Reviewed: April 10, 2011
Released: April 8, 2011
As someone who thoroughly enjoys a good game of tower defense, it was refreshing and interesting to play 11 Bit Studio’s new game Anomaly: Warzone Earth where, instead of defending from a line of creeps, buying and upgrading towers, etc., you are the creeps. Anomaly takes place in the year 2018 near the city of Baghdad where an alien spaceship has crash landed (isn’t it always aliens?) If this game’s intention was to create a new genre called “tower offense”, it is indeed succeeding in my book. Nothing quite beats the feeling of taking down a row of giant alien towers trying to destroy your remaining convoy with no repair power ups left. Don’t let the size of this game fool you, it’s one of the best looking and has the potential to revolutionize the way you think of tower defense games.|
You control the 14th platoon commander fighting your way through the ruined cities of Baghdad and Tokyo with a limited amount of upgrades at your disposal. Gathering funds for your troops is as easy as setting your route to pass right near the alien metal deposits. You are eventually introduced to the speed-up function, which helps this game greatly for the sole reason your convoy normally moves slower than a snail. The support from your air troops is a game changer when you think you’ve lost it all; one decoy or smokescreen is all you need to turn the tide of battle in your favor. As you play through the missions you get ranked on your power-up use efficiency and route usage, the less time you circle back the better the medal.
Within the first five minutes of playing you are taught the basics of controlling the route map and using your abilities, which aren’t really too complicated but you can only use either the keyboard for all your actions or the mouse (personally the mouse was easiest). Upgrading your troops is as simple as pressing the middle mouse button and clicking on “level 2 upgrade” button.
Routing your troops was done from a street view of the city maps with the simple control system of clicking the arrows to change the direction they would head. You have no way of reversing the direction you are headed, only change the arrows and follow the streets in a square to return to a spot you have visited ,make use of the map to see where all the power-ups, funds and troops are at to get a higher efficiency rank and get it in one go.
For a game with a download size of 450 MB I was very impressed with the quality and detail of the maps, enemies and my own platoon. The bright colors of the towers and the alien structures really made the war-torn maps really pop and grab your attention. Bright red turrets, giant blue alien cables strewn throughout the city and giant green spaceship debris pulls the whole battlefield together. Your own troops looks as sharp as the turrets against you without the bright colors, for which I was thankful for.
The dialogue between the missions could definitely use a bit of tweaking, the voice actors really needed to put some emotion into some of their lines instead of just read them off. Cut scene music was very well done and really helped to pull the emotion they were trying to get across as you saw the cities being assaulted. The sound effects from the different weapons being used against you were quit fitting for the type of effect that was being employed . The explosions were satisfying and the machine gun effects were decent. Map music flowed well with the battles you encountered.
Aside from the mediocre voice acting and shortness of the game I highly recommend Anomaly: Warzone Earth to everyone with a couple of hours to burn. You won’t play through this game just once. You’ll keep coming back just to make that one change to your route or upgrade to achieve that perfect score. The mayhem mode is a nice way to let us continue to get our fix after completing Tokyo’s city story. Keep an eye out for more of this Studio’s titles and any DLC's that may turn up for this game.