May 15, 2013

Anomaly 2 Review

Lasting First Impressions


n any typical tower defense game, players are tasked with strategically placing defensive towers along a set path in an effort to stop the enemies from reaching their destinations. Some games have even taken that concept to another level by adding a first person perspective to the genre, putting players directly into the action.  What if the tides were turned? What if we were those pesky nuisances trying to reach our destination amid streets full of defensive towers and an onslaught of firepower?  That was the concept behind 11 Bit Studios‘ 2011 critically acclaimed title Anomaly Warzone Earth.  Now this same concept continues with several upgrades in Anomaly 2, an intriguing and simply fun T0wer Offence game.

Following the invasion of Earth in 2018, Anomaly 2 find humankind on the brink of extinction.  With the earth overrun by alien machines, a band of human resistance fighters form convoys to search the frozen tundra for food and supplies.  Except now they must fight the through the towers and enemy defences before reaching their goal.

Anomaly 2 is divided in to a series of increasingly difficult maps just like any other tower defence game. Players control a single on-field commander in charge of supporting the convoy as they travel from one end of the map to another while attempting to take down all the enemy towers.  The commander can drop down repair zones that heal the convoy as they pass through the zone, or even create a decoy zone that will draw the fire of the enemies away from the convoy.  As the game progresses, more commander abilities will be obtained, giving more assistance to the convoy.  In a wonderful new addition to the Anomaly series, not only do each of the convoy vehicles have distinctly different abilities such as long range ballistics or short range machine guns, but each also can transform into a powerful mech to deal much different damage to the enemies as the strategy calls for it.  The first vehicle available in the game, is your basic machine gun tank that increases its firing speed the longer it continues to fire, but, unfortunately, they can only target one enemy at a time. When the enemies line both sides of the street, however, it can morph into a mech that deals fire damage from both arms and can target two towers simultaneously.  It will take some quick thinking and even quicker reactions to get out of this situation in one piece.

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Before each missions begins, the player is presented with an overview of the upcoming map and is given the opportunity to select the route to travel.  While some enemy towers will be visible during this phase, enemies will still appear after the convoy has begun its journey.  This map is accessible at anytime, even during the missions, and the route can be configured on the fly should you realize your convoy needs to take a different route, or perhaps you’re feeling lucky and simply want to eliminate every enemy tower on the map before hitting the goal.  During the missions, the player can also increase the size of their convoy, up to six vehicles, by picking up currency units along the paths and buying new units or upgrading existing ones.

A multiplayer experience is new to the Anomaly series and now players can pit themselves against friends in a Tower Defence vs. Tower Offence strategy.  One player takes on the role of the aliens as they dot the landscape with towers while the other player builds their convoy to take down their partner’s creations.  It is a wholly unique take on multiplayer gaming and should prove to be an incredibly fun challenge for both parties.

Anomaly 2 contains a beautifully rendered landscape with intense action and even more immense tactical planning.  Fans of the tower defence genre will have an absolute blast turning the tables and playing on the ground instead of planting the towers.  This is a game that can be played one level at a time but, if you’re anything like me, you will find yourself not wanting to put the game down anytime soon.  This is RTS Tower Offense at its finest.

11 Bit Studios, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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