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Game Review: Anomaly 2
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Game Review: Anomaly 2

               When Anomaly: Warzone Earth was released back around 2011 for the PC, and shortly after, released for the PS3 and Xbox 360, I had an opportunity to review it. In short, the title received nothing less than a 4/5, and many other reviews agreed with me, giving it nearly the same score if not higher. The reason for this is quite obvious- the game was very intuitive, had gorgeous visuals, and it was coupled with very addictive gameplay mechanics. It even came with a survival mode that didn’t remove any sort of entertainment from the other portions of the game.
           Anomaly 2, in a matter of speaking, is very much the same, but what Anomaly 2 is missing is the fact that it tries far too hard to be even more amazing than it already is.Anomaly 2 is a sequel, and follows up on the events of of Anomaly: Warzone Earth. Players are yet again plunged into the same world that Warzone Earth left off, except this time, Earth’s only forces are near the end of their line. Players will take control of lieutenant Lynx as he goes from mission to mission, seeking the source of the Anomaly and finding a way to prevent their inevitable takeover.Throughout the course of the 14 missions offered throughout the campaign, the game tries to take itself very seriously, but let’s be honest- the voice work throws it off. Lynx’s voice over is mediocre at best, while some of the other characters- specifically the doctor- make you want to shut off the volume, because not only are their dialogues anti-climatic, but it feels a bit forced and a little too over exaggerated.
          Sadly, this can be said about the characters themselves, because none of them are at all memorable, aside from Lynx, who is of course memorable because of being the main protagonist. The main reason for this is because the game’s narrative focuses primarily on Lynx and the commanding officer who gives new vehicles and abilities, and is a likable character because of those things. The other minor characters, however, seem to only have the role of giving a single, small-time objective of destroying these troops, or destroying those troops, or requesting help at times. They come and go as they please from mission to mission. Remembering their names is a hassle in itself.
            Of course that doesn’t make the game terrible; it has solid gameplay along with a lot of eye candy and a great soundtrack to accompany it. All of these things are accomplished beautifully, especially the soundtrack and the very crisp graphics shading maps. During the campaign itself, the map varies quite a bit. A lot of them have several different paths that lead to the same objective area, but have different aliens accompanying those routes; while there are several different exit routes that take you away from the objective, but have resources that you can collect in order to further strengthen your army. During this time, players will listen to very calm music as they just go through the map; while in battle, the music becomes upbeat and giving a very strong feeling of immersion during battle sequences.
         The last portion of the game is where the game shines to its utmost best. Anomaly 2 utilizes the same core design concept of Warzone Earth, and that was bringing a tower defense vs. tower offense. This time, however, 11 Bit Studios felt to kick it up a notch by bringing us a multiplayer portion that has as much strategy as the campaign, but gives what players want the most- a very short but deadly battle between two strategic players in real time.Players will learn all of the mechanics of the game very quickly throughout the campaign tutorial, where players will be introduced to a new vehicle in almost each and every mission along with a few new abilities and tactics to go against the enemies. Being the same as the previous titles, some of the enemies make a return as well, along with the famous scorcher and behemoth. However, In addition to that are a few other units such as the predator – who is very frail, but deadly and can kill you within a heartbeat as it rises from the ground.  The same abilities such as healing and decoy are also in the game, but they seem to take a much larger significance as they are a life saver as compared to the first game where most of the times, the vehicles did the heavy handling before the aliens even got a shot at them.
            A new factor to the game are the different modes that are enabled into different vehicles. For example, a unit vehicle called the hammer is great for long distance attacks, but can be instantly changed on the scene to a rocket launcher that does a great deal of damage to enemies on the fly. Or an assault hound that builds up its attack rate, while the hell hound is great to take out two enemies at once with great accuracy and high attack rate. Even though at first sight, it might seem like the game might be far too easy because of all these cool gadgets and gizmos that come with each unit, the developers have made the campaign along with the multiplayer function fair for both sides; the aliens and the soldiers. The aliens have focus on different situations during the campaign. For example, players will have a choice of going between two routes, one which has a scorcher and a behemoth, or going against seven predators all at once.
Depending on the abilities and the units, if players decided to purchase a unit that provides them a shield for each of the vehicles near them, then going against the scorcher is a far better plan, especially if you have a few healing abilities and a single decoy. For the predators, it’s essential to make sure to have a very fast and quick unit such as a hell hound that focuses on two troops at once, rather than letting them continuously attack and kill off troops.
         In a multiplayer match, players can decide between either playing as a human soldier or the aliens. Players will either have to find resources on the map, or utilize a harvester and set it to a certain type of  mode in which it gains either more resources, more abilities or other things. Speaking of abilities, the  aliens side during multiplayer also has abilities, but those that help the survival of each tower. For example, players can utilize a kamikaze ability that blows up a tower in a certain amount of time, inflicting damage against all of the enemy unit troops, or they can use the taunt ability to gather agro.
         By the end of each mission, players will be graded on how they did, depending on their overall time and brutality, they can achieve from a bronze medal to a gold medal. Multiplayer wise, players can go into either a ranked match or a un-ranked match, in which player receive a rank. If they beat a player, ranks go up, if they lose to a player, ranks go down.
         Overall, there are a ton of things about Anomaly 2 that can still be discussed in this review, however, these things would not change the overlying idea of how hard 11 Bit Studios worked to create a game that not only does everything better than the first game, but does everything in such a way that it still retains its overall entertainment value. The game deserves no less than a  4/5. It has a somewhat decent story that doesn’t make you want to quit, but also offers a great multiplayer and single player mode that not only introduces and expands on the tower defense vs. tower offense genre, but defines it even further with all strategies that can be employed on the spot.
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Game Review: Anomaly 2, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Reviewed by Zeeshan Sajid on June 1, 2013

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