Saturday
Apr232011

Anomaly: Warzone Earth

After player Defense Grid: The Awakening, fellow Altered Confusioner Charlie sent me a Steam link to another game: Anomaly: Warzone Earth by 11 bit studios. For only $10, I figured why not try it out for what amounts to 2 swanky coffee drinks? After loading the game and finding out that Earth has had 2 objects fall to the ground, an elite military group is tasked with finding out what's happened by any means necessary, I was intrigued. And thus the reverse-defense grid fun starts.

 

Anomaly takes the gamer on an exodus of varying missions through Baghdad and Tokyo, with each mission adding a little extra. You start with with a basic unit or two and are tasked with simply making it through the map and around some alien debris. Navigation is very straightforward as your units travel along streets and your path management amounts to determining which way they go at intersections. I loved this aspect as it allows the gamer to concentrate on the fun part: Blowing up the aliens and evading their attacks by using special abilities.

 

After the first missions of story mode where you're tasked with simply making it to point x intact, you soon start to see enemies in fixed locations along the streets where the true reverse-defense grid moniker comes in to play. Your squad is comprised of up to 6 units that follow in a straight line, kind of like lemmings. The squad starts out with the basic tank and dps unit, and after every couple missions, a new unit is available. Pathfinding throughout the map and killing aliens will yield currency, allowing the gamer to both purchase new units and upgrade the ones in their squad. New units may offer shields and better armor. The only negative of the gradual introduction of units is you don't get some awesome units until late, though to be fair, they'd probably be overpowered in earlier stages. Along with deciding which units and upgrades to make, you also have a variety of power ups to use, such as healing, a decoy beacon, and a fog of war device so aliens can't see your units.

 

Each mission changes things up, be it adding new abilities, new units, new aliens, or a different objective such as escorting a cargo plan, destroying the main CPU, or the basic obliteration of all alien lifeforms. Along with the story mode comprising a number of shorter missions, there are also 2 longer marathon type game-modes, one timed and one not, though the object of both is to destroy the aliens during a number of waves. I would be remiss to not mention the ingenious controls that do not even require a keyboard to play making it ideal for tablet/iPad gameplay, a version which 11 bit studios has said will be coming out.

 

While playing on casual mode, the game was not difficult as one would expect. However, and much to my enjoyment, Anomaly was still challenging in that I had to constantly beware of the path my squad was taking and rapidly deploying special abilities to prevent my own demise.

 

11 bit studios has developed the right combination of gaming elements, making Anomaly: Warzone Earth a truly entertaining and engaging game I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Strategy/RTS/Tower Defense games.

 

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