry made it difficult to follow along being a newcomer to the series. The story is presented to you with pictures of characters; whether during cut scenes (which are pretty much glorified story boards) or as you see them on the ground in the over-head camera view. There is a pretty well written script, but it doesn’t feel like you’re gaining any sort of value or empathy for the characters involved. There is a narrator here that provides you with an overview of the mission you are about to undertake or a brief tutorial of the new mech or weapon or skill you have acquired during your missions.
For what the game lacks in storytelling and writing it makes up for in the visuals. The game looks great and provides very intricate and unique detail to every mission level as you progress through the game. It’s nice to see this level of effort to be able to make it run smoothly (at least as advertised) on an Alienware platform. You’ll be fighting through the Antarctic to the jungles and even encounter many urban warfare battles in various cities as well. The level of detail shown in the aliens themselves are quite interesting and lends itself to the overarching story that is being told making it that much more believable. While you don’t get to see any of the main characters up close the character designs and mech designs all seem to be in top shape as you experience what the game has to offer. I won’t say the voice overs starting from the narrator all the way up to the in game character voices are the best by any means, but it gets the job done as far as you being invested in the game. Unfortunately, that aspect of the game isn’t memorable, however, and it doesn’t capture your imagination and bring you along for the ride. But, for what it is, Anomaly 2 does provide a grand scale to work with for a tower defense game. You won’t be disappointed with a 15 dollar price tag, so feel free to dive right in if you are given the chance, it certainly is a time killer when it all boils down to it.
Overall, Anomaly 2 doesn’t break any boundaries or shatter worlds, but for what it is, Anomaly 2 provides decent entertainment if you are looking for something to pass the time or warm up for your gaming night. Anomaly 2 has its creative style and with the nice production values in this game you’ll definitely have something easy on the eyes. Be sure to give Anomaly 2 a try if you are a looking for a PC game that won’t hurt your budget.
(Reviewed on PC. Review code supplied on behalf of 11 Bit Studios)
ONLY SINGLE PLAYER SCORE
Story – 6/10
Gameplay/Design – 7.5/10
Visuals – 8.5/10
Sound – 7/10
Lasting Appeal – 7/10
Overall – 7.5/10
(Not an average)
Platforms: PC, Mac
Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
Ratings: T (ESRB), 12+ (PEGI)